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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Jun 18

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10844-2

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The impact of menstrual-cycle phase on basal and exercise-induced hormones, mood, anxiety and exercise performance in physically-active women

Ana C. PALUDO 1 , Christian J. COOK 2, 3, 4, Julian A. OWEN 2, Tim WOODMAN 2, Jennifer IRWIN 2, Blair T. CREWTHER 5

1 Department of Physical Education, Midwest State University of Paraná, Guarapuava, Brazil; 2 School of Sport Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, UK; 3 School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, Australia; 4 Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College, UK; 5 Institute of Sport, National Research Institute, Warsaw, Poland


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BACKGROUND: The influence of menstrual cycle phase in perceptual responses and exercise performance still unclear in the literature. Therefore, the main aim of this study investigated salivary estradiol (sal-E2) and cortisol (sal-C) concentrations, mood, anxiety and exercise (aerobic, anaerobic) performance in physically-active women across two menstrual-cycle phases.
METHODS: Twelve women (mean age 24.9 ± 4.3 years) were assessed in the early follicular (early-FP) and mid luteal (mid-LP) phase of a menstrual cycle. In each phase, participants were tested for both aerobic (i.e. VO2max) and anaerobic (i.e. peak power, average power and fatigue index) performance. Basal and exercise-induced changes in sal-E2 and sal-C concentrations, self-appraised mood and anxiety were assessed around exercise testing.
RESULTS: We observed a significant increase in sal-E2 concentration from early-FP to mid-LP in both cycle (p ≤ 0.05), coupled with a significant increase on VO2max (39.9 ± 7.8 ml/kg/min vs 36.9 ± 7.8 ml/kg/min). Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise testing was followed by significant reduction in depression, tension and/or vigor during in the early- FP (p ≤ 0.05), but not the mid-LP.
CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that physically-active women present a significant change in tension and aerobic performance, which might be linked to temporal changes in sal- E2 concentrations. Moreover, both aerobic and anaerobic exercise can be an option to reduce negative mood during the early-FP.


KEY WORDS: Neuroendocrine; Menstrual cycle; Mood; Performance

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