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MEDICINA DELLO SPORT
A Journal on Sports Medicine
Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,163
Medicina dello Sport 2002 June;55(2):89-93
Plasma testosterone and cortisol responses to maximal 2000 metre rowing ergometer test in highly trained male rowers
Maestu J., Jurimae J., Jurimae T.
Chair of Sport Pedagogy, Faculty of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Background. The aim of this study was to investigate the acute hormonal response of testosterone, free testosterone, cortisol and free testosterone: cortisol ratio to 2000 metre rowing ergometer distance in highly trained male rowers.
Methods. Twelve male national standard rowers (age 20.5±3.0 years, height 187.9±6.1 cm, body mass 87.1±8.3 kg, percent body fat 10.4±3.2%) took part in this investigation. The rowers were asked to cover 2000 metre rowing ergometer distance as least time as possible and the blood was collected from anticubital vein before, immediately after and 30 min after exercise. Testosterone, cortisol and sex hormone binding globulin were measured and free testosterone and the free testosterone: cortisol ratio calculated.
Results. Immediately after the exercise, testosterone, cortisol and free testosterone were significantly increased, while free testosterone: cortisol ratio remained unchanged. Thirty minutes after the exercise a further significant decrease in testosterone and free testosterone: cortisol ratio, increase in cortisol and no change in free testosterone values occurred. Free testosterone: cortisol ratio was significantly related to the time (r=-0.65) and mean power (r=0.66) of 2000 m rowing ergometer race. In addition, the increased postexercise cortisol concentration was significantly related to 2000 m rowing ergometer performance time (r=0.63) and mean power (r=-0.64).
Conclusions. The results of our study suggest that the relatively short high intensity rowing exercise significantly changes the anabolic and catabolic hormone levels in highly trained male rowers. Rowing ergometer performance is significantly related to the postexercise free testosterone: cortisol ratio.