It was big news when U.S. soccer coach Juergen Klinsmann told Fusion's "The Soccer Gods" that his players would, indeed, be allowed to have sex during the World Cup. After all, Mexican national team coach Miguel Herrera banned his players from fooling around during the World Cup, telling the Mexican newspaper Reforma: “If a player can't go one month or 20 days without having sexual relations, then they are not prepared to be a professional player."
Herrera isn't the only one. “There will be no sex in Brazil," Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic said simply.
But why? Does sex really make a player weak? It seems that the infamous "women weaken legs" scene in Rocky has done more to perpetuate the rumor than actual scientific evidence.
As the BBC reported all the way back in 2004, experts agree that sex before a big match won't hinder performance.
"The night before has no effect on strength or endurance or any of the physical abilities of the athletes," sport physician Dr. Ian Shrirer told the BBC. If performance is affected at all, he continued, it's likely because of psychological reasons.
Interestingly, sex before a big event might actually help female athletes' performance. "We believe that a woman gets better results in sports competition after orgasm," Israeli physician Alexander Olshanietzky said according to the BBC. "Coaches generally tell their athletes to abstain before competition. In the case of women, that's the wrong advice."
We don't expect the myth of pre-sport sex to die out anytime soon. How the U.S. and Mexican teams perform at the World Cup will likely be used as evidence either way.
(h/t BBC Magazine Monitor)
Alexandra DiPalma is a producer for Fusion Lightworks, Fusion’s In-house Branded Content Agency.