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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – When you have a game the next day for the World Cup, can you score a goal the night before?

    It is an issue that makes the coaches set rules, the players asking for understanding from wives and girlfriends and the fans fervently debating whether sex near a match reduces performance.

    The issue again gained prominence when the Mexican coach Miguel Herrera told the newspaper Reforma last month that he expected his players to refrain from sex during the World Cup in Brazil. The comment drew reactions of all types and Herrera was forced to clarify that he was not forbidding sexual relations, but simply recommending that his players should treat themselves cautiously, adopting a position similar to that of his colleague Luiz Felipe Scolari, who asked his Brazilian players not to do “stunts” in their rooms.

    Sincere as always, the star Carlos Valderrama explained that the representative team of Colombia, which he captained in the 1990s, would have gone further in the World Cup without having been condemned to chastity.

    The debate on the impact of sex on athletic performance dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks, who believed it was important to preserve the sperm of a man to not lose their aggressiveness. There is little evidence, however, that abstinence improves the performance of an athlete.

    A 1995 study published by the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, noted that the performance on a treadmill was not affected by the fact that someone had had sex 12 hours before. The experts agreed that these relations do not generate too much physical attrition on healthy people. A study from the University of Montreal in 2013 on the other hand, indicated that during sex men burn an average of 100 calories, the same amount that they would burn working in the garden for 20 minutes.

    In fact, many athletes and experts say a sexual encounter the night before a big game can be a good thing as it relieves stress and promotes restful sleep.

    More than sex itself, what worries coaches are sprees that last all night and drinking that may incur young athletes at physical height. There is a big number of athlete scandals, such as players of the Spanish team inviting prostitutes during the Confederations Cup last year in Brazil.

    “Often the coaches do not trust their rascals”, he declared to the Associated Press Pamela Peeke of the American College of Sports Medicine.

    By asking his players for decorousness, Herrera probably had the spree of September 2010 in mind which led to the suspension of two players and several others were fined for breaches of discipline in Monterrey. Local media said there were prostitutes among them and speculates that their six-month suspension is what made Carlos Vela, probably the best Mexican forward, decline to return to the team.

    Many European teams, including Germany and Spain, are prohibited to have sex before games and they are only allowed to visit their wives and girlfriends on days off.

    The fact that people are still debating about sex, reflects widespread sexism in sports and immaturity among men, according Peeke, who is a triathlete and has advised the Washington Wizards of the NBA.

    Women also produce testosterone, but at much lower levels than men, he said. And nobody wants to impose monastic rituals between them.

    The difference, according to Peeke, is that “there is a perception that men can not restrain themselves.”

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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