Research Matters

Research Matters

Testosterone and Wrestling


New research by Andrew Fry, professor of health, sport and exercise sciences at KU, shows that testosterone in winning collegiate wrestlers increased more than in the losing wrestlers.

Episode #86



2 minutes (2.8 MB) | Download mp3

Transcript


A scholarly investigation shows testosterone spiking in winners on the wrestling mat. From the University of Kansas, this is Research Matters. I'm Brendan Lynch.

Facing off with an opponent of similar size and strength, all wrestlers experience a rush of "flight-or-fight" adrenaline that causes levels of testosterone in their bodies to increase. But new research by Andrew Fry, professor of health sport and exercise sciences at KU, shows that testosterone in winning collegiate wrestlers increased more than in the losing wrestlers.

Fry: We simulated a wrestling tournament with high-level collegiate wrestlers. Winning wrestlers had a greater testosterone response. Then we looked a possible mechanism of action that might cause the winners to have a greater response."

The KU investigator said that winning and losing wrestlers had similar testosterone rises associated with the adrenaline epinephrine; but winners had an extra boost that could be the result of the win itself or some other mechanism.

Fry: Before the matches there was no difference, but after the match when you'd sample the blood within five minutes after the match, you'd see a difference between winners and losers. We couldn't have picked it out ahead of time. Something is triggering this increase, and it seems to be fairly consistent.

The testosterone changes in wrestlers seem to mirror the way the hormone acts in other species.

Fry: This ties in very closely with work in the animal world where people look at male-male interactions, where males of a species compete with each other for territory, food or breeding mates. You see that the testosterone characteristics of various species is often tied in.

For the University of Kansas, I'm Brendan Lynch.

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