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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 May;58(5):707-13

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07187-0


lingua: Inglese

Hormonal responses to a rugby match: a brief review

Maamer SLIMANI 1 , Foued CHEOUR 2, Wassim MOALLA 3, Julien S. BAKER 4

1 Tunisian Research Laboratory ‘‘Sport Performance Optimization’’, National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), El Menzah, Tunisia; 2 High Institute of Applied Biology of Médenine, Médenine, Tunisia; 3 UR15JS01, Education, Motricity, Sport and Health, High Institute of Sport and Physical Education, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia; 4 University of the West of Scotland, Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, Hamilton Campus, Hamilton, UK


INTRODUCTION: Rugby is an intermittent team sport, commonly stressing the endocrine system by physiological efforts. However, no review has synthesized the available literature on the hormonal responses to a rugby match. The purpose of this review was to examine the hormonal responses to a rugby match. Mediator and moderator variables for the rugby match-hormonal responses relationship were also discussed.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: The systematic search was conducted using different databases and according to the Population/Intervention or Exposure/Comparison/Outcome(s) (PICO) criteria.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: The data obtained in the present review show that match contests were the moderator variable between rugby match-testosterone changes relationship. Particularly, official matches decreased pre-to-post testosterone levels by 43.9%, while simulated matches increased pre-to-post testosterone levels by 33.6%. There were no significant differences between official and simulated contests for the cortisol response to a rugby match which could be explained in part by the small numbers of included studies and participants (71 high-level male players). Thus, it has been shown that a rugby match provides considerable stress to the endocrine system, which lasts up 38-48 h into the recovery period.
CONCLUSIONS: The hormonal assessment of rugby players is a valid tool for monitoring stress during a rugby match and provides the opportunity to identify how athletes cope with stress induced by a competition. The information also provides potential for various mental/recovery strategies that may contribute to performance enhancement.

KEY WORDS: Psychophysiology - Football - Hormones

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