Androgenic hormones during prolonged physical stress, sleep, and energy deficiency

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992 May;74(5):1176-83. doi: 10.1210/jcem.74.5.1314847.


Androgenic hormones were investigated during two separate 5-day military endurance training courses, with physical activities around the clock corresponding to a daily energy consumption of about 40,000 kilojoules, but with an intake of only 2,000 kilojoules. Altogether, the cadets slept for 1-3 h in the 5 days. Eleven male cadets participated in course I, and 10 in course II. Plasma levels of testosterone, free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone, and androstenedione decreased by 60-80% during the course. In contrast, plasma cortisol, aldosterone, progesterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate increased. LH, FSH, and ACTH decreased to about 50-80% of precourse levels. Weak correlations between plasma levels of hypophyseal and levels of adrenal and testicular hormones indicate a multifactorial regulation. In conclusion, both adrenal and testicular androgens decrease during prolonged physical strain combined with energy and sleep deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood
  • Adult
  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Androgens / blood*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / analogs & derivatives
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / blood
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / blood*
  • Stress, Physiological / blood*


  • Androgens
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Aldosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone