Let’s get sexy widit.
In his last blog post, Italian rider Filippo Pozzato revealed that as part of his preparation for the World Championships, he’s abstaining from sex. In fact, according to Pozzato, he hasn’t had zero whoopee in the last six months since breaking up with his girlfriend.
Well, Pozzato is living a monk’s life in vain because all the research on sex and athletic performance indicates that sex has little or no impact. This is one of those caveman ideas that started in macho sports like boxing and football, something about a man losing his mojo, his aggression, his angry competitive seed.
The guys dressed in the dinosaur pelts believe naked women are attempting to steal their fire, to suck the very life force out of them. “Must keep millions of my little swimmer guys to help me pedal bike in Melbourne!” There isn’t a scientist who doesn’t double over in laughter at this stuff.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali reportedly would not make love for six weeks before a fight. Which makes Twisted Spoke think of the champs classic rime: “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, got a strong jab and my celibacy.”
I quote from an article in National Geographic News: “Scientists say there is no physiological evidence to suggest that sex before competition is bad. In fact, some studies suggest that pre-sports sex may actually aid athletes by raising their testosterone levels, for example.”
Pozzato needs a quick chat with Ian Shrier, a sports medicine specialist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. “There are two possible ways sex before competition could affect performance,” said Shrier.
“First, it could make you tired and weak the next day. This has been disproved. The second way is that it could affect your psychological state of mind. This has not been tested,” he said.
Maybe the increasingly randy Italian should read a few scientific papers from countryman Emmanuele Jannini of the University of L’Aquila in Italy. That testosterone Mr. P is worried about? Jannini discovered that “after three months without sex, which is not so uncommon for some athletes, testosterone dramatically drops to levels close to children’s levels. Savvy bike racing fans know that event in Melbourne is called the world championship men’s road race, no children allowed.
Maybe the Man from Katusha is concerned about the immense physical toll that sex exacts on the human body. Uhh, none. Sexual intercourse expends only 25 to 50 calories or the energy required to walk up two flights of stairs in cleated shoes. (True, it can be hard sometimes getting out of those tight lycra garments, but always worth the effort.)
How about this training plan for the captain of the Italian team: get busy with it. According to Shrier, “if athletes are too anxious and restless the night before an event, then sex may be a relaxing distraction.”
Maybe we should be talking to the man wearing the rainbow right now — Australian Cadel Evans — or better yet his wife, Chiara Passerin. Did he use the Abstinence game plan? What about Alessandro Ballan — the 2008 winner — did his training include regularly scheduled lovemaking or was he gguarding his precious seed?
We don’t mean to po0-poo PoPo’s apprach but Twisted Spoke is gonna leave it to the experts in the sex or no sex debate. Researcher Jannini suggests “a complete and satisfactory sexual intercourse the evening before the game.” Porn starlets are standing by, a road race winners’ medal hangs in the balance and it’s not too late to kick the abstinence habit.