Plasma aldosterone and renal function in runners during a 20-day road race

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To evaulate the effects that repeated long-distance running has on plasma aldosterone concentration and urinary excretion of solutes, fifteen male runners were studied during a 20-day, 500-km road race. Venous blood samples were taken on day 1 prior to running, on day 11 after 10 days of running, on day 13 after a 70-h rest, and on day 18 after an additional five days of running. Overnight urine samples were obtained on day 10 before and after running and on days 11, 12, and 13 during the 70-h rest period. Plasma sodium concentrations on days 13 and 18 and plasma potassium concentrations on days 11 and 13 were decreased (P<0.05). Plasma aldosterone levels were increased on days 11 and 18 after running and returned to pre-race levels on day 13 after 70 h of rest. Plasma cortisol concentrations were not altered. The urinary excretion rates of sodium were elevated and of aldosterone were decreased after 70 h of rest. Increase in excretion rate of urinary sodium correlated with decrease in concentration of plasma aldosterone. These findings show that plasma aldosterone levels are chronically elevated with repeated long-distance running, resulting in a decrease in urinary excretion rate of sodium.