Sex & Relationships

All those intense workouts might be impacting your sex drive

And not for the better.
IMAGE Esquire UK

One of the first studies to explore the relationship between exercising and sexual behavior in men arrived at a pretty surprising conclusion: the heavier the workouts, the weaker the libido. While previous studies had looked at the effects of exercise on hormone levels, none had taken a look at actual sexual behavior.

To do so, researchers at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill put out an online questionnaire that asked men about their exercise and sex habits. About 1,100 physically active men took the survey, some of whom participate in the university's triathlon, cycling, and running clubs. The study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, concluded that men who regularly engaged in high-intensity, high-endurance workouts had significantly lower sex drives than those who exercised more moderately. Alternatively, those who reported moderate and light exercise routines were more likely to also report an average to high sex drive.

Although researchers did not examine why these two factors were negatively correlated, Anthony Hackney, the professor who led the study, told the The New York Times that the fatigue and decreased testosterone levels associated with more intense exercise habits probably had something to do with it.


Sorry, gym rats.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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