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Blunting of exercise-induced salivary testosterone in elite-level triathletes with a 10-day training camp
journal contributionposted on 15.04.2016, 12:48 authored by John Hough, Caroline Robertson, Michael Gleeson
Purpose: This study examined the influence of 10 days of intensified training on salivary cortisol and testosterone responses to 30-min, high-intensity cycling (55/80) in a group of male elite triathletes. Methods: Seven elite male triathletes (age 19 ± 1 y, VO2max 67.6 ± 4.5 mL · kg–1 · min–1) completed the study. Swim distances increased by 45%. Running and cycling training hours increased by 25% and 229%, respectively. REST-Q questionnaires assessed mood status before, during, and after the training period. Unstimulated saliva samples were collected before, after, and 30 min after a continuous, high-intensity exercise test. Salivary cortisol and testosterone concentrations were assessed. Results: Compared with pretraining, blunted exercise-induced salivary testosterone responses to the posttraining 55/80 were found (P = .004). The absolute response of salivary testosterone concentrations to the 55/80 decreased pretraining to posttraining from 114% to 85%. No changes were found in exercise-induced salivary cortisol concentration responses to the 55/80. REST-Q scores indicated no changes in the participants’ psychological stress–recovery levels over the training camp. Conclusions: The blunted exercise-induced salivary testosterone is likely due to decreased testicular testosterone production and/or secretion, possibly attributable to hypothalamic dysfunction or reduced testicular blood flow. REST-Q scores suggest that the triathletes coped well with training-load elevations, which could account for the finding of no change in the exercise-induced salivary cortisol concentration. Overall, these findings suggest that the 55/80 can detect altered exercise-induced salivary testosterone concentrations in an elite athletic population due to increased training stress. However, this alteration occurs independently of a perceived elevation of training stress.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences