Article

European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology

, Volume 63, Issue 6, pp 463-466

First online:

Influence of prolonged physical exercise on the erythropoietin concentration in blood

  • H. -J. SchwandtAffiliated withInstitut für Leistungsmedizin, Abteilung Sportphysiologie, Berlin
  • , B. HeyduckAffiliated withInstitut für Leistungsmedizin, Abteilung Sportphysiologie, BerlinPhysiologisches Institut der Freien Universität Berlin
  • , H. -C. GungaAffiliated withPhysiologisches Institut der Freien Universität Berlin
  • , L. RöckerAffiliated withInstitut für Leistungsmedizin, Abteilung Sportphysiologie, BerlinPhysiologisches Institut der Freien Universität Berlin

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Summary

Erythropoietin (EPO) and red blood cells were studied in 15 well-trained men before and several times after a marathon run. Changes in red blood cells reflected changes of plasma volume. Immediately after the run, red blood cells were increased due to haemoconcentration, whereas 31 h later the values were decreased due to haemodilution. The EPO concentration was increased 3 h, and more impressive 31 h, after the run. This long-lasting increase in EPO concentration after the marathon run would seem to be responsible for the increased red blood cell mass in long distance runners.

Key words

Erythropoietin Red blood cells Marathon running