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Do bodybuilders have erection problems?

Oct. 22, 2018 09:46

It is hard to find a man who has never heard of the mythical erection problems bodybuilders have. According to gossip both natural weightlifters and steroid users are at the high-risk group because they put their bodies through unnatural loads. Moreover, the second ones are also using testosterone which in the future will cause erectile dysfunction.

To start with, erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in middle-aged and older men. The problem stems mainly from unhealthy cells lining the blood vessels that have difficulty producing a chemical called nitric oxide that regulates blood flow to the penis. 

Study reports that abdominal obesity, poor blood sugar control, abnormal blood fats, and high blood pressure damage the blood vessels and increase the risk of ED, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Drugs like Viagra and Cialis help men with poor blood vessel health increase nitric oxide, which makes it easier to get an erection.

After sorting out the main causes let's find out how actually work out sessions would affect our blood flow to that zone.

Katherine Esposito and colleagues from the University of Naples in Italy found that lifestyle changes involving weight loss and increased exercise over a two-year period improved the capacity for erections. The improvement was most significant in men who made the most lifestyle changes. This study agrees with a German study that showed that regular exercise improved erection quality as well as Viagra.

What about other types of loads, there are also several studies proving there's nothing in the world that'll be so healing and profitable at the same time.

According to data published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension high-intensity interval training (HIIT) causes remarkable improvements in endurance capacity, power output, and metabolic health. HIIT involves performing repeated exercise bouts at set distances or times at maximum effort. This type of training helps the body move at faster speeds by training the nervous system to react more quickly, increasing the heart’s ability to pump blood, and boosting metabolic capacity.

Canadian researchers found that six sessions of high-intensity interval training on a stationary bike increased oxidative muscle capacity (citrate synthase) by almost 50 percent, muscle glycogen by 20 percent, and cycle endurance capacity by 100 percent. The subjects made these fantastic improvements exercising a mere 15 minutes in two weeks.

In addition, Ethiopian scientists found that HIIT was effective for improving the erection capacity in people with high blood pressure. Their results state the intense exercise is a promising way to improve metabolic and sexual health without drugs.

On the other side, the Journal of Sexual Medicine reports that intense weight training increases blood vessel stiffness. Which in its turn may cause some health problems in bodybuilders. More specifically it might increase the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). 

Giovanni Corona and colleagues from the University of Florence in Italy found that stiff blood vessels increased the risk of ED. The researchers estimated arterial stiffness by measuring pulse pressure— the difference between systolic (larger blood pressure number) and diastolic (smaller number) blood pressure. 

It turned out that men with the highest pulse pressure had the most problems with ED and had lower levels of testosterone and the biologically active free testosterone. However, men with high pulse pressures were also older, had higher blood levels of sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol, and were more likely to have diabetes— all risk factors of erectile dysfunction.

The researchers concluded that a significant difference between resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure is a good predictor of ED and decreased testosterone levels. No study has shown that bodybuilders have trouble getting erections. 

In fact, weight training improves metabolic health, which decreases the risk of ED. Moderate loads and avoiding overtraining is your way to glory.

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