Comparison of Basal Serum Testosterone Levels between Male Athletes and Martial Artists
There are reports about the relationship between testosterone levels and aggressiveness in animals and humans. The practice of martial arts requires high levels of pain tolerance, fear control and of course, enough aggressiveness to overcome psychological and biological stress. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to identify the relationship between basal testosterone levels and martial arts practice by comparing total serum testosterone values between male athletes and martial artists. In this cross-sectional study, the total testosterone between a control group of 15 male athletes and 15 male martial artists was compared. The participants had the following inclusion criteria: healthy men between 18 and 35 years old, not obese, with at least 1 year of continuous training, 3 to 5 sessions per week with a duration from 60 to 90 min at a moderate to high intensity, non smokers, alcohol free, and free from exogenous testosterone or testosterone precursors. Blood samples were recolected between 8:00 to 10:00 am and the laboratory results were obtained by chemiluminescence. The testosterone levels mean of the martial artist's group was 6.44 (±1.17) ng/mL and the athlete's control group had a mean of 6.09 (±1.32) ng/mL. Comparing values with the Student´s t-test showed no statistically significant difference, with a p value of 0.45. There is no significant difference of basal total testosterone levels between male martial artists and athletes, and it seems there is no direct relationship between testosterone levels and martial arts practice. Further investigation on the physiologic responses produced by the practice of combat sports is a growing necessity.
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