Cortisol and testosterone dynamics following exhaustive endurance exercise
- 994 Downloads
Cortisol (C) and testosterone (T) are impacted significantly by prolonged endurance exercise with inverse responses. Increases in C are witnessed concurrently with decrements in T, possibly impacting recovery. This study was conducted to assess the dynamics of C and free T (fT) concentration and recovery time following an exhaustive endurance exercise session (EES).
12 endurance-trained males (X ± SD: VO2max 66.3±4.8 ml/kg/min, age 22.8 ± 3.1 years, body fat 11.0 ± 1.4 %, training 7.1 ± 3.2 years) completed a treadmill EES at ventilatory threshold (74.7 ± 4.6 % of VO2max; 96.9 ± 10.8 min). Basal blood C and fT were collected at baseline: −48, −24 h, and immediately before (0 h) the EES as well as immediately (+0 h), +24 h, +48 h, and +72 h after the EES. Blood glucose (G) was measured to confirm no undue influence on C. Statistically data were analyzed with repeated measures ANOVA (LSD post hoc).
C (nmol/L) increased significantly from −48 h (321 ± 59) to +0 h (701 ± 178) (p < 0.001), and displayed a baseline overshoot with +24 h (209 ± 67) being significantly lower than −48 and +0 h (p < 0.03). fT (pmol/L) decreased significantly from −48 h (161 ± 40) to +0 h (106 ± 38) (p < 0.01) and remained lower at +24 h (110 ± 33) and +48 h (129 ± 30) (p < 0.001). G remained stable throughout. A moderately negative correlation (r = −0.636, p < 0.026) was found between C and fT at +0 h.
EES recovery may require 48 h for C and 72 h for fT to return to baseline values. Furthermore, C and fT were only correlated immediately post-exercise. Future research should perform more frequent measurements throughout time course.
KeywordsStress Endocrine Recovery Overtraining
Gonadotropin releasing hormone
- HPA axis
Repeated analysis of variance
Rate of perceived exertion
Maximal volume of oxygen uptake
The authors wish to thank the subjects for their time and efforts in this project. Additionally, the authors are grateful to Dr. Atko Viru, Tartu University, Estonia, for his valuable insight into the interpretation of the data.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and is later amendments or comparable ethics standards.
- ACSM (2013) ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription, Lippincott Williams & WilkinsGoogle Scholar
- Brownlee KK, Moore AW, Hackney AC (2005) Relationship between circulating cortisol and testosterone: influence of physical exercise. J Sport Sci Med 4(1):76Google Scholar
- Daly W, Seegers C, Timmerman S, Hackney A (2004) Peak cortisol response to exhausting exercise: effect of blood sampling schedule. Med Sport 8(1):17–20Google Scholar
- Hackney A, Dobridge J (2003) Exercise and male hypogonadism: testosterone, the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis, and physical exercise. In: Winters S (ed) Male hypogonadism: basic, clinical, and therapeutic principles. Humana Press, Totowa, pp 305–330Google Scholar
- Ispirlidis I, Fatouros IG, Jamurtas AZ, Nikolaidis MG, Michailidis I, Douroudos I, Margonis K, Chatzinikolaou A, Kalistratos E, Katrabasas I, Alexiou V, Taxildaris K (2008) Time-course of changes in inflammatory and performance responses following a soccer game. Clin J Sport Med 18(5):423–431CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kraemer WJ, Spiering BA, Volek JS, Martin GJ, Howard RL, Ratamess NA, Hatfield DL, Vingren JL, Ho JY, Fragala MS, Thomas GA, French DN, Anderson JM, Hakkinen K, Maresh CM (2009) Recovery from a national collegiate athletic association division I football game: muscle damage and hormonal status. J Strength Cond Res 23(1):2–10CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kuhn J, Gay D, Lemercier J, Pugeat M, Legrand A, Wolf L (1986) Testicular function during prolonged corticotherapy. Presse Med (Paris, France: 1983) 15(12):559–562Google Scholar
- Moore A, Timmerman S, Brownlee K, Rubin D, Hackney A (2005) Strenuous, fatiguing exercise: relationship of cortisol to circulating thyroid hormones. Int J Endocrinol Metab 3(1, Winter):18–24Google Scholar
- Tietz NW (1995) Clinical guide to laboratory tests. WB Saunders Co, PhiledelphiaGoogle Scholar
- Viru AA, Viru M (2001) Biochemical monitoring of sport training: Human KineticsGoogle Scholar