Effect of pre- and postcompetition emotional state on salivary cortisol in top-ranking wrestlers

Percept Mot Skills. 2010 Aug;111(1):81-6. doi: 10.2466/05.06.25.PMS.111.4.81-86.


The purpose was three-fold: (1) to investigate the effect of baseline, precompetition, and postcompetition stress on salivary cortisol levels in top-ranking Brazilian wrestlers (N = 17) participating in a national competition; (2) to estimate correlations among three stress measures (perceived stress, salivary cortisol, and physiological stress reaction); and (3) to compare cortisol concentrations between losers and winners. Salivary cortisol was collected at baseline, pre-, and postcompetition. Physiological stress reaction and perceived stress scores were measured just before warm-up for the competition. Analysis showed a significant main effect for testing time. Correlations among the stress measures were not significant. Analysis of covariance between the winners (n = 10) and the losers (n = 7) was also not significant. Salivary cortisol concentrations increased after the intense exercise of competition. The wrestlers did not perceive any physiological effects.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Brazil
  • Competitive Behavior / physiology*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Male
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology
  • Wrestling / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Hydrocortisone