When you think about levels of arousal, endurance, and stamina — both while you’re exercising and having sex — you may find them to be similar. They both require motivation and excitement regarding mindset, as well as the physical capabilities to perform well and endure the activity for an extended period of time and with enough effort.
Plus, orgasms boost happiness and well-being, in general. When there’s an improvement in daily quality of life, you’re more likely to have the determination to exercise and progress in your training with consistency and maximum output in workouts.
An active sex life often builds confidence, and that self-esteem boost could make it easier to take on challenges and go after your fitness goals. But how can a pre-workout sex session affect the way your workout goes?
How Having Sex Before Workouts Can Make a Performance Difference
Sex Increases Blood Flow to the Muscles
During sex, you’re sending blood directly to your body’s muscles and getting your heart rate up, which — in turn — may improve your training performance.
“There are many benefits that come from sex and orgasms that impact hormones and the muscles, and orgasms allow your body to both strengthen the muscles and stimulate tissue growth,” Megwyn White, a sexologist, licensed sex coach, and the Director of Education at sexual-wellness product brand Satisfyer, says.
According to White, orgasms increase blood flow and promote healthy circulation, two adaptations that strengthen your heart and other muscles and keep vascular health and lymphatic drainage in check. This acts to prevent the build up of fluid and stagnation in blood flow for circulatory support.
Sex Improves Brain Function and Benefits Training
Climaxing also benefits brain health and cognitive thinking, so you can think sharper and more quickly on your feet, as well as remember things better.
“As a result of the increased blood flow and released hormones, a surprising benefit of orgasms is they can help keep your brain sharp, because your body releases hormones post-orgasm that send tons of messages throughout your body and increase brain activity,” she says.
It’ll be easier to hone skills and remember things, which can be a huge win when it comes to training. You'll nail correct exercise form or exercise sequence and keep up with your routine easier to best achieve your fitness goals.
“Sex also releases adrenaline and endorphins throughout your body, which increases heart rate and gets blood pumping faster,” she says.
And yes, that adrenaline spike might motivate you to train harder, take on new challenges, and be more consistent in your training efforts. Still, a positive mindset is essential for progress and accountability.
“Sex greatly impacts our mental well-being," White says. "It helps reduce stress, regulate pain management, support confidence, and help you connect closer with yourself. Orgasms often calm down your body, as feel-good chemicals like endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin flow with an orgasm."
Studies show that sexual activity reduces stress and calms your body down, and it can even keeps your body's structure in optimum condition.
“Oxytocin, often known as the 'love' hormone, can decrease stress and cue relaxation, as well as improve bone and tissue health,” she says.
Tips for Using Sex as a Pre-Workout Performance Booster
You don’t want to push yourself too far and end up feeling drained after the climax, though.
“Sex alone is a form of exercise and cardiovascular fitness, where there’s stretching of the muscles, tendons, and joints, as well as hormonal fluctuation,” she says.
Too much intensity during pre-workout sex can backfire and deplete energy stores, making it harder to perform. Consider sex to be like a dynamic workout, rather than a HIIT session.
“This is important to keep in mind as you may want to preserve energy before a high-intensity workout,” she explains.
Hydrating — especially if you're sweaty — matters, too. Electrolytes and water leave the body through activity and sweat, so hydrating during and after sex is key.
Additionally, you'll want to avoid sex positions that cause cramping or are uncomfortable, and remember to continue breathing throughout.
“Use supportive aids like bolsters to help prevent tightening of muscles in the lower back or hips,” White suggests. “And use your breath to energize your body while you’re having sex, to boost endurance and to protect your body from tensing up."
Kegel activation with sex can also help benefit workout performance.
“Training your pelvic muscles while you have sex is a wonderful way to keep them toned and healthy while boosting pleasure in the process,” she explains.