Fifa World Cup 2014: Can sex hamper football?

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Yes. At least, the Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile and Mexico football authorities think so! An article on Time points out that several football teams, in the World Cup season, has come up with strict 'sex rules'. From completely banning sex to specifying the duration for which they can indulge in sex, teams have come up with a gamut of solutions for success, some of them quite bizarre.
For example, the article notes, Brazilian footballers can have sex but not 'acrobatic' sex, French players can have sex but not all night and Nigerian players can sleep with their wives while girlfriends are a strict no-no!
The strict sex-related diktat put down by several football teams, has sparked the usual debate on the necessity to ban sex to ensure the player is not hindered on ground.
"In a sign of what the world's fittest sportsmen and women get up to in the Olympic village, a record 150,000 free condoms — 15 for each competitor — have been made available to them. The phenomenal outpouring of prophylactics means there will be 50 per cent more available to athletes in London than the 100,000 handed out at the last Olympics in Beijing in 2008," The Daily Mail reported.And it's not just restricted to football. The Daily Mailreported in 2012 that 150,000 condoms had been handed out the athletes, making sure that they are suitably prepared for any kind of emergency!
However, there have been conflicted opinions on whether or not sportsmen and women and athletes should have sex before a crucial performance.
Time notes, "Many coaches and athletes believe that abstaining from sex builds up aggression, a belief that probably stems from ancient civilizations like the Greeks, who thought that men derived strength from their semen. This theory is so pervasive that even Muhammed Ali refused to have sex six weeks before a fight, fearing that ejaculation would release the testosterone (and therefore aggression) he needed for a boxing match."
However, most other scientific studies have proved otherwise. An article on Plos observes, "Despite the extravagant stories exchanged between males in locker rooms, a normal session of business time between married partners results in the expenditure of only 25-50 calories, and it’s thus unlikely to influence next day energy stores."
Most of the arguments against sex, however, are based on the perception that sex has psychological repercussions which might reflect on an athlete's performance. But no scientific study has been found to attest the same.
Ian Shrier, a sports medicine specialist, has been quoted on the National Geographic News as saying that the 'long-standing myth that athletes should practice abstinence before important competitions may stem from the theory that sexual frustration leads to increased aggression'.
"After three months without sex, which is not so uncommon for some athletes, testosterone dramatically drops to levels close to children's levels," he said. "Do you think this may be useful for a boxer?" Emmanuele A Jannini of the University of L'Aquila in Italy is quoted as saying in National Geographic.
In fact, an article on Greatist.com, suggests that sex, the night before a big game, could actually be beneficial. It cites one study which says that testosterone boost from an orgasm might actually boost muscle strength and leg power for men. Whereas, for women, hormones released during an orgasm can actually 'stop the release of pain transmitters' for close to 24 hours. Which means it could help relax sore muscles and reduce muscle pain.
An article on CNN quotes Maria Cristina Rodríguez Gutierrez, director of sports medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, as saying, "Sex only burns between 200 and 300 kilocalories, which doesn't compare to running a marathon or just a regular workout session. You can restore these calories by eating a chocolate bar or drinking a can of soda."
However, the Bosnia coach, who warned, 'there will be no sex in Brazil', is not listening! Bad luck, boys!

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