Is Masturbation Killing Your Gains?

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By Mike Matthews. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

You’ve probably heard that masturbation can drain your testosterone levels, dampen your drive to work out, and decrease muscle growth.

This idea that masturbation (or more specifically, ejaculation) hinders muscle building and athletic performance goes all the way back to ancient Greek and Roman times, when athletes would refrain from sex before athletic contests.

It turns out this idea still persists among many modern athletes.

As former heavyweight boxing champion David Haye said, “I don’t ejaculate for 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 an awful lot like an international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Perhaps he’s right. But what does the scientific literature say?

Does masturbating interfere with your gains or your athletic performance?

The short answer is no, it doesn’t, unless you masturbate immediately before working out.

The long answer is studies show masturbation and sex have a variety of effects on the body and can impact your testosterone levels in the short term, but they’re highly unlikely to affect muscle growth.

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