Should Athletes Abstain from Sex Before the Big Game?

CapturePregame rituals are just as much a part of athletics as strength and conditioning. One such pregame ritual stopped me in my tracks. The New York Times article, “No, Sex Please. I Have a Game Tomorrow” was published after Seattle Seahawks Quarterback; Russell Wilson declared he would remain celibate during the 2015 NFL season. The theory is that athletes channel their aggression to be effective on the field, and sex drains some of that energy making them weaker. I agree sex drains energy, but I disagree that it’s always weakens an athletes game. In fact, according to Chinese medicine it can be beneficial for some athletes.

The first thing to discuss is that the rituals athletes do are very personal and are just as much mental as physical. You can learn a lot about a person by observing their pregame rituals. For instance, the player that is superstitious about their routine probably thinks too much about the game, and if you can get in their head, you’ve got them beat. The player that rolls onto the field without sizing up their opponent’s game is easily beat when you strategically build your game around exposing their weaknesses. Both of these examples are extremes, which ultimately make the player weak. Chinese medicine addresses the physical-mental-emotional state of the individual. Athletes can find customized care in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Before you decide to follow Mr. Wilson’s lead in hopes of improving your game, let me explain a few things. According to Chinese medicine, when a man ejaculates he releases a vital substance called Essence. Essence is a rich source of energy that is often compared to a trust fund. The funds given to us at birth are in limited supply and it’s up to the individual how quickly they are used. Essence is not the body’s first choice for energy; it’s only utilized when diet and lifestyle aren’t sufficient in supporting the individual. Back to the trust fund analogy, earning money to pay for day-to-day expenses keeps that trust available for a rainy day.

Releasing Essence in a man that has a relatively small “trust fund” will definitely weaken him physically and mentally. However, in a man with a large “trust fund” that release will do very little to his overall energy. As I said Essence is not the body’s first source of energy and this is good news for those with less than optimal “trust funds”, because you can support your athletic performance by eating a healthy diet and getting sufficient rest. Think about it, a strength and conditioning regimen that builds up over time hurts less than jumping in aggressively all at once.

There are far less injuries this way too!

So how can you determine whether you are strong enough for sex and athletics? My best advice is to find an acupuncturist, who will objectively assess your health in accordance to Chinese medicine. However, there are a few questions that will give you some direction. How do you feel after sex? If you were relaxed, happy and euphoric from the release of endorphins then you would benefit from having pregame sex. The release of Essence doesn’t weaken you; it can actually help you shake any pregame jitters that would otherwise mentally throw off your game.

Before sex you’re like a raging bull, pent up with frustration, and by releasing a bit of energy, you’ll have clearer focus before facing an opponent. Now, if you get tired and fall asleep after sex, you probably don’t want to have sex before a big game. The release of energy takes a lot out of you, which will lessen your competitive edge. Another question to consider is how you feel after you eat. If you feel tired after eating, the Qi, or energy it takes to digest food taxes your body and should be strengthened before you try to put more stress on it. Qi is your body’s first choice of energy for daily activities, such as eating and exercising. If its weak, you need to eat foods that are easier for you to digest until your Qi can digest a meal without feeling tired.

These are usually foods that are warm, soft and bland, mashed sweet potatoes would be an example. Food should be energizing for everyone, but this is particularly crucial for athletes who challenge their energy supply daily.

Most athletes will find a routine that supports their game, but Chinese medicine can help them understand when and why certain behaviors affect their performance on and off the field! Rather than learning by trial and error, athletes can make educated decisions about their sex life and more with the help from their acupuncturist!

This article originally appeared on The Good Men Project.

Amy Gendron, A.P

View posts by Amy Gendron, A.P
Amy is an Acupuncture Physician in the state of Florida where she works in an integrative medicine practice. She has studied abroad in Yunnan China under some of the nations top doctors. In addition she has extensive training in Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture, Reiki, personal training and as a labor and delivery doula. Her experience as a NCAA Champion in field hockey influences how she approaches her personal and professional life- Go big or go home!
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