Effects of 16 weeks of training prior to a major competition on hormonal and biochemical parameters in young elite gymnasts

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Jun;16(5):741-50. doi: 10.1515/jpem.2003.16.5.741.


The aim of this study was to investigate the response to 16 weeks of training on selected hormonal and biological parameters in seven international competition level female artistic gymnasts (14.5 +/- 1.2 years). Data were collected at the beginning of the first training week (W1) and in the 16th week (W16). Assessments also included anthropometric measurements, dietary intake for 7 days and Tanner staging. No gymnast had reached menarche and the puberty stages corresponded to Tanner's pubertal stage 2. The gymnasts were smaller than average for their age group, with a height:weight ratio above the 50th percentile. Energy intake was about 31% lower than recommendations. Significant decreases in IGF-I, IGFBP3, IGF-I:C ratio and triglyceride values and increases in uric acid and creatinine levels were noted. Cortisol values were high regardless of the period. This training provided evidence for alterations in resting somatotropic and adrenocorticotropic parameters.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Constitution
  • Body Weight
  • Cortisone / blood
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Diet
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gymnastics / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Menarche
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Uric Acid / blood


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Triglycerides
  • Uric Acid
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Creatinine
  • Cortisone