Total Testosterone and Cortisol During Wheelchair Rugby Training in Athletes With Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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  • 1 Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
  • | 2 Academia Paralímpica Brasileira, Comitê Paralímpico Brasileiro, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
  • | 3 Centro de Treinamento Esportivo da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
  • | 4 Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais, Ibirité, MG, Brazil
  • | 5 Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil
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Context: Hormonal assessment in the sport context is important to monitor the physiological adaptations of athletes. However, Paralympic athletes, especially with cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI), may have different hormonal responses than nondisabled athletes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the blood concentrations of total testosterone (TT) and cortisol (C) during acute (one training session) and chronic (1 and 2 month) training of athletes with CSCI in wheelchair rugby (WCR). Design: Longitudinal and observational study. Methods: Eight high-performance athletes with CSCI (31 [3.9] y; 75.6 [15.8] kg; 22.9 [4.2] kg/m2 body mass index; 6.2 [2] y of experience in sport) were evaluated at 3 different intervals (evaluations 1, 2, and 3 [E1, E2, and E3]) over 2 months of training. TT and C blood were evaluated before (pre) and after (post) the training sessions at each training moment, as well as the training load through the ratings of perceived exertion. Results: Athletes with CSCI had low TT concentrations. In acute training sessions, at E3, C decreases after the training session, unlike the TT/C ratio, which increased after the session. Regarding hormonal changes during chronic training at the end of the training period, unlike C, which increased. The training load (arbitrary units) decreased in E3 when compared with the other evaluation moments. Conclusion: It was concluded that in chronic training, TT concentrations decreased, while C increased at the end of the 2 months of training. These results may indicate that training volume was high throughout training and that a reduction in training volume could benefit athletes. On the other hand, in the acute training session with reduced training load, a decrease in C was observed after the training session. This indicates that athletes may be well recovered in this training session. Therefore, we suggest acute and long-term hormonal assessment for athletes with CSCI as a strategy to monitor anabolic/catabolic hormonal status during WCR training.

Silva (andressa@demello.net.br) is corresponding author.

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