From beginners at the gym to pro athletes, the age of question of whether sex or sexual activity is taking away from your body goals has been asked numerous times.
Can healthy sexual practice improve your immune system? Can healthy sexual practice improve quality of life? Can healthy sexual practice improve your physical function – including athletic performance – by helping you build more muscle? The answer to these questions is: yes.
SEX AND IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTION
Recent research has demonstrated that hormonal fluctuations occur post-induced ejaculation, and that induced ejaculations help to increase adrenalin, prolactin1 and killer cell (CD3-CD16+CD56+)2 levels. This research is the first to suggest an explanation for the immune system enhancing effects of induced ejaculation. Nocturnal emissions were not correlated with these health-enhancing effects.
SEX, DOPAMINE, ADRENALIN, AND AROUSAL
Sexual activity facilitates the release of dopamine. Dopamine (C8H11NO2) is a simple neurotransmitter and monoamine that plays a role in the synthesis and release of epinephrine (adrenaline). The increase in heart rate that accompanies sexual arousal is a function of dopamine’s impact on adrenalin release. Dopamine plays a role in addiction and pleasure seeking behaviors because it is a “feel good” hormone. Research has demonstrated that hormones do not play a role in sexual deviance, and thus dopamine may underlie sexual addiction and arousal.
SEX AND PROSTATE CANCER
Prostate cancer affects about 70% of men over the age of 65. The American Cancer Society estimates that 2004 will see 230,900 new cases of diagnosed prostate cancer. Prior to the scientific study of the ejaculation process, it was believed that frequent ejaculations were linked to increased prostate cancer rates. Not only has emerging research refuted this idea, but new research has demonstrated that increased ejaculation frequency in the mid-to-late 20’s was correlated with LOWER prostate cancer rates!5
Academia and established medicine think that an increase in the frequency of ejaculations serves to protect the prostate from damage. It does so by clearing the prostate of seminal fluid that may contain DNA damaging carcinogens.
Testosterone is responsible for muscle growth, and muscle growth does not occur in its absence. Consequently, athletes go to great lengths to boost testosterone levels. Athletes may take a variety of herbs, vitamins, minerals, prohormones, pro-steroids, and even illegal steroids, to boost their testosterone levels and performance.
Nutritional supplements are effective at altering hormone levels, but many lose effectiveness over time as the body down-regulates its natural production of substances as a response to exogenous influence. Muscle growth can stop when this occurs.
Elevating testosterone levels naturally is achieved by correctly applying sound training, nutrition, and sexual protocols. Scientific literature and anecdote testify to the effects of nutrition, exercise, and recovery on muscle growth, but the correct application of sexual activity as a method of boosting muscle growth is only now being studied seriously.
Chinese researchers conducted a study in 2003 and enlisted twenty-eight male volunteers to abstain from ejaculation for a period of one week. The participants were tested daily for deviations on serum testosterone levels. The Chinese study was the first to measure the influence of ejaculation frequency on serum testosterone levels, and the results are provocative.
Researchers found that abstaining from ejaculation for six days had no impact on serum testosterone levels. On the seventh day, serum testosterone levels peaked to 145.7% of baseline and then declined rapidly on the eighth day.7,8
Researchers believe testosterone declined on day eight from the negative feedback suppression of Leutinizing hormone secretion. Leutinizing hormone is essential for testosterone production, and LH determines free testosterone levels. Suppression of LH would decrease serum testosterone levels, returning them to baseline.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: A HORMONE PROTOCOL
Research is useful inasmuch as it can be applied to provide direction. Based on the latest scientific research on sexuality and sexual behavior as it relates to physiological function, here is a chronological sequence of action that best utilizes the findings of the research:
Because testosterone levels are minimized in the presence of elevated insulin levels, the pre-workout meal should consist of lipids and protein – both of which have negligible impacts on insulin levels.
Research demonstrates that testosterone levels rise as a response to sexual stimuli. Therefore, an athlete could benefit pre-workout by being exposed pre-workout to sexual stimuli. The athlete could then exercise with increased testosterone levels and aggression.
Post-workout, the athlete should consume a protein drink with flax oil or olive oil. Lipids facilitate the passive permeation of the cell wall by sex hormones.
One hour post-exercise, the athlete should achieve ejaculation. This will increase the natural level of killer cells, thus increasing immune-system function and enhancing recovery abilities. The increase in killer cells will prevent over-training.