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Weekly Fluctuations in Salivary Hormone Responses and Their Relationships With Load and Well-Being in Semiprofessional, Male Basketball Players During a Congested In-Season Phase

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To assess weekly fluctuations in hormonal responses and their relationships with load and well-being during a congested in-season phase in basketball players. Methods: Ten semiprofessional, male basketball players were monitored during 4 congested in-season phase weeks consisting of 3 weekly matches. Salivary hormone variables (testosterone [T], cortisol [C], and T:C ratio) were measured weekly, and external load (PlayerLoad™ and PlayerLoad per minute), internal load session rating of perceived exertion, percentage of maximum heart rate (HR), summated HR zones, and well-being were assessed for each training session and match. Results: Significant (P < .05) moderate to large decreases in T were found in the third and fourth weeks compared with the first week. Nonsignificant moderate to large decreases in C were apparent in the last 2 weeks compared with previous weeks. Summated HR zones and perceived sleep significantly (P < .05) decreased in the fourth week compared with the first week; whereas, percentage of maximum HR significantly (P < .05) decreased in the fourth week compared with the second week. No significant relationships were found between weekly changes in hormonal responses and weekly changes in load and overall wellness. Conclusions: A congested schedule during the in-season negatively impacted the hormonal responses of players, suggesting that T and C measurements may be useful to detect fluctuations in hormone balance in such scenarios. The nonsignificant relationships between weekly changes in hormonal responses and changes in load and well-being indicate that other factors might induce hormonal changes across congested periods in basketball players.

Kamarauskas, Lukonaitienė, Paulauskas, and Conte are with the Inst of Sport Science and Innovations, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania. Scanlan is with the Human Exercise and Training Laboratory, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, QLD, Australia. Ferioli is with the C.S. Pallacanestro Trapani S.S.D. A.R.L., Trapani, Italy.

Kamarauskas (paulius.kamarauskas@lsu.lt) is corresponding author.
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