Wang, Y.-C., Liu, T.-C., & Kuo, C.-H. (2011). Effect of DHEA supplementation on changes in hormone levels after high-intensity intermittent exercise in young and middle-aged men. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 2979.

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This study investigated the effect of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) supplementation on changes in hormones after high-intensity intermittent exercise in young (N = 8) and middle-aged (N = 8) men. Ss received a single dose of DHEA (50 mg) or placebo 12 hours before exercise and challenged to high-intensity intermittent cycling with 100% VO2max. Blood samples were collected before exercise, and five minutes and fifteen minutes after the exercise challenge. DHEA-S, cortisol, testosterone, free testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and lactate levels were estimated in both age groups.

DHEA supplementation significantly increased the DHEA-S levels in young and middle-aged males. Blood lactate levels were increased five and fifteen minutes after exercise compared to baseline in both age groups. Total testosterone concentration was not significantly affected either by exercise or by DHEA supplementation. However, increased free testosterone was noticed in young adults after high-intensity exercise with DHEA supplementation. Placebo luteinizing hormone levels in young adults were higher than middle-aged adults.

Implication. Repeated high-intensity exercise may exhaust testosterone release due to insufficient precursor supply. DHEA supplementation can maintain testosterone levels in intense exercise.

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