The acute effect of 30-min swimming at a moderate speed, at three water temperatures (20, 26 and 32 degrees C) on plasma thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (F.T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and cortisol concentrations was studied in 15 élite male swimmers. Blood was sampled before and immediately after the events. The heart rate, which was continuously monitored during exercise, had the highest response at 32 degrees C and the lowest at 20 degrees C. Blood lactate concentrations were found to be similar after the three tests. Plasma TSH and F.T4 were found to be significantly increased (by 90.4% and 45.7% respectively) after swimming at 20 degrees C, decreased at 32 degrees C (by 22.3% and 10.1% respectively) and unchanged at 26 degrees C. Exercise at these three water temperatures did not significantly affect T3. Finally, plasma cortisol was found to be increased after swimming at 32 degrees C (by 82.8%) and 26 degrees C (by 46.9%), but decreased at 20 degrees C (by 6.1%).
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