Prolactin responses to stress induced by a competitive swimming effort
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AnxietyHormonal releaseAnaerobic exerciseCompetition
Carrasco Páez, L.; et al. Prolactin responses to stress induced by a competitive swimming effort. Biology of Sport, 24(4): 311-323 (2007). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/32739]
Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the changes in prolactin (PRL) plasma concentrations induced by competitive swimming practice. Methods: Twenty-three males, 13 trained swimmers (experimental group) and 10 sedentary and healthy students (age-matched control group) took part in this investigation. The swimmers were assessed at three points: basal conditions, pre- and post-swimming competition (100 m freestyle), whereas subjects from the control group only undertook the basal trial. The variables analysed were: several body composition measures, anxiety level (STAI questionnaire), PRL and lactic acid concentrations. Results: No statistical differences were observed in PRL basal levels between groups. An evident PRL response to pre-competition psychological stress was observed in the experimental group, since the PRL plasma concentration rose from 4.02±0.53 ng/ml (basal conditions) to 5.52±0.53 ng/ml (p≤0.05). The PRL response to the competitive effort produced an important increase in its plasma concentration (10.07±1.59 ng/ml), showed statistical differences from pre-competition (p≤0.01) and from basal conditions (p≤0.001). A significant rise in plasma lactate levels just at the end of the effort was found, although it did not correlate with PRL levels in the same situation. Conclusion: While we observed a remarkable response of PRL to psychological and physiological stress induced by a short term competitive effort in swimming, no changes in PRL basal levels were exhibited with swim training. More research is needed to clarify these findings.