A new study showed that men who perform high-intensity exercise are more likely to have a reduced libido compared to those whose workout regimen was classified as of midrange or low.
The analysis was conducted mainly through the participant’s report on their sex life, duration of exercise, and intensity of exercise.
Researchers managed to split the men into three separate groups to compare workout regimes. There is no indication whether high-intensity exercise is a cause for low libido.
Working out may empty your tank
Most of these types of studies have been conducted on women, on the basis of knowing that female marathon runners undergo changes in their physiology due to their intense training regime. Researchers suggest that these problems are related to hormone levels and libido.
For a long time, it’s been thought that intense exercise has an effect on sexual attraction and sex drive. Other studies suggest that moderate amounts of exercise can increase sex drive, while others claim that high-intensity exercise reduces testosterone levels.
Researchers developed a questionnaire to measure how often the study participants engaged in sexual activity. They were prompted to state how often they had sex, how often they thought about it, and of course, how often and how hard had they worked out on a particular week.
Over 1,000 healthy and physically active males completed the questionnaires. They were classified according to their workout intensity and frequency, ending up in one of the several categories, regarding their exercise routine.
After analyzing the results, it was discovered that men with lighter workout regimes were more likely to report a high libido, compared to those that took part in a moderate-to-intense exercise.
Researchers warn that their study sample was particularly low and that it is not possible to know if the person was accurate during questioning.
How does your libido measure up to your workout?
It is believed that physical fatigue was the primary factor picked up during the study contributing to lower libido, The same can be said for lower testosterone levels, which would also cause a tamer sexual drive,
The next step would be analyzing athletes to determine exactly at what point the body decides between an intense workout or a reduced libido. According to lead author of the study, Anthony Hackney, from the University of North Carolina, there must be a “tipping point,” which can be exploited so male athletes can work based on it,
“Clinicians who treat male patients for sexual disorders and, or council couples on infertility issues should consider the degree of endurance exercise training a man is performing as a potential complicating factor,” reads the study.
Another finding suggests that male subjects who took part in shorter intervals of exercise were more sexually active than those who dedicated hours to intense workout regimes. Hackney also claims that the study sample was rather small, which calls for a much broader study to determine the relation between male sexual behavior and overall physical activity. Also, although libido may decrease due to intense exercise periods, it is still not clear why this occurs.
Source: Pub Med