Intercollegiate Cross Country Competition: Effects of Warm-up and Racing on Salivary Levels of Cortisol and Testosterone
International Journal of Exercise Science 7(4) : 318-328, 2014. Team intercollegiate athletic competition is associated with an increase in salivary cortisol (C) and testosterone (T) in men and women. The present study was designed to determine the hormonal effects of warm-up and racing in cross country runners – a sport that has both individual and team components. Members of the Emory University men’s and women’s varsity cross country teams gave saliva samples before warm-up, after warm-up, and immediately after the finish of each of two intercollegiate invitational meets held one year apart in the same setting (2010, N = 10 men, 15 women; 2011, N = 15 men, 20 women ). For some racers warm-up was associated with a significant decrease in C (2010 men p = .04; 2011 women, p = .004). With the exception of the 2011 men, warm-up was associated with an increase in T (2010 men, P = .012; 2010 women, p = .006; 2011 women, p = .056). For men and women in both years, racing was related to a substantial increase in both C and T (C: 2010 and 2011 men, p = .001; 2010 women, p = .011; 2011 women, p < .001) (T: 2010 and 2011 men and women, p < .001). Finish time was not related to levels of C or T. Increased hormone levels may result from the psychological effects of competition, physical exertion, or some combination of the two. Competition-related increases in C and T presumably benefit performance in cross country racing and other sports, but the exact character of these benefits remains to be determined.
Casto, Kathleen V.; Elliott, Christopher; and Edwards, David A.
"Intercollegiate Cross Country Competition: Effects of Warm-up and Racing on Salivary Levels of Cortisol and Testosterone,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 7
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol7/iss4/8