If you’re not a protein swilling gym-a-holic, you might not have wondered about whether your ‘alone time’ affects your physique, except maybe your forearm.
But, those who pump iron a lot apparently do – and there is a concern that too much masturbation might prevent gains.
Luckily fitness channel PictureFit is on hand to explain exactly how your sexual activity might affect your muscle growth.
The video explains that yes, you do lose testosterone when you ejaculate, and yes, testosterone is an androgenic hormone, meaning that it’s involved in the building of muscle.
The theory that floats around the internet – aka chatrooms full of body builders – is that when a man ejaculates and therefore ‘loses’ testosterone, he reduces his bodily levels of muscle-friendly hormones, therefore making it harder to build muscle (referred to as ‘gains’).
So is there any truth in the theory?
Well, the video addresses various different studies and their findings.
One study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, found that men who undertook seven days of sexual abstinence did indeed have higher testosterone levels, but only temporarily.
The study found that the levels dropped back down – and to lower than the starting level – after another seven days, though the cause of this is unclear (so if you’re worried about it then you might want to have a precautionary w*nk.)
The video then explains that another study, where men who abstained for three weeks did see slightly elevated testosterone levels.
This dissipated when they returned to a regular sexual routine but those levels did not translate to any improvement in sporting performance.
However, whilst the efficacy of abstaining from sex is pretty questionable, there are other factors which will have an effect on your workout, or specifically how much muscle a specific workout can build.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, not only are the body’s testosterone levels higher first thing in the morning, but working out earlier in the day can help prevent the levels from falling as the day progresses.
On average, a man who doesn’t work out first thing will lose around 30% of his testosterone over the day.
In short though, unless it’s all you’re doing – in which case presumably you’ve got one Hulk arm, and one noodle – no, orgasms are not the reason that you’re not building muscle.