Why Winning is Manly

Wrestlers have higher levels of testosterone after winning a match

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Wrestlers who win their matches have a greater increase in testosterone compared to their losing counterparts, according to a new study.

In order to understand this phenomena, Andrew C. Fry, of the University of Kansas, and colleagues studied 12 male wrestlers as they competed in five matches over a two-day period. Before and after each match, the researchers took blood samples from each wrestler in order to determine levels of testosterone as well as other the other hormones including cortisol and adrenaline.

The results show increased levels of testosterone in both winners and losers. However, the increase was greater for winners. Both winners and losers exhibited similar increases in cortisol and adrenaline.

According to the authors, hormonal differences between winning wrestlers and losing wrestlers suggests that winners have a different regulatory mechanism for their acute testosterone responses.

Fry and colleagues conclude by saying that their findings support previous studies of non-human animals that show a similar link between competitive behavior and levels of testosterone.

The study is published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

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Review Date: 
February 4, 2011
Last Updated:
February 4, 2011