No, Masturbation Isn’t Killing Your Features

The central theses

Many men fear that sex and masturbation can lower their testosterone levels, making it more difficult to build muscle and gain strength.
Most research shows that masturbation and sex have almost no effect on your average daily testosterone level and would not likely affect your ability to build muscle even if it did.
Read on to find out why sex and masturbation don't affect your testosterone levels. The other two ways that sex and masturbation can affect your profits and what you can do about it.

You've probably heard that masturbation can lower your testosterone levels, dampen your urge to exercise, and decrease muscle growth.

This idea that masturbation (or more precisely ejaculation) hinders muscle building and athletic performance goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times, when athletes refrained from sex before athletic competitions.


It turns out that many modern athletes still have this idea.

David Haye, a former heavyweight boxing champ, said: "I don't ejaculate six weeks before the fight. No sex, no masturbation, no nothing. It releases too much tension. It releases a lot of minerals and nutrients that your body needs and it releases them cheaply. "

Hmm. , , sounds a lot like an international communist conspiracy to pollute and contaminate all of our precious bodily fluids,

Maybe he's right. But what does the scientific literature say?

Does masturbating affect your profits or athletic performance?

The short answer is "no" unless you masturbate immediately before your workout.


The long answer is: Studies show that masturbation and sex have different effects on the body and can affect your testosterone levels in the short term. However, they are very unlikely to affect muscle growth.

Does masturbation affect your testosterone levels?

The main reason why people believe that masturbation affects muscle building is related to the effects on testosterone.

As you probably know, testosterone (also known as "test" or "T") is a hormone that has masculine properties such as: Facial and body hair growth. increased sex driveand especially for our purposes, muscle building, Both men and women have testosterone, but men have roughly 15 to 20 times more than women.

Most people who want to build muscle are obsessed with testosterone. In 2013 men spent 2.2 billion dollar for testosterone replacement therapy, and that's not the million dollars that men (and some girls) spend on black market testosterone and other steroids. Some people use testosterone booster supplements, special diets, and other gadgets to increase their test levels as well.

This brings us back to masturbation. If you browse online, you will find many articles and videos that claim that masturbation lowers your testosterone levels, which makes many people uneasy.

Is that true?

Well, several studies have shown that giving up sex and masturbation for several weeks can slightly increase testosterone levels. (Although most of the articles you find online claim that masturbation uniquely damages testosterone levels, there's no reason to believe that sex is different.)

For example in a study Led by scientists from the Essen University Hospital, the researchers measured plasma testosterone levels in 10 healthy adult men during masturbation before and after a three-week abstinence period (no gender or masturbation). In fact, they found that the men had a slightly higher testosterone level during masturbation after their three-week ejaculation break.

However, this study had one major limitation: the researchers only measured men's testosterone levels while masturbating, so we have no idea what their test values ​​were like for the rest of the time. As you will soon learn, short spikes in testosterone levels, as experienced by men in this study while masturbating, have little or no effect on your ability to build muscle.

Another study The study, carried out by scientists at Hangzhou Normal College, went one step further and examined how abstinence affects daily testosterone levels in 28 healthy men aged 21 to 45 years. The researchers divided the subjects into two groups:

The participants in the first group were told not to masturbate for the next eight days.
The participants in the second group were told that they could masturbate in the next eight days.

The researchers measured everyone's testosterone on each day of the study and found that group two testosterone levels on the seventh day of the study were 150% higher than group 1.

Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. These gentlemen must have stumbled around like a rut that has just eaten a truckload of Viagra.

Or not.

While this study is strong evidence of the idea that masturbation is bad for muscle growth, there are good reasons to be skeptical about the results.

For one, the average testosterone levels remained largely unchanged in the first five days of the study, then suddenly rose on days six and seven and fell back to normal on the eighth day. The researchers gave no explanation for why this happened, except for a vague theory that testosterone levels rise and fall I agree every seven days, as long as masturbation doesn't disturb this rhythm, which is little more than a doubtful guess (it has never been proven).

The authors also made little effort to standardize their test procedures or data collection methods.

They told participants in the second group that they could masturbate and have sex, but they did not measure how often they masturbated or had sex during that time. In other words, some of them could have beaten their meat like butchers and the researchers would not have known it.

Instead of letting everyone start the study on the same day, they allowed participants to start their abstinence periods on different eight-day periods, which could have affected the results. For example, some of the participants' eight-day abstinence might have started on Monday, others on Friday, others on Wednesday, and so on.

Finally, the study lasted only eight days and included a small number of participants, which makes the results even less reliable.

Although the study is interesting, it is not advisable to be overjoyed about it.

And if you compare these studies with most scientific evidence, you'll quickly see why concerns about masturbation and testosterone levels are exaggerated.

Summary: Several studies have shown that abstaining from masturbation and sex can increase testosterone levels, although these studies have several major limitations that make the results anything but reliable.

Why masturbation doesn't affect muscle growth

Ejaculate after lifting weights

Although a handful of studies have shown that masturbation and sex can lower average testosterone levels, most studies have found the opposite.

Usually testosterone levels rise Reach climax during orgasm during masturbation and sex and then drop to normal levels. So masturbation does not lower testosterone, but only causes a short-term increase in testosterone levels, which disappears shortly afterwards. Most research shows that this short-term ebb and flow of testosterone is too low to have a significant impact on average testosterone levels throughout the day.

Some studies have even shown that regular orgasms can have a positive impact on testosterone levels.

For example a study Research conducted by scientists from the University of L’Aquila found that people who stopped sex for three months due to erectile dysfunction experienced a decrease in testosterone levels and their testosterone levels increased after sex resumed. Of course, this was the case with people with erectile dysfunction, so it's hard to say how much this applies to healthy people, but masturbation certainly didn't seem to cause any problems.

Even if masturbation affected testosterone levels, it probably wouldn't decrease muscle growth.


Well, it turns out that while large changes in testosterone levels can significantly affect muscle growth, small fluctuations within the normal physiological range have no effect on muscle growth.

That is, if your testosterone level is exactly in the middle of normal and you increase or decrease it slightly above or below normal for a few hours, days or weeks, you will not notice a difference in your muscle building abilities.

Before you call me a heretic and hold me to a gallows, you should consider the following:

In one study Led by scientists from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, scientists gave young, healthy men different amounts of testosterone enanthate (a common anabolic steroid) and a cocktail of medications for 20 weeks to stop their body's natural testosterone production ,

Higher testosterone levels led to larger muscle gains, but were not as pronounced as you might think.

What the researchers found was that as long as testosterone was in the normal physiological range, between 300 and 1,000 ng / dl (Nanogram / deciliter) muscle growth did not change much. That is, the subjects at the lower end of the normal range were not as far behind the subjects at the upper end of the normal in terms of muscle growth.

Participants did not start building significant amounts of muscle until their testosterone levels were about 20 to 30% higher than the upper end of what they could do naturally.

This study has one limitation: the participants did not lift weights. That said, while the total amount of muscle and strength gained in weight lifting would have been significantly higher, you would still see a link between testosterone levels and muscle growth.

This was partially demonstrated by another study conducted by McMaster University scientists with 56 young men with resistance training.

The researchers had participants lift weights five times a week for 12 weeks and followed a standard nutritional protocol (high protein intake. Post-workout nutrition, Etc.). They also measured blood levels of testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1 in the blood before and after exercise, and measured their muscle mass before and after the study using dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and muscle biopsies.

The result?

Stress-related peaks in anabolic hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1, all of which remained in the normal physiological range, had no correlation with overall muscle growth and strength gains.

That is, all participants gained muscle, but the variations in the size of their hormone peaks did not affect the results. Someone who had only a small increase in testosterone after training gained as much muscle as someone whose testosterone level shot up.

It is also clear that short-term changes in testosterone levels have little or no impact on exercise performance.

For example, testosterone levels tend to do so be the highest first thing in the morning and decline up to 40% by evening. Most of them anyway research shows that people are a little stronger and build more muscle when they lift weights in the evening, when their testosterone levels are at their lowest.

So if you go back to masturbation and muscle growth, even if masturbating lowers testosterone a few hours later, how much do you think this would affect muscle growth?

Probably none.

Now some fitness gurus have made other false claims about how masturbation could theoretically affect muscle building without affecting testosterone levels.

For example, one fitness author claimed that masturbation "is similar to high intensity interval training (HIIT)" and that ". , , Masturbation removes glycogen from your muscles. "

I answer that. , ,

Let's summarize that.

First of all, masturbation burns remarkably few calories – roughly the same number that you burn while sitting and talking. In fact, you burn more calories when you type on the computer or wash dishes than you masturbate.

Second, let's face it, masturbation doesn't usually last The Long. Possibly 10 or 15 minutes max. And during that time, you will probably burn a whopping 20 calories (if you could have burned about 15 calories if you just sat still).

To burn your body's glycogen stores, you have to either exercise for a very long time or very intensely (think of an intense two-hour bike ride), and masturbation doesn't meet any of these criteria. (Glycogen is a type of carbohydrate stored in your muscles that your body uses during exercise.)

You can only expect to burn a few grams of glycogen or about 0.5% all of your body's glycogen stores.

Summary: Your testosterone level rises during masturbation and drops back to normal shortly after orgasm. This small increase and decrease is far from enough to have a significant impact on your muscle building ability.

How masturbation and sex can affect muscle growth

Does sperm release make you weaker?

Masturbation is unlikely to affect your testosterone or glycogen levels, but it can affect muscle growth in other ways.

First of all, masturbating immediately before training will almost certainly affect your performance.

After the orgasm, your body releases a hormone called prolactinthat suppresses the level of the feel-good hormone dopamine, Dopamine also supports your libido, motivation, and mood, and this decrease in dopamine is partly responsible for why you feel tired, unmotivated, and sluggish after orgasm.

So how long should you wait after orgasm before exercising?

It takes About 10 to 20 minutes for the level of prolactin to begin to decrease and up to several hours for them to return to normal levels.

This period of time when prolactin decreases and dopamine increases is called yours refractoryand strangely, it tends to be shorter after masturbation and longer after sex. That means you generally feel faster after masturbating than after sex.

This period can range from 30 minutes to several hours for younger people, but tends to get longer with age.

A team of scientists from the University of Florence headed one Check the study on top athletes to see how gender timing affects their performance in competitions or physical fitness lab tests. They concluded that as long as the athletes separated sex and intensive training by at least two to three hours. ". , No evidence of negative effects in men and women. "

Now these people have also pushed their bodies to their limits, so you may be able to have sex near your workout without noticing any negative effects from doing easier workouts.

As a rule of thumb, it's probably a good idea not to have sex or masturbate at least an hour before hard training, with more time generally being better.

Another reason why many people believe that sex and masturbation affect muscle growth is likely related to how these activities can disrupt sleep.

Many people stay up late to have sex (or try to find someone who has sex with them), which is obviously possible have a negative impact on your performance in the gym and thus your ability to build muscle. Casey Stengel, manager of the New York Yankees, said: "It's not the sex that ruins these guys, he stays up all night looking for it."

This applies equally, if not more, to masturbation. Many people who masturbate do it while watching porn late at night, and they often watch a lot of videos before deciding what gets them out of their concept. Therefore, the loss of sleeping hours while surfing on porn websites is likely to hinder progress and not actual masturbation.

(And that's not to mention the Long list of negative psychologically effects of porn consumption that goes beyond building muscle and training.)

In other words, it is not sex or masturbation that affects your profits per se, but the lack of sleep caused by sex and masturbation.

So if you want to masturbate, make sure that your sleeping habits are not affected. While this may sound strange if you are the type who feels that sex or masturbation must be "spontaneous", it is probably best to go to bed early if you are going to put it on.

Summary: Although some people blame sex and masturbation for poor performance in the gym, the lack of sleep caused by sex and masturbation at night is more likely to be to blame than sex or masturbation in itself.

The conclusion on masturbation and muscle building

Although you often hear people say that masturbation hurts your profits, there is little or no evidence that this is true.

A handful of studies have shown that giving up sex and masturbation for a few weeks can increase testosterone levels. However, the increase is rather small and short-lived, and there are good reasons to question the results of these studies because of methodological shortcomings.

Most studies show that testosterone levels rise during masturbation and return to normal after orgasm. However, the change is simply too small to have a significant impact on daily testosterone levels.

Even if masturbation slightly increased or decreased testosterone levels, it probably would not affect muscle growth.

However, there are two reasons why sex and masturbation could potentially reduce muscle gain:

If you have sex or masturbate in the hour before training, your performance is likely to suffer, which will affect your ability to build muscle.
If you lose sleep and stay up late to have sex or watch porn videos, your performance in the gym and your ability to build muscle will also decrease (not necessarily masturbation or sex causes problems, but the associated loss of sleep).

Fortunately, it's easy to avoid these two pitfalls:

Allow at least one hour between sex or masturbation and training (and at least two or three hours for your toughest workouts) and don't let sex or masturbation flow into your beauty sleep.

If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you want to hang out online! ?

What do you think of masturbation and muscle growth? Would you like to share anything else? Let me know in the comments below!

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