Plasma testosterone and cortisol responses to training-intensity exercise in mild and hot environments

R. W. Kenefick, C. M. Maresh, L. E. Armstrong, J. W. Castellani, M. Whittlesey, J. R. Hoffman, M. F. Bergeron

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Seven endurance-trained and heat-nonacclimated men (Mean ± SEM: 20 ± 1 yr; VO2max = 67 ± 2 ml·kg-1·min-1) ran in two environments (M: 23°C, H: 38°C; 7 days apart) at two absolute training-intensity velocities (S1: 240 m·min-1; followed by S2: 270 m·min-1; 10 min each) during the winter months. Blood samples were taken via cannula before (pre) S1 and after S1 and S2. Plasma testosterone (TEST) concentrations increased (p < 0.05) above pre levels after S1 in M (19 ± 3 versus 24 ± 3 nmol·L-1) and H (18 ± 2 versus 23°± 3 nmol L-1), and after S2 in H (18 ± 2 versus 24 ± 1 nmol·L-1). Plasma cortisol (CORT) and the molar ratio of TEST/CORT were unchanged from pre levels after S1 and S2 during M and H. No differences were found in plasma TEST, CORT, or the molar ratio of TEST/CORT between M and H. These results indicated that circulating levels of TEST and CORT were not changed in endurance-trained, heat-nonacclimated athletes in response to short-duration running performed at the same absolute intensity in the heat, compared to mild environmental conditions. The lack of significant differences in the molar ratio of TEST/CORT, between the 23°C and 38°C trials, suggested that this short-duration exercise challenge performed in the heat was no more of an anabolic or catabolic stimulus for these athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Collegiate runners
  • Heat-nonacclimated


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