Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 365 - 371

Research article
Salivary Biomarker Responses to Two Final Matches in Women’s Professional Football
Javiera Maya1, Pablo Marquez1, Luis Peñailillo1, Ariel Contreras-Ferrat1, Louise Deldicque2, Hermann Zbinden-Foncea1, 
Author Information
1 Exercise Science Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Finis Terrae, Santiago, Chile
2 Institute of Neuroscience, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain La Neuve, Belgium

Hermann Zbinden-Foncea
✉ School of Kinesiology, Universidad Finis Terrae, 1509 Pedro de Valdivia Avenue, Providencia, Santiago, Chile
Publish Date
Received: 22-02-2016
Accepted: 28-03-2016
Published (online): 23-05-2016
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The aim of this study was to examine the link between salivary concentrations of cortisol, testosterone, immunoglobulin A (IgA) and the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) as a measure of internal load after two final matches played 3 days apart by professional women football players. Saliva samples were taken before and after the two matches (M1, M2). RPE was used to monitor the exercise intensity after each match. Testosterone concentrations increased after each match (M1: +42%, p = 0.002; M2: +50%, p < 0.001) while cortisol increased only after M1 (+116%, p < 0.001). The testosterone-to-cortisol ratio decreased only after M1 (-32.4%, p < 0.001). IgA concentration did not change after any match. Testosterone concentrations were correlated with IgA concentrations after each match (M1: R = 0.59, p = 0.008; M2: R=0.51, p = 0.02). RPE was correlated with cortisol concentrations after M1 (R = 0.57; p = 0.01), but not after M2 (R = 0.38; p = 0.07). All these results suggest that salivary cortisol and testosterone concentrations increase especially after the first match of a final, without affecting IgA levels. We speculate that increased testosterone concentration in women after football matches may play a protecting role against immune suppression usually observed after intense exercise.

Key words: Soccer, hormones, saliva, T/C ratio, RPE, stress, immune response

           Key Points
  • In our sample space, IgA concentrations did not change for teams even, before and after separated match. Suggesting that salivary IgA determinations after physical activities remain under debate.
  • Testosterone concentrations were the only one hormone showing a consequent increase in both matches after physical activity carrying.
  • The T/C ratio decrease only after M1 according with a higher cortisol level reach after M1 get-together, suggesting a differential impact over anxiety-associated team performance. So M2 play gives a more stable psychological state.
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