International Journal of Exercise Science 16(5): 458-468, 2023. Exercise stimulates the production and secretion of testosterone, cortisol, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and affects cognitive performance. However, the interaction of these variables is unknown. To investigate these interactions, 21 college-aged men completed two work-matched exercise protocols: continuous (CONT) exercise and an interval protocol (INT). Blood and saliva samples were collected before and after exercise to quantify BDNF, cortisol, and testosterone. Participants completed a battery of cognitive assessments after exercise. A MANOVA analysis of condition demonstrated that no domains were significantly different after CONT and INT (p > 0.05). A repeated measures ANOVA of time by condition demonstrated increases in BDNF in after both CONT and INT (p = 0.05), elevated cortisol after CONT (p = 0.05), and an interaction of testosterone (p = 0.027). Work matched continuous and interval exercise appears to promote serum BDNF but do not result in different post exercise cognitive performance.

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