European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 35–40 | Cite as

Effect of the intensity of training on catecholamine responses to supramaximal exercise in endurance-trained men

  • Christophe JacobEmail author
  • Hassane Zouhal
  • Jacques Prioux
  • Arlette Gratas-Delamarche
  • Danièle Bentué-Ferrer
  • Paul Delamarche
Original Article


In this study we investigated whether plasma catecholamine responses to the Wingate test are affected by the intensity of training in endurance-trained subjects. To do this we compared plasma adrenaline (A) and noradrenaline (NA) concentrations in response to a Wingate test in three different groups: specialist middle-distance runners (MDR) in 800-m and 1,500-m races, specialist long-distance runners (LDR) 5,000-m and 10,000-m races, and untrained subjects (UT). The maximal power (W max) and the mean power (W) were determined from the Wingate test. Blood lactate (La), plasma A and NA concentrations were analysed at rest (La0, A0 and NA0), immediately at the end of the exercise (Amax and NAmax) and after 5 min recovery (Lamax, A5 and NA5). The ratio Amax/NAmax was considered as an index of the adrenal medulla responsiveness to the sympathetic nervous activity. At the end of the test, W max and W were similar in the three groups but Lamax was significantly greater in MDR compared to LDR and UT [15.2 (2.2) mmol l−1, 11.7 (3.1) mmol l−1, 11.6 (1.6) mmol l−1, respectively, for MDR, LDR and UT; mean (SD)]. Concerning the plasma catecholamine concentrations in response to exercise, MDR and LDR Amax values [3.73 (1.53) nmol l−1, 3.47 (0.74) nmol l−1, respectively, for MDR and LDR] were significantly greater than those of UT [1.48 (0.32) nmol l−1] who also exhibited the lowest NAmax values [11.09 (6.58) nmol l−1] compared to MDR and LDR [20.43 (3.51) nmol l−1; 15.85 (4.88) nmol l−1, respectively, for MDR and LDR]. However, no significant differences were observed between the two trained groups either for Amax or NAmax. These results suggest that long-term endurance training can enhance plasma catecholamine concentrations in response to supramaximal exercise. However, as there were no significant differences between MDR and LDR Amax and NAmax values, the effect of the intensity of training remains to be clarified.


Adrenaline Athletes Noradrenaline Supramaximal exercise 



The authors wish to thank Dominique Paul and Marie-Thérèse Gougeon for technical assistance. The Ethical Committee of Rennes 1 approved the entire procedure (Comité Consultatif de Protection des Personnes en Recherche Biomédicale: CCPPRB).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Jacob
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hassane Zouhal
    • 1
  • Jacques Prioux
    • 2
  • Arlette Gratas-Delamarche
    • 1
  • Danièle Bentué-Ferrer
    • 3
  • Paul Delamarche
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie et de Biomécanique de l’Exercice Musculaire, UFR-APSUniversité de Rennes II Rennes CedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de physiologie et de psychologie de l’exercice, UFR-STAPSUniversité de NantesMolletFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de PharmacologieFaculté des sciencesRennes CedexFrance

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