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Blood biochemical alterations during recovery from competitive marathon running


The occurrence of possible prolonged alterations in plasma levels of cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, selected energy metabolites, and water and electrolyte balance was assessed in six highly trained male marathon runners by measuring blood biochemical constituents on the 10th day before and for the three days following the running of a marathon. Post-race changes in hemoglobin, hematocrit, and protein levels indicated that a hemodilution had occurred, possibly as a result of elevated sodium levels. Epinephrine remained elevated until the second day. Cortisol was depressed on the first and third post-race days while variable levels were observed on the second day. No prolonged alterations were noted in norepinephrine, FFA, glycerol, triglycerides, glucose, lactate, and pyruvate.

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This work was supported in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Air Force Systems Command, Grant AFOSR 73-2455

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Maron, M.B., Horvath, S.M. & Wilkerson, J.E. Blood biochemical alterations during recovery from competitive marathon running. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 36, 231–238 (1977).

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Key words

  • Marathon
  • Catecholamines
  • Cortisol
  • Fluid balance
  • Intermediary metabolites