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Pre-exercise serum cortisol concentration and responses to laboratory exercise.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Institute of Sport, Warsaw, Poland.


Relationships between the postexercise values of blood lactate concentration, pH, oxygen uptake, heart rate, power output on the one hand, and the pre- and postexercise blood cortisol concentrations on the other, were studied in 74 male and 40 female athletes (wrestlers and senior and junior rowers), performing graded exercise of increasing intensity. The senior rowers, junior rowers and wrestlers had different exercise protocols. The senior rowers of both sexes had significantly higher rest concentrations of serum cortisol than the junior athletes. A significant correlation between postexercise lactate concentrations and pre-exercise cortisol concentrations was found in all the male groups ("common" r = 0.515, P < 0.001), but not in the female ones (r = 0.162). It was concluded that the pre-exercise cortisol concentrations might condition anaerobic-glycolytic metabolism in physical exercise.

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