Background: This study was planned to investigate whether serum α-amylase concentration may be associated with running performance, physiological characteristics and other clinical chemistry analytes in a large sample of recreational athletes undergoing distance running.
Methods: Forty-three amateur runners successfully concluded a 21.1 km half-marathon at 75%-85% of their maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Blood was drawn during warm up and 15 min after conclusion of the run.
Results: After correction for body weight change, significant post-run increases were observed for serum values of alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, bilirubin, creatine kinase (CK), iron, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), triglycerides, urea and uric acid, whereas the values of body weight, glomerular filtration rate, total and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol were significantly decreased. The concentration of serum α-amylase was unchanged. In univariate analysis, significant associations with running performance were found for gender, VO2max, training regimen and pre-run serum values of α-amylase, CK, glucose, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, LDH, urea and uric acid. In multivariate analysis, only VO2max (p=0.042) and baseline α-amylase (p=0.021) remained significant predictors of running performance. The combination of these two variables predicted 71% of variance in running performance. The baseline concentration of serum α-amylase was positively correlated with variation of serum glucose during the trial (r=0.345; p=0.025) and negatively with capillary blood lactate at the end of the run (r=-0.352; p=0.021).
Conclusions: We showed that the baseline serum α-amylase concentration significantly and independently predicts distance running performance in recreational runners.