Too much exercise = lower sex drive?
The researchers in the University of North Caroline, in the United States, interviewed 1100 adult men as regards their exercise habits and their sex drive. Whether they were actual athletes or amateurs, the majority of the men interviewed practiced cycling or running. Although the majority of types of exercise have fantastic health benefits –some more than others -the intensity of the physical or sporting activity could have an impact on sexual desire in men.
The impact varies depending on the intensity of the exercise
The participants in the study were divided into several groups depending on the intensity of their sporting activity and the amount of time they dedicated to exercise. Next, the researchers evaluated their sexual activity, assigning them to one of three categories: “relatively high libido”, “moderate libido” or “low libido”.
Based on the results, the researchers drew some surprising conclusions. In fact, the men who practiced sustained and intense physical exercise were more likely to report a low libido.
By contrast, men who practiced little sport at the time of the study were the ones presenting with the highest libido.
The direct link between the intensity of physical exercise and sexual desire was confirmed by the researchers, who took care to control for factors that could have falsified the results, such as age, for example.
A question of sex hormones?
The researchers are not entirely sure why the intensity of exercise could have a positive or negative impact on the male sex drive. Further study on active women and libido could shed some light on these conclusions.
According to the researchers, intense physical activity could have an impact on sex hormones, and thus on the libido or on fertility. They report that fertility specialists often ask women with difficulties conceiving about the intensity of their exercise, because very active women can experience disruption of their menstrual cycles, but this research suggests that such specialists should ask the same questions of men.