Longitudinal study on stress and fatigue factors in water polo greek national team

Por: A. Tsopanakis, E. Sgouraki, O. Emmanoulidis e S. Campagna.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Acute exercise conditions during a training period increase physical stress, while training fatigue may be accompanied by a number of indicative physiological and metabolic changes. [1] ,[2].
It is well documented that athletes participating in endurance sports, such as long-distance running, swimming and other, have high proportion of ST fibers in their contracting muscles as compared to those participating in short exhaustive events or strength dependent activities.
It is well known that ST fibers are adapted to respiration and oxygen utilization through oxidative metabolism, contain more myoglobin, have more potent antioxidant machinery and are surrounded by more capillaries[3].
According to type, intensity and duration of training, as well as the adaptation level of the athlete, we may expect different responses to oxidative stress.


This study aimed to examine the influence of power training and strong anti-oxidant supplementation on oxidative stress and fatigue factors.
Fourteen male elite athletes of Water Polo Greek National Team participated in this study. They were aged 26.4±5.3 yrs, weight 88.4±6.0 Kgr, height 187.0±4.7cm and were in healthy condition They were measured four distinct times during training period (before and after the world championships in Barcelona).
Between A and B training periods athletes of national team had usual training and only at the end of this period had certain games with higher stress. The main preparation, as national team, started 12th on May.
Between B and C training periods they had large increase of the training load (70% aerobic, 30% anaerobic) and the last two weeks of this period they participated at the European Championships, with a lot of stress.
Between C and D training periods they followed the previous training program, as well as some specific dynamic exercise in the swimming pool (50% aerobic, 50% anaerobic). Meantime, they had traveled to Brazil (totally 6 days) with a lot of stress and fatigue.
The parameters measured (testosterone, cortisol, ferritine and CPK) are compared, by using paired -t test, the first time at the beginning of the preparation period to other three that followed.


Fatigue and oxidative stress factors, testosterone, cortisol, CPK increased significantly at the second time of measurements, but the third and fourth time after strong antioxidant supplementation the measured parameters remained unchanged, although the training load had increased.
Discussion/ Conclusions
Water polo athletes in this study as endurance athletes had certain anti-oxidant defense system adaptation.They had also special dynamic exercise training, which means activation of different metabolic pathways resulting in an additional oxidative stress ( purine metabolism, xanthine oxidation).These athletes we assume that they need special care about their antioxidant diet and antioxidant supplementation (vitamins A and E, Co-enzyme Q10, magnesium and selenium) to avoid oxidative stress and fatigue.


[1]. Stress Adaptation in Athletes : Relation of Lipoprotein Levels to Hormonal Response. A. Tsopanakis, A.Stalikas, E.Sgouraki and C. Tsopanakis. Pharm. Biochem. Behav., 48(2):377-382 (1994).
[2]. Stress Hormonal Factors, Fatigue, and Antioxidant Responses to Prolonged Speed Driving. C. Tsopanakis and A.Tsopanakis. Pharm. Biochem.Behav. 60(3): 747-751 (1998).
[3]. Radical Formation in Different Cells and Tissues. J. Karlsson. In "Antioxidant and Exercise", Human Kinetics (1997). pp.69-89.







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