Arlettaz, A., Portier, H., Lecoq, A. M., Rieth, N., De Ceaurriz, J., & Collomp, K. (2007). Effects of short-term prednisolone intake during submaximal exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39, 1672-1678.

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This study examined prednisolone's ergogenic and metabolic effects during submaximal exercise. Recreational male athletes (N = 10) completed two cycling trials at 70-75% VO2peak until exhaustion after either a lactose placebo or oral prednisolone (60 mg/d/wk) treatment. Blood samples were collected at rest, during exercise, and at recovery to determine ACTH, growth hormone, prolactin, DHEA, insulin, blood glucose, and blood lactate values.

Time of cycling was significantly increased after the prednisolone treatment. Prednisolone intake significantly lowered basal, exercise, and recovery ACTH, DHEA, and prolactin concentrations, whereas growth hormone concentrations were significantly lowered by prednisolone after 30 minutes of exercise. Blood glucose and insulin were significantly increased by prednisolone during the whole experiment and until 30 minutes of exercise. Blood lactate concentrations were higher after prednisolone versus placebo from 10 minutes of exercise until after 10 minutes of recovery.

Implication. Prednisolone intake significantly improved sub-maximal performance during submaximal exercise, with concomitant alterations in hormonal (ACTH, DHEA, prolactin, growth hormone) and metabolic responses (blood glucose, insulin, blood lactate).

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