Based on biodata gathered by Summa from hard training elite athletes, both male and female elite athletes seemingly exhibit average free testosterone and cortisol levels that are higher than what is regarded as the norm for the general population.
As a novelty due to longitudinal monitoring, intra-individual dynamic ranges for both hormones are presented. Individual variations are of the same magnitude than variations in overall population, which emphasized the highly dynamic character of both hormones.
It’s essential to emphasize that levels of both hormones vary widely among individuals, and what may be considered ‘higher’ for one person may not be the same for another.
Here are some reasons why elite athletes have elevated testosterone levels:
- Intense physical exercise can lead to a transient increase in testosterone levels after the exercise session as part of the body’s adaptation.
- Muscle tissue is a significant source of testosterone production in both males and females and athletes have a higher proportion of lean muscle mass compared to the general population.
- An optimal diet can support healthy testosterone production and athletes often follow tailored nutrition plans.
- The competitive nature of sports and the psychological aspects of training and competition can impact testostonere levels.
- Genetic factors play a role in an individual’s baseline hormone levels and their response to exercise.
- Athletes often prioritize sleep as part of their recovery strategies, which can help maintain healthy hormone levels.
Here are some reasons why elite athletes have elevated cortisol levels:
- The cumulative effect of intense training can lead to higher cortisol levels.
- Nervousness and anxiety associated with competitive events can trigger the release of cortisol.
- Psychological stressors related to training, performance expectations, and maintaining a competitive edge can lead to higher cortisol levels.
- Overtraining can contribute to higher cortisol levels.
- Inadequate nutrition can stress the body and lead to cortisol elevation.
- Injuries can lead to increased cortisol production as the body responds to inflammation.
- Corticosteroid medication can lead to elevated cortisol levels, with orally dosed corticosteroid having a bigger impact than nasal / inhaler corticosteroids.