Associations among dehydration, testosterone and stress hormones in terms of body weight loss before competition

Am J Med Sci. 2015 Aug;350(2):103-8. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0000000000000521.


Background: In weight class sports, such as judo, taekwondo and wrestling, reducing body weight before competitions is common. However, it is recommended that weight loss per week should not exceed 1.5% of total body weight otherwise, athletes' metabolism and endocrine parameters are negatively affected, which will deteriorate their physiology and psychology and thus decrease their performance. The aim of this study was to determine weight loss and hydration levels after weight loss before competitions among the elite wrestlers and to explore the association between hydration levels, and stress and testosterone.

Methods: This was an observational study. The study was undertaken with 56 voluntary athletes who participated in wrestling championship. With blood samples taken from the wrestlers, glucose, blood urea nitrogen, sodium (Na), cortisol, prolactin and testosterone hormone analyses were evaluated by a specialist at a biochemical laboratory.

Results: It was found out that according to plasma osmolarity levels, there were significant differences between those dehydrated and those who maintained euhydration in terms of cortisol and total testosterone levels (P < 0.001). It was detected that an association was present between plasma osmolarity, and cortisol (r = 0.667) and total testosterone levels (r = -0.627) among the elite wrestlers.

Conclusions: It was discovered that elite wrestlers were subjected to quick and high level of weight losses before competitions in a very short time (1-5 days). It was seen that their hydration levels differed due to the weight loss, which was explored to be causing acute dehydration among the wrestlers.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dehydration*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Prolactin / blood*
  • Sports*
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Weight Loss*
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone
  • Prolactin
  • Hydrocortisone