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Medicina dello Sport 2018 March;71(1):44-52

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.17.03178-7


language: English, Italian

The relationship between anxiety and the cortisol level in precompetition bodybuilding athletes

Licia CERQUEIRA FERREIRA 1, Felipe J. AIDAR 1, 2, 3, 4, Breno G. de ARAÚJO TINÔCO CABRAL 5, Dihogo GAMA de MATOS 1, 3 , Petrus MASSA DIAS dos SANTOS GANTOIS 5, Marcelo D. MATOS dos SANTOS 2, 3, 4, José VILAÇA ALVES 1, Victor MAGALHÃES CURTY 6, Carlos GONÇALVES TAVARES 7, Nelson SOUSA 1

1 Department of Sports Science, Exercise and Health of the Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro University, Vila Real, Portugal; 2 Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristovão, Brazil; 3 Graduate Program in Master‘s Level in Physical Education, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristovão, Brazil; 4 Group of Studies and Research of Performance, Sport, Health and Paralympic Sports (GEPEPS), Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristovão, Brazil; 5 Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil; 6 Department of Physiological Sciences, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Brasil; 7 University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal


BACKGROUND: The objective of the present study was to investigate the correlationz between various levels of anxiety and cortisol levels in precompetition bodybuilding athletes.
METHODS: Twelve athletes aged between 20 and 35 years participated in the study. The Multidimensional Inventory of Anxiety Inventory Questionnaire-II (CSAI-2) was used, and it was applied during weighing for the Paraense Championship of Bodybuilding and Fitness of 2015. The concentration of cortisol was collected and analyzed through the Coat- A-Count (DPCMedlab®, Brazil). Cortisol collection used venous blood, which remained at rest for 30 minutes at room temperature for coagulation. Then, the blood sample was centrifuged for 10 minutes at 800 rcf (relative centrifugal force) for serum separation. Biochemical measurements were performed using the Vitros® 5600 film system (Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Johnson & Johnson Co., Rochester, NY, USA).
RESULTS: The levels of cognitive anxiety were (21.7±9.1), the somatic anxiety levels were medium (22.7±6.3), and the self-confidence levels were high (30.2±8.4). There were no significant differences between cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence (P=0.542). However, the results revealed significant differences (P=0.012) between cognitive anxiety and self-confidence. Significant differences were also observed between somatic anxiety and self-confidence (P=0.007). The cortisol evaluation showed a median inverse correlation with cognitive anxiety, a median correlation with the emotional anxieties, and a high negative correlation with self-confidence.
CONCLUSIONS: It was concluded that the correlation of cortisol and anxiety tends to help in the control of the emotional state favorable to the athlete’s performance.

KEY WORDS: Cortisol - Anxiety - Athletes

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