Salivary Biomarker Monitoring of Elite Collegiate Female Basketball Players Across an NCAA Division-I Season

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Matthew J. Andre, Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Andrew C. Fry, Andrea Hudy, Patricia R. Dietz-Parsons, Glenn J. Cain

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Published: 17 January 2022 | Article Type :

Abstract

The testosterone (T) to cortisol (C) ratio (T/C) has been considered an important endocrine marker used for monitoring training stress and performance in athletes. The purpose of this study was to monitor free T, C, and T/C of elite female basketball players throughout an entire season. Ten athletes gave a salivary sample before an afternoon practice, once per week, for a total of 29 weeks. Salivary immunoassay kits were used to analyze for T and C. A composite value composed of z-scores (COMP) for playing time, practice time, resistance-training volume, travel, and academic stress was used to quantify weekly cumulative stress. T, C, and T/C were different from the season average values on four different occasions. During Week 6, there was a decrease in T/C due to an increase in COMP as a final effort to peak the athletes before the taper used to transition from preseason to competition phase. The T/C return to the season average values during Week 7 demonstrated that the athletes were appropriately recovered. During Week 16, the week after a holiday break, T/C was below the season average despite the decrease in COMP. During Week 24, the decrease in T/C corresponded with an increase in COMP. During Week 27, before the first postseason competitive match, T/C decreased below the season average despite the decrease in COMP, suggesting an anticipatory effect. However, the athletes returned and remained at the individual season average values up to and beyond their fourth-round elimination, suggesting that they were physiologically prepared for the postseason play.

Keywords: sport performance; hormones; recovery; team sports; stress; training

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Matthew J. Andre, Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Andrew C. Fry, Andrea Hudy, Patricia R. Dietz-Parsons, Glenn J. Cain. (2022-01-17). "Salivary Biomarker Monitoring of Elite Collegiate Female Basketball Players Across an NCAA Division-I Season." *Volume 4*, 1, 1-11