Hormonal and metabolic changes during a strenuous tennis match. Effect of ageing

Int J Sports Med. 1991 Feb;12(1):10-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1024647.


The effect of a strenuous tennis match was studied in 9 young (21.2 +/- 1.9 yr) and 10 veteran women players (46.5 +/- 1.3 yr) of equivalent skill. Each match was carried out during the summer (ambient temperature 27 +/- 1 degree C), as an official competition, under conditions as similar as possible. Heart rate (HR) was monitored throughout the match, weight loss was evaluated and pre- and post-match values of haematocrit, plasma lactate, free fatty acid (FFA), glycemia, ionogram, norepinephrine (NOR), epinephrine, arginine vasopressin (AV) concentrations and plasma renin activity (PRA) were measured. Plasma volume was calculated. While mean HR remained steady in young players, it increased progressively in veteran players as the match went on and reached a very high level towards the end of the match. When post-match values were compared to pre-match values, the mean results were: no substantial changes in plasma lactate and electrolyte concentrations, a large increase in FFA, no increase in epinephrine, a moderate rise in NOR and a large increase in PRA and AV. Despite a similar weight loss, a large drop in plasma volume occurred only in veteran players, who also showed FFA and AV values greater than in young players. During these strenuous matches the large response of hormones which control body fluid probably contributed to the limiting of changes in water and electrolyte balances. However, under similar conditions marked differences occurred as a function of ageing concerning the control of plasma volume.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arginine Vasopressin / blood*
  • Electrolytes / blood*
  • Epinephrine / blood
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Lactates / blood
  • Lactic Acid
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Renin / blood*
  • Tennis*


  • Electrolytes
  • Lactates
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Lactic Acid
  • Renin
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine