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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2005 Dec;95(5-6):496-503. Epub 2005 Sep 7.

Effect of training on GH and IGF-1 responses to a submaximal exercise in football players.

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Service d'Endocrinologie et M├ętabolisme, Institut National de Nutrition, 11, Rue Djebel-Lakhdar-Bab Sa├ódoun, 1007, Tunis, Tunisie.


To study the effects of regular football training on basal and exercise induced levels of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), 13 young football players were investigated by a submaximal exercise at the beginning of the sporting season in October (S1), at the middle of the season in January (S2) and at the end in May (S3). At each session, an exercise test on an ergogycle was performed for 25 min, beginning with an incremental exercise to reach 90% of theoretical maximal heart, which was maintained for the last 10 min of the test. Venous blood samples were collected at rest, at the end of the exercise and at 30 and 60 min during the recovery period. Plasma lactate and glucose concentrations increased during exercise with no difference found between sessions. GH level increased with exercise at each session but the response was significantly higher in S1 than in S2 and S3 (P<0.01). The GH area under the curve decreased significantly all along the football season (P<0.01); the IGF-1 level did not significantly change during exercise nor with training. Basal insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP3) remained stable during the three sessions. Football training decreased significantly the exercise-stimulated GH levels all along the football season but did not have any significant effect on IGF-1 levels or on basal IGFBP3 levels.

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