It's been an old wives tale for Olympic athletes that engaging in sexual activity before competitions can inhibit sports ability ever since ancient Greeks as far back as 776 BC said abstinence, on the other hand, is key for performance enhancement.
The myth, however, has been debunked by experts, according to Reuters, just in time for some athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympics, like Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini.
Reuters reported that Filippo Magnini, the boyfriend of 23-year-old Pellegrini, had told an Italian magazine called Chi that he and his girlfriend would not have sex ahead of her races in London based on his understanding of the myth.
Pellegrini, known for posing in racy photos completely naked except for body paint in Vanity Fair, however, did not oblige to her boyfriends requests.
"Abstinence!" the recipient of a gold medal in the 200 meters freestyle in Beijing in 2008 reportedly said. "Are you mad?"
Little did she, or other Olympic athletes who do not want to refrain from having sex during the competition, know that a study would soon surface after making those comments debunking the "no sex" legend.
According to a report to Reuters from experts, a new study shows that "having sex has not been found to reduce physical strength, power or endurance" when it comes to the physiological impact.
"When we test people in the lab, we are examining 'tests of performance' but in competition, psychology very likely plays a much more important role," family medicine professor at Canadian-based McGill University Ian Shrier told Reuters. "Those who claim it decreases performance usually say it is because it decreases focus or aggression or tension. There are no studies that have examined this."
The findings were published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, showing that sex the night before competing in sports, like the Olympics, has no impact on performance.
The practice of abstinence has been a longtime routine of many Olympic athletes throughout history since the ancient Greeks, like Muhammad Ali whom Reuters reported went as long as six weeks without sex before a fight.
Three studies were done to test the theory regarding sex, all of which proved the effects from sex were null.
However, the theory that sex can deplete hormones, like testosterone that has been proven to help performance, remains a mystery to be solved eventually by scientific research, according to Reuters.