5 years ago

The effect of oral contraceptive use on salivary testosterone concentrations and athlete performance during international field hockey matches

To investigate the effect of oral contraceptive (OC) use on salivary testosterone (sal-T) concentrations and performance-related statistics in international field hockey matches. Design A cohort observational study with repeated measures. Methods Twenty-three elite female athletes were monitored across four international field hockey matches over a nine-day period. Salivary T was assessed 45minutes before each match and several match performance statistics were collated; load (i.e. ratings of perceived exertion×playing time), video-derived positive actions (PA) and negative actions (NA), plus coach and player ratings of performance. The sal-T and match performance profiles of OC (n=7) and Non-OC (n=16) players were compared and predictive relationships tested. Results Pre-match sal-T concentrations were 35% higher in the Non-OC than the OC group (p=0.001), representing a large effect size (ES) difference of 0.96. The OC and Non-OC groups did not differ on any performance statistic (p0.348) with ES differences from −0.22 to 0.11. Salivary T was positively related to the number of PA during match play (p=0.017). Additional linkage between sal-T and NA emerged, but with opposing slopes (p=0.008) in the OC (B=−1.783, p=0.030) and Non-OC (B=0.692, p=0.127) groups. Conclusions OC usage by elite women athletes was accompanied by lower sal-T concentrations, but the performance outputs by the OC and Non-OC groups were similar. This suggests that the T differences had no impact on match performance. On an individual level, sal-T was associated with PA and NA during these matches, though the response curves predicting NA differed for OC and Non-OC athletes

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1440244017310630

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