A longitudinal analysis of salivary testosterone concentrations and competitiveness in elite and non-elite women athletes

Blair T Crewther, Christian J Cook

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: There is evidence linking women's testosterone (T) to competitive behaviours in sport and exercise. To advance this work, we examined the longitudinal relationships between salivary T (sal-T) and competitiveness in athletic women who differ in training status.

    METHODS: Elite (n = 9) and non-elite (n = 21) women athletes were monitored on days 6-8 (follicular phase), 13-15 (ovulatory phase) and 20-22 (Luteal phase) of a menstrual cycle with two repeats. Salivary T levels were assessed before breakfast, followed by two questions (each rated on a 1-7 scale) on competitive desire and training motivation. Using a linear mixed model, we evaluated the menstrual phase and training status effects on each variable, before assessing the within-subject effects of sal-T on competitiveness.

    RESULTS: Salivary T concentrations were higher at ovulation (effect size [ES] difference = 0.2-1.4), relative to the follicular and luteal phases, with a more marked response among elite women (p < .01). The competitiveness ratings showed similar menstrual-phase variation (ES difference = 0.6-1.0 at ovulation). A positive effect of sal-T on competitiveness emerged in both groups (p < .001), but with different slope patterns (p < .015). Specifically, the elite sal-T relationships with desire to compete (standardized β = 1.147, SE = 0.132) and training motivation (β = 1.195, SE = 0.124) were stronger compared with non-elite women (β = 0.631, SE = 0.114; β = 0.778, SE = 0.114), respectively.

    CONCLUSIONS: Morning sal-T concentrations, competitive desire and training motivation all peaked around ovulation in women athletes. Notably, sal-T availability and its relationship with competitiveness was stronger among high-performing athletes. Our findings confirm menstrual fluctuations in T and competitiveness among naturally-cycling women, with population context as a moderating factor.

    LanguageEnglish
    Pages157-161
    Number of pages5
    JournalPhysiology and Behavior
    Volume188
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 May 2018

    Fingerprint

    Athletes
    Testosterone
    Ovulation
    Follicular Phase
    Luteal Phase
    Sports
    Motivation
    Competitive Behavior
    Breakfast
    Linear Models
    Exercise
    Population

    Cite this

    @article{058360b741d2451084455fbab73bbb30,
    title = "A longitudinal analysis of salivary testosterone concentrations and competitiveness in elite and non-elite women athletes",
    abstract = "BACKGROUND: There is evidence linking women's testosterone (T) to competitive behaviours in sport and exercise. To advance this work, we examined the longitudinal relationships between salivary T (sal-T) and competitiveness in athletic women who differ in training status.METHODS: Elite (n = 9) and non-elite (n = 21) women athletes were monitored on days 6-8 (follicular phase), 13-15 (ovulatory phase) and 20-22 (Luteal phase) of a menstrual cycle with two repeats. Salivary T levels were assessed before breakfast, followed by two questions (each rated on a 1-7 scale) on competitive desire and training motivation. Using a linear mixed model, we evaluated the menstrual phase and training status effects on each variable, before assessing the within-subject effects of sal-T on competitiveness.RESULTS: Salivary T concentrations were higher at ovulation (effect size [ES] difference = 0.2-1.4), relative to the follicular and luteal phases, with a more marked response among elite women (p < .01). The competitiveness ratings showed similar menstrual-phase variation (ES difference = 0.6-1.0 at ovulation). A positive effect of sal-T on competitiveness emerged in both groups (p < .001), but with different slope patterns (p < .015). Specifically, the elite sal-T relationships with desire to compete (standardized β = 1.147, SE = 0.132) and training motivation (β = 1.195, SE = 0.124) were stronger compared with non-elite women (β = 0.631, SE = 0.114; β = 0.778, SE = 0.114), respectively.CONCLUSIONS: Morning sal-T concentrations, competitive desire and training motivation all peaked around ovulation in women athletes. Notably, sal-T availability and its relationship with competitiveness was stronger among high-performing athletes. Our findings confirm menstrual fluctuations in T and competitiveness among naturally-cycling women, with population context as a moderating factor.",
    keywords = "Neuroendocrine, Adaptation, Competition, Reproductive, Androgen",
    author = "Crewther, {Blair T} and Cook, {Christian J}",
    note = "Copyright {\circledC} 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.",
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    A longitudinal analysis of salivary testosterone concentrations and competitiveness in elite and non-elite women athletes. / Crewther, Blair T; Cook, Christian J.

    In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 188, 01.05.2018, p. 157-161.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - A longitudinal analysis of salivary testosterone concentrations and competitiveness in elite and non-elite women athletes

    AU - Crewther,Blair T

    AU - Cook,Christian J

    N1 - Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    PY - 2018/5/1

    Y1 - 2018/5/1

    N2 - BACKGROUND: There is evidence linking women's testosterone (T) to competitive behaviours in sport and exercise. To advance this work, we examined the longitudinal relationships between salivary T (sal-T) and competitiveness in athletic women who differ in training status.METHODS: Elite (n = 9) and non-elite (n = 21) women athletes were monitored on days 6-8 (follicular phase), 13-15 (ovulatory phase) and 20-22 (Luteal phase) of a menstrual cycle with two repeats. Salivary T levels were assessed before breakfast, followed by two questions (each rated on a 1-7 scale) on competitive desire and training motivation. Using a linear mixed model, we evaluated the menstrual phase and training status effects on each variable, before assessing the within-subject effects of sal-T on competitiveness.RESULTS: Salivary T concentrations were higher at ovulation (effect size [ES] difference = 0.2-1.4), relative to the follicular and luteal phases, with a more marked response among elite women (p < .01). The competitiveness ratings showed similar menstrual-phase variation (ES difference = 0.6-1.0 at ovulation). A positive effect of sal-T on competitiveness emerged in both groups (p < .001), but with different slope patterns (p < .015). Specifically, the elite sal-T relationships with desire to compete (standardized β = 1.147, SE = 0.132) and training motivation (β = 1.195, SE = 0.124) were stronger compared with non-elite women (β = 0.631, SE = 0.114; β = 0.778, SE = 0.114), respectively.CONCLUSIONS: Morning sal-T concentrations, competitive desire and training motivation all peaked around ovulation in women athletes. Notably, sal-T availability and its relationship with competitiveness was stronger among high-performing athletes. Our findings confirm menstrual fluctuations in T and competitiveness among naturally-cycling women, with population context as a moderating factor.

    AB - BACKGROUND: There is evidence linking women's testosterone (T) to competitive behaviours in sport and exercise. To advance this work, we examined the longitudinal relationships between salivary T (sal-T) and competitiveness in athletic women who differ in training status.METHODS: Elite (n = 9) and non-elite (n = 21) women athletes were monitored on days 6-8 (follicular phase), 13-15 (ovulatory phase) and 20-22 (Luteal phase) of a menstrual cycle with two repeats. Salivary T levels were assessed before breakfast, followed by two questions (each rated on a 1-7 scale) on competitive desire and training motivation. Using a linear mixed model, we evaluated the menstrual phase and training status effects on each variable, before assessing the within-subject effects of sal-T on competitiveness.RESULTS: Salivary T concentrations were higher at ovulation (effect size [ES] difference = 0.2-1.4), relative to the follicular and luteal phases, with a more marked response among elite women (p < .01). The competitiveness ratings showed similar menstrual-phase variation (ES difference = 0.6-1.0 at ovulation). A positive effect of sal-T on competitiveness emerged in both groups (p < .001), but with different slope patterns (p < .015). Specifically, the elite sal-T relationships with desire to compete (standardized β = 1.147, SE = 0.132) and training motivation (β = 1.195, SE = 0.124) were stronger compared with non-elite women (β = 0.631, SE = 0.114; β = 0.778, SE = 0.114), respectively.CONCLUSIONS: Morning sal-T concentrations, competitive desire and training motivation all peaked around ovulation in women athletes. Notably, sal-T availability and its relationship with competitiveness was stronger among high-performing athletes. Our findings confirm menstrual fluctuations in T and competitiveness among naturally-cycling women, with population context as a moderating factor.

    KW - Neuroendocrine

    KW - Adaptation

    KW - Competition

    KW - Reproductive

    KW - Androgen

    U2 - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.02.012

    DO - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.02.012

    M3 - Article

    VL - 188

    SP - 157

    EP - 161

    JO - Physiology and Behavior

    T2 - Physiology and Behavior

    JF - Physiology and Behavior

    SN - 0031-9384

    ER -