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  • Author: Zbigniew Obmiński x
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Blair Crewther, Zbigniew Obminski and Christian Cook

Purpose:

To examine the steroid hormone effect on the physical performance of young athletes during an Olympic weightlifting competition.

Methods:

26 boys and 26 girls were monitored across 2 weightlifting competitions. Pre- and post-competition testosterone (T), cortisol (C) and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-s) were measured in blood, with pre-event free T (FT) and the free androgen index (FAI) calculated. Body mass (BM) and weightlifting performance were recorded.

Results:

The boys had a larger BM, superior performance with more T, FT and a higher FAI than girls (p < .01). Although C (32%) and DHEA-s (8%) levels were elevated across competition, no sex differences in hormone reactivity were seen. In boys, DHEA-s correlated with performance (r = .46), but not after controlling for BM (r = .14). For girls, T correlated with performance (r = -0.51) after BM was controlled.

Conclusion:

The sex differences that emerge during puberty were observable, whereby the boys were larger and stronger with a more anabolic profile than girls. Individual DHEA-s (boys) and T (girls) levels were related to performance, but BM appeared to be acting as a mediating (boys) or suppressing (girls) variable. This adds new insight regarding the hormonal contribution to competitive performance in young athletes.

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Blair Crewther, Konrad Witek, Paweł Draga, Piotr Zmijewski and Zbigniew Obmiński

D-aspartic acid (DAA) is promoted as a testosterone (T) enhancing supplement by mechanisms involving the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis. Here, we investigated the short-term effects of DAA on serum biomarkers of the HPG-axis in male climbers. Using a single-blinded, placebo-controlled design, 16 climbers were randomly assigned to either a DAA (3 g/day) or placebo (3 g/day) supplement for 2 weeks. The reverse treatment commenced after a 2-week washout, with all conditions administered in a balanced manner. The subjects maintained their normal weekly training across this study. Serum samples taken before and after each treatment were analyzed for T, luteinizing hormone, sex hormone binding globulin, and cortisol (C), and free T was calculated (cFT). The DAA supplement did not significantly affect serum T, cFT, and luteinizing hormone levels. Only a main effect of time on sex hormone binding globulin (6.8% increase) and C (13.6% decrease) emerged (p < .03). Significant negative associations were identified between pretest values and changes (%) in T, cFT, luteinizing hormone, and C levels with DAA and/or placebo, but these relationships did not differ between treatments (p > .46). Additional measures of physical function and serum hematology also failed to respond to DAA. In summary, a daily dose of DAA during a short training period did not influence T and selected indicators of the HPG-axis in male climbers. Other parameters linked to athletic performance and health status were also unaffected. Our findings support evidence showing that DAA (including DAA-blended supplements) at either recommended or higher dosages does not afford any ergogenic benefits for athletic males.