Title

Salivary immunoendocrine and self-report monitoring profiles across an elite-level professional football season

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise

Volume

53

Issue

5

First Page

918

Last Page

927

PubMed ID

33394896

Publisher

Wolters Kluwer

School

School of Medical and Health Sciences

RAS ID

35643

Comments

Springham, M., Williams, S., Waldron, M., Strudwick, A. J., Mclellan, C., & Newton, R. U. (2021). Salivary immunoendocrine and self-report monitoring profiles across an elite-level professional football season. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 53(5), 918-927. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000002553

Abstract

PURPOSE: This investigation examined the longitudinal changes and interrelationships of salivary and self-report monitoring measures across a professional football season. METHODS: Measures were collected biweekly from 18 senior professional male players across a 6-wk preseason and eight 5-wk in-season mesocycles and analyzed using a linear mixed-effects model. RESULTS: Analysis identified a small (P = 0.003) cross-season suppression of salivary immunoglobulin A, small reductions to salivary α-amylase (P = 0.047) and salivary cortisol (P = 0.007), and trivial changes to salivary testosterone (P > 0.05). The testosterone/cortisol ratio typically responded inversely to changes in player workload. Self-report measures of fatigue (P = 0.030), sleep quality (P = 0.003), and muscle soreness (P = 0.005) improved (ES = small) across the first half of the season. Fatigue and sleep measures were most consistently related to hormonal measures (R2 = 0.43-0.45). For these relationships, increases in cortisol were associated with compromised self-report responses, whereas increases in testosterone/cortisol were associated with improved responses. Nonlinear relationships were identified for fatigue with immunoglobulin A (P = 0.017; ES = trivial) and testosterone (P = 0.012; ES = trivial), for sleep quality with testosterone (P < 0.001; ES = trivial), for muscle soreness with testosterone (P = 0.012; ES = trivial), and for the self-report inventory sum with testosterone (P = 0.027; ES = trivial). For these relationships, self-report responses were optimal at mean immunoglobulin A and testosterone levels, and very low levels (-2 SD) exerted the most compromising effects. CONCLUSIONS: Players can experience a chronic cross-season suppression of mucosal immunity. Salivary immunoglobulin A, testosterone, cortisol, and testosterone/cortisol measures relate to self-report measures of fatigue, sleep quality, and muscle soreness. In-season reductions in testosterone, cortisol, and testosterone/cortisol or increases in cortisol among elite football players could be used to indicate the need for reduced workload, which might lead to improved well-being.

DOI

10.1249/MSS.0000000000002553

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