Objective: To investigate the effects of one football training period on haemorheological variables in regularly trained footballers.
Method: Ten subjects were randomly selected from the reserve team of a football club in the Turkish Premier League. During the last week of the football season, one day before a standard training session and two days after the previous league match, venous blood samples were taken (pre-exercise). After 90 minutes of standard training, further blood samples were taken (post-exercise). Blood lactate, blood viscosity, plasma fibrinogen, blood clotting time, acid-base variables, and plasma Na+, K+, and Ca2+ were determined.
Results: Haemoglobin, packed cell volume, and mean corpuscular volume were all significantly decreased, whereas white blood cells and platelets were both increased after training. Blood viscosity decreased but the reduction was not significant. Blood lactate, plasma glucose, and Na+ content were significantly increased, but standard bicarbonate, actual bicarbonate, and Ca2+ were significantly decreased. Blood clotting time had shortened significantly after training. Blood viscosity was inversely correlated with plasma glucose concentration (r = −0.48 and p = 0.032).
Conclusions: The results show that blood viscosity tends to decrease as the result of this type of training. This is due to a reduction in packed cell volume and mean corpuscular volume. The increased blood lactate does not have an adverse effect on the blood viscosity of these subjects because protective mechanisms develop with regular training throughout the season.
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Competing interests: none declared