The GH-IGF-I Response to Typical Field Sports Practices in Adolescent Athletes: A Summary

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Alon Eliakim Tel Aviv University

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Dan M. Cooper University of California Irvine

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Dan Nemet Tel Aviv University

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The present study compares previous reports on the effect of “real-life” typical field individual (ie, cross-country running and wrestling—representing combat versus noncombat sports) and team sports (ie, volleyball and water polo—representing water and land team sports) training on GH and IGF-1, the main growth factors of the GH→IGF axis, in male and female late pubertal athletes. Cross-country running practice and volleyball practice in both males and females were associated with significant increases of circulating GH levels, while none of the practices led to a significant increase in IGF-I levels. The magnitude (percent change) of the GH response to the different practices was determined mainly by preexercise GH levels. There was no difference in the training-associated GH response between individual and team sports practices. The GH response to the different typical practices was not influenced by the practice-associated lactate change. Further studies are needed to better understand the effect of real-life typical training in prepubertal and adolescent athletes and their role in exercise adaptations.

Eliakim and Nemet are with the Child Health & Sport Center, Pediatric Dept., Meir Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Kfar Saba, Israel. Cooper is with the Pediatric Exercise Research Center, University of California, Irvine, CA. Address author correspondence to Alon Eliakim at eliakim@zahav.net.il.

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