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Salivary testosterone and cortisol measurements in profesional elite rugby union players

By Kevin Andrew Morgan


This thesis presents three studies investigating the use of salivary measurements in monitoring plasma concentrations of testosterone (T) and cortisol (C). Study one investigated the relationship between total serum and saliva concentrations of T and C in healthy men (n = 4) under resting conditions. Blood and saliva were sampled simultaneously from 9:00 am until 5:00pm to determine the relationship between total serum and saliva concentration of T and C. Total serum and saliva C showed a strong and significant correlation (r = 0.95, p<0.05). Total serum and saliva T showed a moderate and significant correlation (r = 0.62, p<0.05). Results suggest that under resting conditions, salivary measurements of T and C and T/C ratio can reflect the concentrations of these hormones in blood. Study two investigated the relationship between total serum and saliva concentrations of T and C in response to a treadmill exercise protocol (~ 70% ) in nine healthy men. Blood and saliva were sampled simultaneously pre-exercise, immediately after and at 10, 20, 30, 60 and 90 min post exercise. Total serum was significantly correlated with saliva C (r = 0.82, p<0.05). No correlation was observed between total serum and saliva concentration of T (r = 0.22, p>0.05). Correction for plasma volume on total serum measurements had little effect on the relationship between both analytes. These results indicate that saliva measurements of C can reflect total serum concentrations under exercise conditions. However, further investigations are required to determine if saliva T measurements reflect the concentration of total serum T in response to exercise. 2maxOV& Study three investigated pre-competition hormonal and psychological states in male elite rugby union players. Hormonal response was measured using salivary T and C. In addition, psychological states were assessed using the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2R). Physiological measures indicated that both T and C were significantly higher before competition (p<0.05) than in resting conditions. Furthermore, significant differences between games were found in cortisol response (F = 6.84, p<0.01) and testosterone response (F = 3.46, p<0.05) suggesting the response of both hormones is affected by venue and/or opposition. Psychological measures indicated that players had higher somatic and cognitive anxiety (p<0.05) before competition than in resting iii conditions. No significant change was reported in anxiety or confidence measures between games. The present results suggest that differences in pre-competition hormonal states may play a key role in subsequent performance

Topics: Rugby football, Physiological aspects, 796.333
Publisher: University of Glamorgan
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Glamorgan Dspace
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