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Short-term glucocorticoid intake combined with intense training on performance and hormonal responses
  1. K Collomp1,2,
  2. A Arlettaz1,
  3. H Portier1,
  4. A-M Lecoq1,3,
  5. B Le Panse1,
  6. N Rieth1,
  7. J De Ceaurriz2
  1. 1
    Laboratoire Activité Physique, Santé et Performance, UFR STAPS, Université d’Orléans, Orleans, France
  2. 2
    Département des Analyses, Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage, Chatenay-Malabry, France
  3. 3
    Service de Médecine du Sport, CHR Orléans, Orleans, France
  1. Professor K Collomp, Laboratoire Activité Physique, Santé et Performance, Faculté du Sport et de l’Education Physique, 2, Allée du Château, BP 6237, 45062 Orléans Cedex 2, France; katia.collomp{at}univ-orleans.fr

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the effects of short-term prednisolone ingestion combined with intense training on exercise performance, hormonal (adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), prolactin, luteinising hormone (LH), growth hormone (GH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, insulin) and metabolic parameters (blood glucose, lactate, bicarbonate, pH).

Methods: Eight male recreational athletes completed four cycling trials at 70–75% peak O2 consumption until exhaustion just before (1) and after (2) either oral placebo or prednisolone (60 mg/day for 1 week) treatment coupled with standardised physical training (2 hours/day), according to a double-blind and randomised protocol. Blood samples were collected at rest, during exercise and passive recovery for the hormonal and metabolic determinations.

Results: Time of cycling was not significantly changed after placebo but significantly increased (p<0.05) after prednisolone administration (50.4 (6.2) min for placebo 1, 64.0 (9.1) min for placebo 2, 56.1 (9.1) min for prednisolone 1 and 107.0 (20.7) min for prednisolone 2). There was no significant difference in any measured parameters after the week of training with placebo but a decrease in ACTH, DHEA, PRL, GH, TSH and testosterone was seen with prednisolone treatment during the experiment (p<0.05). No significant change in basal, exercise or recovery LH, insulin, lactate, pH or bicarbonate was found between the two treatment, but blood glucose was significantly higher under prednisolone (p<0.05) at all time points.

Conclusion: Short-term glucocorticoid administration induced a marked improvement in endurance performance. Further studies are needed to determine whether these results obtained in recreational male athletes maintaining a rigorous training schedule are gender-dependent and applicable to elite athletes.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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