Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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The anabolic effect of dirty films

Watching pornographic film clips increases the concentration of the anabolic hormone testosterone in the body and lowers the level of the catabolic hormone cortisol. Post-adolescent workers at read about this in an eighteen-year-old study, in which Scottish endocrinologists got eight male students to watch pornographic videos for twenty minutes. The researchers measured the concentration of hormones in the studentsí blood for six hours afterwards.

The effect of the porn on the testosterone level is shown below. The line with the black dots represents the test subjects who watched a non-pornographic video.

Although the testosterone level rose after watching porn, the effect is not quite statistically significant. What was significant was the difference between the cortisol level of the men who had watched porn and the cortisol level in the men who had watched less suggestive videos.

The cortisol level goes down after watching pornographic images. The mechanism, the researchers suspect, may be connected to prolactin and dopamine. Watching porn made the prolactin level go down.

The body makes less prolactin if the dopamine level is high. And under those conditions the production of testosterone increases.

Hmm... Watch porn and then, while the testosterone is peaking and the cortisol is at a low, go and train. Would that speed up your progress?

Some sports scientists think that strength and endurance athletes perform better if they take their daily hormonal fluctuations into account. Later in the day there tend to be relatively less catabolic and more anabolic hormones in the body. That would be a reason for training early in the evening. Other factors that can contribute to a raised testosterone level include a healthy lifestyle, enough sleep and a diet that contains enough fats. Olive oil seems to be the best source of fat for increasing the manufacture of testosterone.

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1990;15(3):207-16.