Science: All That Time At The Gym Is Ruining Your Sex Drive


Here’s a conundrum for you: We all need to exercise to stay healthy, but does exercising too much harm your sex drive if you’re a dude? Most of us believe that exercise increases testosterone in men, meaning a more vigorous libido. Some studies, however, have shown that hardcore endurance workouts actually stymy testosterone production. So researchers at the University of North Carolina set out to dig a little deeper to find an answer as to how exercise might effect men’s sex drives.

Unfortunately, the research project went beyond just asking Dwayne Johnson about his sex life (how much would you pay to watch scientists quiz The Rock about that?). First, the researchers created a survey that asked 1,100 runners, cyclers, triathletes, and university athletes about the intensity and length of weekly work outs; then they asked about how often participants “thought about and engaged in sex.” Lastly, they asked about health and medical histories. The study participa consisting of 1,100 runners, cyclers, triathletes, and university athletes.

According to the study, “Exposure to higher levels of chronic intense and greater durations of endurance training on a regular basis are significantly associated with a decreased libido scores in men.” The results seem to match up with those other studies that suggest hardcore workout routines stunted testosterone release in men.

This doesn’t mean you need to stop hitting the gym or jogging or hiking. The study also found that “the men whose exercise routines were moderate or light in intensity or duration were far more likely to report moderate or high libidos.” They concluded that there must be a “tipping point” when men are working out in regards to their sex drive. Dr. Hackney, the lead scientist, speculated that “both physical fatigue and lower testosterone levels” are at play here.

The study in-and-of-itself did not explore why sex drive and fitness are related, but the same scientists plan to delve further into the issue now that they know there’s a link.

(Via The New York Times)