In the future, Hackney and his colleagues hope to conduct more studies, which may include experiments that offer more a direct look at how exercise and libido, as well as male hormone levels interact with each other. The next step was to classify the men according to their workout habits, regarding whether they exercised for long or short time.
A new study on the link between exercise and libido suggests that men who go on strenuous, extensive workouts may not have a strong sex drive when compared to those who aren't exactly the type you'd call a "gym buff".
Clear patterns arose, such as men with light to moderate exercise were far more likely to disclose moderate to high libidos than those whose exercise routines were intense or prolonged.
Dr. Anthony Hackney, a professor of exercise physiology and nutrition at UNC and lead on the study, told the Times both physical fatigue and lower testosterone levels after exercise likely play a factor.
For the study, researchers gathered about 1 100 men that partook in various exercises such as running, cycling and posed to them a variety of questions that had to do with how often they exercised and how often sex was on their minds. "Based on our data, we think they should also be asking the man". A final set of questions delved on their general health and medical history.
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All respondents were volunteers and many were current or former endurance athletes - runners and cyclists. They were categorized in groups based on the length and intensity of their workouts as well as on the strength of their libido. Everybody was interviewed about their sexual appetite, classifying them regarding the low, medium and high libido.
"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 authors wrote, recommending doctors seeing male patients for sex-related disorders to take into account the level of the patient's endurance training.
This led scientists to believe that there might be a "tipping point" when it comes to working out, which is where men become too exhausted or no longer interested in having sex.
Researchers reported their study results in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.