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Steroids. 2012 Nov;77(13):1339-44. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2012.07.015. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Changes in steroid hormones during an international powerlifting competition.

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Laboratoire CIAMS, Université Paris Sud - Université Orléans, France.


The purpose of this study was to assess changes in the steroid hormone levels of elite athletes during an international powerlifting competition. Baseline cortisol, DHEA and testosterone were determined in saliva samples in 19 (8 men, 11 women) junior and sub-junior athletes on the day before competition, and then on the competition day during the official weighing and in the hour after competition. Performance was determined by total output and the Wilks formula. No change in saliva steroid concentrations was observed between samples collected on the day before competition and the weighing samples. There was no gender effect on cortisol concentrations but saliva testosterone levels were always significantly higher in men than in women (p<0.01), as was end-competition DHEA (p<0.05). Cortisol and DHEA were significantly increased in male and female athletes after the competition (respectively, p<0.01 and p<0.05), whereas end-competition testosterone concentrations were only significantly increased in men (p<0.01). Significant relationships were demonstrated between performance and end-competition cortisol levels in women and end-competition testosterone levels in men. These data indicate that workouts during an international powerlifting competition produce a significant increase in adrenal steroid hormones in both genders, with an increase in male gonadal steroid hormone. Further studies are necessary to examine the changes in oestradiol and progesterone in women and their potential impact on performance during international powerlifting competition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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