Training responses of plasma beta-endorphin, adrenocorticotropin, and cortisol

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1989 Apr;21(2):146-53.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of three different run training programs on plasma responses of beta-endorphin (beta-EP), adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), and cortisol to maximal treadmill exercise. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three training groups: sprint intervals (SI) (N = 8), endurance (E) (N = 10), or combination (C) (N = 7). Training was monitored for 10 wk, and maximal treadmill exercise tests were administered pre-training and after 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 wk of training. Blood samples were obtained (pre-training and after 10 wk) before, immediately after, and 5 and 15 min following the maximal exercise tests. All groups significantly (P less than 0.05) increased maximal oxygen consumption values at 8 and 10 wk of the training period. Significant exercise-induced increase in plasma beta-EP, ACTH, cortisol, and blood lactate were observed for both pre- and post-training tests in all training groups. The SI group demonstrated significant post-training increases in beta-EP, ACTH, cortisol, and 5 min post-exercise blood lactate concentrations in response to maximal exercise. No training-induced hormonal changes were observed for the E group. While exercise-induced increases were observed, the C group exhibited significant post-training reductions in plasma responses of beta-EP, ACTH, and blood lactate concentrations in response to maximal exercise. Still, resting and post-exercise increases in plasma cortisol concentrations were significantly higher in magnitude in the post-training test. Lactate was significantly correlated with beta-EP (r = 0.72), ACTH (r = 0.70), and cortisol (r = 0.64).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Lactates / blood
  • Lactic Acid
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Random Allocation
  • Running*
  • beta-Endorphin / blood*


  • Lactates
  • Lactic Acid
  • beta-Endorphin
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone