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Recovery from Overtraining Syndrome: Learnings from the EROS-Longitudinal Study

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Overtraining Syndrome in Athletes
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Abstract

Overtraining syndrome (OTS) is an unexplained underperformance syndrome triggered by excessive training, insufficient caloric intake, inadequate sleep, and excessive cognitive and social demands. Besides its unclear pathophysiology, triggers, and biochemical dysfunctions, the investigations of the clinical and biochemical behaviors during the recovery process, as well as specific recommendations and protocols to overcome OTS, have only been recently reported at the EROS-longitudinal study.

From a 12-week interventional protocol in athletes with actual OTS, including increased food intake, transitory interruption of the trainings, improvement of sleep quality, and management of stress, 50 parameters were assessed, including hormonal responses to an insulin tolerance test (ITT), basal hormonal and nonhormonal biochemical markers, body metabolism, and composition.

After 12 weeks of intervention, early cortisol and early and late GH responses to stimulations improved significantly. Cortisol awakening response (CAR) increased by two times, while nocturnal urinary catecholamines (NUC) and CK reduced by two to three times. Basal estradiol reduced while testosterone/estradiol (T:E) ratio increased.

FreeT3 and IGF-1, which were not different than healthy athletes at baseline, disclosed significant increase, whereas ultrasensitive C-reactive protein (usCRP), which was also similar to healthy athletes, has an exacerbated reduction. While all basal parameters and early responses to ITT normalized when compared to healthy athletes, basal metabolic rate, fat oxidation, body fat, muscle mass, and hydration status had partial but non-significant improvements.

In conclusion, athletes affected by actual OTS demonstrated substantial improvements after 12 weeks of intervention, in particular IGF-1, freeT3, CAR, estradiol, testosterone/estradiol ratio, CK and NUC, and early cortisol, early prolactin, and overall GH responses to stimulations. FreeT3, usCRP, and IGF-1 seem to be the sentinel markers of recovery from OTS.

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Cadegiani, F. (2020). Recovery from Overtraining Syndrome: Learnings from the EROS-Longitudinal Study. In: Overtraining Syndrome in Athletes. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52628-3_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52628-3_8

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-52627-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-52628-3

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