Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
Muhammad Ali wouldn't make love for six weeks before a fight and many football players won't make love on the night before a game. An article in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness shows that sexual relations on the night before competition have no effect on endurance to exhaustion on a treadmill, strength, the ability of the body to transport oxygen to muscles and the amount of blood pumped by the heart.
Lovemaking is not a very demanding exercise. The most aggressive love makers burn about 250 calories an hour, or 4 calories per minute. The average person makes love for only five minutes and burns fewer than 25 calories. It takes as much energy to make love as it does to walk up two flights of stairs. If you think that you shouldn't make love on the night before a game, you shouldn't participate in pregame warmups. They're much more demanding than lovemaking.
While younger men notice no loss of athletic prowess after making love, it may be different for older men and women. Lovemaking does use up energy and older men and women may not be able to compete at their maximum on the day after they make love. I have discussed this with many older men and women and the vast majority feel that sexual relations keep them from competing at their best on the next day in tennis, bicycle racing and long distance running.
For younger athletes, not making love can interfere with athletic performance. On the day before competition, most athletes usually reduce their workouts and have extra energy. If they don't make love, they spend the night tossing and turning and wake up, exhausted. Casey Stengel, the former manager of the New York Yankees, said that its' not sex that wrecks these guys, it's staying up all night looking for it. The Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills were separated from their wives before four Super Bowl Games. You know their record, zero and four.