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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 June;56(6):775-81


lingua: Inglese

Cortisol, testosterone and mood state variation during an official female football competition

Natalina CASANOVA 1, 2, Ana PALMEIRA-DE-OLIVEIRA 3, 4, Ana PEREIRA 5, 6, Luís CRISÓSTOMO 4, Bruno TRAVASSOS 6, 7, Aldo M. COSTA 4, 6, 7

1 Department of Sports, Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, Guarda, Portugal; 2 Research Unit for Inland Development, Polytechnic Institute of Garda, Garda, Portugal; 3 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal; 4 Health Sciences Research Centre (CICS-UBI), University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal; 5 Department of Science and Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, Setúbal, Portugal; 6 Research Center for Sport, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Portugal; 7 Department of Sport Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal


BACKGROUND: Endogenous hormones are essential on the control of physiological reactions and adaptations during sport performance. This study aims to compare the mood state and the salivary levels of cortisol and testosterone during an official female association football tournament.
METHODS: Twenty female football players (22.85±4.2 years) from the Portuguese women’s national team were included in the study. Mood, salivary cortisol and testosterone levels were examined in five moments over the championship (M1, neutral measures; M2-M5, on every match day). Saliva samples were collected before breakfast and immediately after each match. Mood was measured by the profile of mood states questionnaire (POMS); hormone levels were measure by immunoassay methods.
RESULTS: Iceberg Profiles of POMS were observed during all the moments of evaluation (M2-M5), showing a decrease in vigor and an increase in tension and depression in both team defeats (M2 and M5). There is no relationship between the hormones levels and the outcome of the competition, once cortisol and testosterone decrease from pre-match to post-match in both wins (M2 and M5) and defeats (M3 and M4). For testosterone the observed decrease is significantly different (P<0.05) before and after all matches.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show a pattern in mood states behavior. Cortisol and testosterone decrease after match and throughout the tournament, independently of the match outcome. The absence of hormone fluctuations related to competition performance points out that top-level professional football players training systematically and regularly seem to be very well adapted to competition stress effect.

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