There are many myths about masturbation and sex, but is it true that ejaculating can make you lose protein?
Some bodybuilders claim that sex and frequent masturbation habit have adverse effects on their muscle-building goals.
Some argue that masturbation makes you weak or causes fatigue.
These are the same guys who take great care of the amount of protein they consume to reach their goals and promote muscle protein synthesis.
Therefore, more than one may wonder if we lose protein or calories in semen or how much protein is lost in sperm. Are there statistics about it?
In this article, you will find an answer based on research. We will also tell you how to reverse any losses you may experience during an orgasm with ejaculation.
What is protein?
A significant portion of the body is made up of proteins. These molecules are everywhere, from the smallest cell to the largest muscle groups. They are composed of amino acids in different combinations to perform a given function.
In the body, there are several types of proteins. For instance:
- Structural proteins, such as collagen. These are fibers that provide structure to the body’s organs.
- Contractile proteins, such as muscle. These are responsible for movement, both voluntary and involuntary.
- Enzymes, such as digestive enzymes. These transform substances and speed up metabolism.
- Hormone proteins, antibodies, and other proteins circulate in the blood. They serve to send messages to and from distant locations or activate critical processes outside cells.
That is why it is so important to consume proteins in good proportion. These are found mainly in animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. There is also plenty of protein in legumes, sprouts, and some vegetables.
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Does ejaculating make you lose protein?
In each ejaculation, there are many chemical constituents. They are all focused on fertilizing an egg and prolonging the species.
The most important is undoubtedly the sperm cells. But they would not work well without nutrients and proteins to help them move faster.
A classic study on the components of semen showed that it contains more than 200 proteins.
One example is PSA (prostate-specific antigen), a protein that dissolves clots that form in the seminal fluid.
This is the most famous protein in semen because it comes from the prostate, and its blood measurements are used to diagnose prostate cancer. Others include prostatic acid phosphatase and creatine kinase.
So yes, proteins are released during ejaculation. Unlike other body fluids that mostly have electrolytes or fats, such as sweat or sebum, in semen, you have extra nutrients and other substances.
These are intended to strengthen and sustain the sperm on their journey through the vagina and include various types of proteins.
How much protein do you lose when you ejaculate?
A review of scientific papers evaluated the composition of semen and found that there are approximately 5 grams of protein in every 100 mL of semen.
The review makes it very clear that nutritional composition can change from one person to the next.
For example, someone with a higher nutritional background will naturally have more protein in their semen.
Factors such as a well-functioning prostate and seminal glands also come into play. But we can take this figure as an example.
Working with this data, remember that one ejaculation produces approximately 5 mL of semen. If we make a correlation, we can conclude that each ejaculation releases about 250 mg of protein.
Nobody will experience a protein deficiency with such a loss regardless of the fluctuations in their diet.
How to get protein back into your body
For practical purposes, we will compare the protein content of semen and egg white. For every 100 mL of egg white, there are approximately 11 grams of protein. This is twice as much as the 5 grams in 100 mL of semen.
Therefore, if our goal is to recover the amount of protein we lost in ejaculation, it may be enough to consume 5 mL of egg whites or even half as much.
In fact, just consuming one egg will replenish the lost protein and leave us with a good surplus.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, another option is black beans, which are also rich in protein. A half cup of black beans contains just over 7 grams of protein.
So a couple of cooked beans will replenish the protein lost in an ejaculation. Again, you will have a surplus of protein if you consume a full serving.
As you can see, protein availability in food is much more than protein loss in ejaculation. The latter is minimal and is reasonably well compensated for by diet.
Does semen contain calories or nutrients?
There are different types of nutrients, macronutrients among them. Unlike vitamins and minerals, macronutrients are the ones that contain calories. This includes carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Naturally, if semen contains proteins, although very few, it must also contain calories. In addition, we know that it also has carbohydrates.
Sperm cells will feed on these on their journey through the female reproductive system.
So, does semen contain calories or nutrients? Yes, it does. Semen has nutrients, mainly carbohydrates and proteins.
However, keep in mind that these nutrients are intended to supply the needs of the sperm cells.
These tiny cells have a very low-calorie requirement for motility. Therefore, the calories lost in semen are very few, regardless of the sperm count.
We already know there are about 5 grams of protein per 100 mL of semen. The same study referenced earlier reports approximately 270 mg of carbohydrates in 100 mL of semen.
These are found in the form of glucose and fructose. The study also speaks of some fats in semen, but these are so scarce that no reference is made to their exact concentration.
That said, we know that for every gram of protein, there are 4 calories. Similarly, for every gram of carbohydrates, there are 4 calories.
If we use these figures to do the math, then we can say that 100 mL of semen contains about 21 calories. By equivalence, 5 mL will have just over 1 calorie.
In other words, in one ejaculation, we lose around 1 calorie if we stick to these estimates.
Remember that the calculations vary according to the individual’s nutritional status and the function of his prostate and seminal glands.
Aside from that, if the goal is to lose calories, sexual intercourse can be considered aerobic exercise or cardio.
It alone burns many more calories than those released in the semen, especially if you have good libido and stamina.
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Many people wonder out of simple curiosity if semen has nutrients or calories. Others are perhaps concerned about losing protein through ejaculation or lowering their testosterone levels, or affecting their workout.
Whatever the reason for knowing this fact, the truth is that the ejaculate is only 5 mL in most cases and, as such, has few nutrients and calories.
We would only be losing 250 mg of protein per ejaculation. Together with the carbohydrates, we would be releasing about 1 calorie.
These calculations are based on a 5 mL ejaculate, which is the most common. However, there are many variations from person to person depending on their nutritional profile, hormone levels, and how their body works.
Recovering the protein lost in sex or after masturbating is very easy. It is enough to consume a proportional volume of egg whites or a couple of black beans.
Therefore, if you have a balanced diet rich in protein or use supplements, there is no need to worry about protein loss during ejaculation.
There is no need for abstinence from sexual stimulation, and it won’t give you an edge on your protein balance or gym training as long as you do everything in moderation.