Masturbating Before Working Out: Good or Bad for Gains?

Does Masturbation Affect Gains

 

Let us tackle the age old question “does masturbating affect my gains?”

If you were to google search that, you will find a bunch of forum posts, articles, and yes, even studies about how sex or masturbation affects your ability to make those precious gains.

Before we get into some facts and what seems to be an overall consensus, check out by the Barbell Brigade about this topic:

Will Masturbation Affect Your Gains?

The short answer is yes, and no.

Since that really doesn’t help anyone, let me give you a hand in finding this answer.

While I scoured the internet for the holy grail of an answer, I realized that there have been a few studies done on this topic and most of the results were as I had expected.

Does Masturbation Affect Gains?

Most broscience experts will give you some convoluted answer like “you can snap one off every 7 days, otherwise it will throw off the cycle of optimum testosterone in your body.” These people are basically saying you are quite literally releasing your testosterone and your body will need to recuperate before you can even think about lifting weights again.

Studies show that masturbation and sex does not actually affect your ability to make gains because you aren’t “draining your testosterone” but it could be mostly a psychological affect.

So what does this mean?

When you have an orgasm, two hormones, oxytocin, and prolactin release into your body. Oxytocin is known as the “cuddle hormone” and prolactin is responsible for the feel good, want to sleep part of the orgasm.

Does Masturbation Affect Gains?

You have a spike in both hormones when you finish and this is when the body goes into a mellow, relaxed, and sometimes sleepy state. I save this in particular for a later point in this article.

Check out how this affects your testosterone and training on the next page…

Does it affect my testosterone level?

Busting one will increase your prolactin and temporarily decrease your dopamine. Both of these hormones are involved with testosterone, but your testosterone levels will not change.

Prolactin Chart

Another study shows that a short-term abstinence of 3 weeks can slightly increase testosterone levels, and another study shows a 145% spike in testosterone at the 7th day of abstinence. (This is what the broscientists based their claims on).

Wrapping it up… there are many human and animal studies that show ejaculation does not acutely change serum testosterone levels. This means you aren’t literally fapping your testosterone away.

Does it affect my training?

How masturbation affects your training is what I would focus my worries on.

Remember earlier how I mentioned oxytocin and prolactin? This is where these hormones affect you — your training.

If you snap one off relatively close to the time you go to the gym, your body will still be trying to stabilize the hormone release from earlier. You more than likely will feel super relaxed and almost sleepy, and that’s not a coincidence.

Does Masturbation Affect Gains?

This can have an effect on your training intensity and has been known that it can affect your ability to get a pump. The inability to feel the pump is from your dopamine rising and skewing your feeling of pain.

Another thing if you do the duty or have sex at night, your sexcapades that last throughout the night will put you into sleep deprivation which will hinder your gains.

So should I even worry about this?

While science shows there are a minimal increase and decrease from having a great fap session, you need to stop and think about the overall picture — how much does this really matter to my overall physique?

Just throwing numbers out there, but say there is a 2% decrease in testosterone levels after a good night of smashin’ it. Over the course of a year, you will be losing 2% of your testosterone that will lead to an overall loss of 2 grams of muscle mass.

Does Masturbation Affect Gains?

Let’s bury the log on this one and say that if you are worrying about every time you jizz, you may want to step back and pick your battles. Is it really worth an average Joe giving up a fundamental part of your life to try to squeeze off an extra millimeter of bicep?

Live life on your own terms, but hopefully I can sway you to put more emphasis on diet or consistent training rather than when the optimal times for you to get your rocks off.

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