Masturbation has been known to be related to a reduction in testosterone hormone. “Does Masturbation Cause Muscle Loss” is the question that concerns gym-goers every now and then.
Chances are, you have read lots of articles and maybe watched videos of which some said masturbation kills gains and some said it didn’t. What you are going to read here will be entirely based on scientific research with no biased opinions.
You might have asked yourself many questions like if you should masturbate before a workout or after a workout if you indulge in masturbation at all and so on.
All these doubts will be addressed in this article giving you much better clarity on the topic.
Does Masturbation Cause Muscle Loss?
No studies have proven that masturbation has caused muscle loss significantly. It makes no sense to worry specifically about masturbation and whether it will cause muscle loss. Instead of this, you should be worried about giving masturbation so much importance that you are skipping sleep and hampering your recovery processes.
Masturbation: Why Does It Exist?
Have you ever asked yourself why do we even have the phenomenon of masturbation? By now, you must know it’s completely natural but what’s the point of having this process? The answer is simple, it helps you deal with sexual tension.
The beneficial effects of masturbation and sex were also proved in a study by Adam And Eve. This study clearly showed that hormones released after masturbation can help in dealing with pain by easing it. Let’s go through the benefits of masturbation once:
- Sexual tension is released
- Mood is boosted
- Feel-good hormones are released
- You feel pleasurable
- Your body is relaxed
- Removes stress
- Better sleep
Role Of Testosterone
For all the champs out there trying to gain some muscles, testosterone is a priority for them. They won’t want anything to mess with their testosterone levels that might cause muscle loss. Masturbation is also linked with testosterone and people often suspect if they will be wasting their testosterone by masturbating. We also know, testosterone also improves sex drive as proven in studies already.
The controversial argument here is that testosterone helps in the production of sperms which we happily eject after an orgasm. Since you have ejected them, your body will start producing sperms again and hence it won’t prioritize muscle recovery. This concept does look convincing as far as we rely on common sense. However, let’s see what research actually states.
Researches say that yes testosterone levels rise during an orgasm and fall back to normal afterward. However, no research has been able to prove that more masturbation means more testosterone being used up.
Hormones Released After Masturbation
A variety of hormones are released after sex or masturbation. Let’s look at the positive effects of these hormones that show why masturbation might be essential.
Anti-Diuretic Hormone: It helps in water conservation and helps in better focus and cognitive function.
Serotonin: This hormone makes you feel better and uplifts your mood as well.
Dopamine: This is a pleasure hormone that again releases pain and helps in motivation too.
Oxytocin: It prevents inflammation and again uplifts your mental state.
Other hormones like Norepinephrine, prolactin, and testosterone are also released which was described above.
Study That Showed Masturbation Affects Testosterone
One of the studies conducted by scientists at Hangzhou normal college showed that how not masturbating had an impact on testosterone levels.
Two groups were made and one group masturbated over eight days while the other group abstained from masturbation.
The result was that the group that did not masturbate had 50% higher testosterone levels than the other group.
This study did provide some strong evidence that shows that we should abstain from masturbation to keep our testosterone levels high.
Why This Study Was Controversial?
The study had some interesting and strange results because for the first five days all the participants in both groups had the same testosterone levels.
However, the average testosterone levels spiked on the 6th, 7th, and last day and returned to normal. There was no explanation to support this.
The study was also poorly designed and the amount of masturbation wasn’t tracked. All of this makes the study less reliable.
Similar to this, another study conducted at the university hospital Essen showed that not masturbating for 3 weeks, participants had a slightly high level of testosterone
However, the testosterone levels were measured while the participants were masturbating. Various studies have shown that it is normal for testosterone levels to go high during the organism.
Will My Muscles Grow Slower?
So finally we come to the point where the connection of muscle gain will be established with testosterone. Summarising the research, a connection could not be established. Meaning,
More masturbation ≠ Slower muscle gain
More studies need to be conducted to get a more clearer and specific view. However, if you are really worried about your muscles, I would suggest you focus on the basics first.
Principles of training like progressive overload, a balanced diet to support your muscle gain, and adequate rest should be your matter of concern because they are the basics. Stay up one night and I can bet you have messed up your recovery processes badly.
How Much Can I Masturbate?
As much as you must be happy right now that your pleasurable habit(masturbation) isn’t going to kill your biggest asset(muscle), you still can’t masturbate unlimitedly.
You must be asking why, so the reason is quite simple, that is, when you masturbate, the blood vessels in your penis experience some large amount of force. Since you are using your hand, the risk of injury to these blood vessels rises.
Having said that, you don’t have to control your urge forever. It’s totally normal to masturbate 2 to 3 times a week. It actually is healthy since you will have feel-good hormones in your system and your overall mind and body will benefit from it.
Should I Avoid Masturbation Before Workout?
As far as science speaks, studies have proven to show spikes and fall in testosterone levels. Now this change is too low to affect gym performance.
If you’re worried about energy expenditure, masturbation does not waste too much of your energy. Even if you masturbate for 15 minutes, you are not going to use more than 30 kilo-calories.
However, as we know that masturbation results in the secretion of feel-good hormones that make you feel relaxed. Due to this reason, you might want to avoid masturbation just before a workout.
Other than this, there is no reason why masturbation can cause degradation in performance.
Society’s View On Masturbation
Society’s view might not be too open-minded about masturbation. Especially in India, you are told that it’s a bad habit and maybe even classified as a sin. They probably don’t know the science behind it and guess who suffers? Their kids with no sex education, being confused, feeling pathetic and some finally resorting to pornography.
What your elders teach you does matter and you have little control over it. It is for such kids who I want to find the right knowledge on sensitive topics like these. Maybe, if we learn today we can make a better society tomorrow.
The Only Thing You Need To Be Worried About
If you read until now, you know masturbation isn’t your enemy and in fact, it’s a friend. However, a few other complicated stuff come in the way along with that topic.
More topics like addiction to pornography are often linked with masturbation. Although that’s an entirely different topic, we often forget the line that separates them.
Masturbation can be your friend but pornography can never be. It’s important to know the limits and side effects of going on the wrong path. Pornography as we all know isn’t good for us in any way. Jumping to the side effects, I can assure you if you keep on watching porn it is likely to be affecting your psychology. You might have heard the line,
You become what you think
That’s where pornography causes trouble. It takes some time but it does possess the capacity to control your mindset and change it. It seeds itself in your mind slowly and changes your character. Imagine yourself, being a completely different version of yourself who gets inappropriate thoughts upon seeing a woman or whose character is always questionable when it comes to women.
This exact thing should scare you as it scares me. This is because I have witnessed how these changes take place and a guy who was a decent chap a couple of years ago is now convinced that women are nothing but an object. Well, as much as it had surprised me, I knew he will get his lesson one day. So, now the choice is yours, in what direction do you want to proceed.
References Used in this Article
I am Adarsh, an Exercise & Nutrition Science graduate with a passion for fitness. At AD Fit Life, I am committed to delivering authentic information related to health and fitness in the simplest way. My write-ups are practical that help you bring a change to your lifestyle.