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Winning Wrestlers Get Bigger Testosterone Boost After Match

WEDNESDAY, Feb 2 (HealthDay News) -- Victorious wrestlers have a greater increase in testosterone levels after a match than their vanquished opponents, a new study finds.

U.S. researchers collected blood samples from members of an elite collegiate wrestling team before and after their matches. The samples were analyzed for levels of testosterone and other hormones.

In all the wrestlers, testosterone levels were higher after than before a match, but the increase was greater among the winners. Their average testosterone levels increased from 16.4 to 23.2 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L), compared to an increase from 14.8 to 19.4 nmol/L for the losers.

There were no significant differences between winners and loser in the levels of other hormones -- cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) -- measured by the researchers. However, changes in epinephrine levels were significantly associated with changes in testosterone levels for winners, but not for losers.

"These data suggest that winning wrestlers may use a different regulatory mechanism for their acute testosterone responses than losers," wrote Andrew C. Fry, University of Kansas, and colleagues.

They said their findings are consistent with previous research linking testosterone increases to aggressive and competitive behavior in male animals. As such, they suggested pairing male wrestlers with opponents that will enhance their "social dominance" may help them succeed.

The study appears in the January issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

More information

For more about testosterone, visit the Mayo Clinic.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, news release, Jan. 25, 2011

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