Cortisol, testosterone, and free testosterone in athletes performing a marathon at 4,000 m altitude

Marcello Marinelli, Giulio Sergio Roi, Marino Giacometti, Pierangelo Bonini, Giuseppe Banfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cortisol, testosterone, free testosterone and the ratio between free testosterone and cortisol (FTCR) were monitored in six athletes participating in a marathon starting at 3,860 and finishing at 3,400 m, having reached the top at 5,100 m altitude. Blood was drawn at sea level before the departure for the mountain area, after a week of acclimatization, immediately after the marathon and after a 24-hour recovery period from the run. Cortisol increased after acclimatization and especially after the marathon; it decreased to normal values after recovery. Testosterone decreased after acclimatization, especially after the run; it presented a partial recovery 24 h after the race. Free testosterone did not decrease after acclimatization and presented partial recovery. FTCR could also be useful for monitoring fitness, overtraining and overstrain in strenuous and ultraendurance exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Altitude
  • Cortisol
  • Free testosterone
  • Marathon
  • Testosterone
  • Ultraendurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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