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Postexercise Hypotension in Moderately Trained Athletes after Maximal Exercise


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: February 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 2 - p 318-322
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000187460.73235.3b
BASIC SCIENCES: Original Investigations

Purpose: A similar postexercise hypotension (PEH) has been reported in sedentary and mildly endurance-trained individuals of both sexes after a single dynamic submaximal exercise. In endurance-trained men, the hypotension was associated with a reduction of cardiac output, whereas the peripheral vasodilatation was the main mechanism of this fall in other groups. The present study investigated the occurrence and mechanisms of PEH after a short maximal exercise in professional soccer players with greater endurance capacity than previously reported in PEH studies.

Methods: Arterial blood pressure, cardiac output (Q), heart rate (HR), and diffusing lung capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) before and 30 and 60 min after short maximal field exercise were studied in 20 professional soccer players.

Results: Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and systolic blood pressure (SBP), Q, stroke volume, and DLCO decreased, whereas HR increased at both times after exercise. Decreases in DBP were greater in subjects with lesser V̇O2max (r = −0.73, P = 0.0001), whereas SBP was more decreased the higher it was at baseline (r = 0.51, P = 0.023). Total peripheral resistance (TPR) did not change significantly after exercise.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that, in moderately trained athletes, postexercise hypotension is associated primarily with reduced cardiac output because of reduced stroke volume, suggesting venous pooling. In addition, the occurrence of hypotension is more frequent in trained subjects with lower cardiopulmonary fitness level or higher resting SBP.

1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Split School of Medicine, Split, CROATIA; and 2Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, NORWAY

Address for correspondence: Željko Dujic´, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Split School of Medicine, Šoltanska 2, 21 000 Split, Croatia; E-mail:

Submitted for publication March 2005.

Accepted for publication August 2005.

©2006The American College of Sports Medicine