The effect of anaerobic exercise on salivary cortisol, testosterone and immunoglobulin (A) in boys aged 15–16 years

Non Eleri Thomas, Anna Leyshon, Michael G. Hughes, Bruce Davies, Michael Graham, Julien S. Baker

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This study investigated the effect of repeated bouts of short-term, high-intensity cycling exercise on the salivary cortisol, testosterone and immunoglobulin (A) concentrations of 15–16 year old boys. Seventeen apparently healthy schoolchildren (aged 15.5 ± 0.4 years) participated in this study. All participants completed 6 × 8 s sprints, interspersed with 30 s recovery intervals on a cycle ergometer. Using the passive drool method, salivary samples were taken before, and 5 min after, exercise. The group mean for peak power output was 723.1 ± 180.3 s. There were significant changes (p ≤ 0.05) in both SalT and SalC, 5 min after completing 6 × 8 s cycle sprints. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were recorded for SIg(A). The increases in SalT and SalC reported in this study confirm that repeated bouts of short-term, high-intensity exercise produces significant physiological hormonal responses in adolescent boys, but does not affect mucosal immune function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009



  • high-intensity
  • cycle ergometry
  • boys
  • saliva
  • testosterone
  • cortisol
  • immunoglobulin (A)

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