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Int J Sports Med. 2004 Nov;25(8):627-33.

Relationship between diet and serum anabolic hormone responses to heavy-resistance exercise in men.

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Neuromuscular Research Center & Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.


Relationship between dietary intake and serum anabolic hormone concentrations of testosterone (T), free testosterone (FT), and growth hormone were examined at rest as well as after the heavy-resistance exercise (HRE) in 8 strength athletes (SA) and 10 physically active non-athletes (NA). In the first part of the study serum basal anabolic hormone concentrations and dietary intake were examined in the total group of subjects. In the second part of the study a subgroup of 5 SA and 5 NA performed the high volume and high intensity HRE. Dietary intake was registered by dietary diaries for 4 days preceding the loading day. Significant correlations were observed between serum basal T and fat (E%: r = 0.55, p < 0.05, g/kg: r = 0.65, p < 0.01) and protein intake (E%: r = - 0.77, p < 0.001, g/kg: r = - 0.68, p < 0.01) in the total group of subjects. However, when the two groups were examined separately the significant relationships between serum basal T and dietary fat and protein could be noticed in SA only (fat g/kg: SA r = 0.77, p < 0.05; in NA r = 0.44, n.s., protein g/kg: SA r = - 0.84, p < 0.05; in NA r = 0.27, n.s.). Both serum T and FT responses to HRE were correlated with fat (E%: r = 0.85, p < 0.01 and r = 0.73, p < 0.05, g/kg: r = 0.72, p < 0.05 and r = 0.77, p < 0.01) and protein (E%: r = - 0.81, p < 0.01 and r = - 0.69, p < 0.05, g/kg: r = - 0.86, p < 0.01 and r = - 0.65, p < 0.05). The results suggest the possible role of diet leading to alterations in serum T and FT during prolonged strength training, and that diets with insufficient fat and/or excessive protein may compromise the anabolic hormonal environment over a training program.

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