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Salivary Cortisol and Immunoglobulin A Responses to Simulated and Official Jiu-Jitsu Matches

Moreira, Alexandre1; Franchini, Emerson1; de Freitas, Camila Gobo1; Schultz de Arruda, Ademir F.1; de Moura, Nivaldo Ribeiro1; Costa, Eduardo Caldas2; Aoki, Marcelo Saldanha3

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 8 - p 2185–2191
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31823b8702
Original Research

Moreira, A, Franchini, E, Freitas, CG, Arruda, AFS, Moura, NR, Costa, EC, and Aoki, MS. Salivary cortisol and immunoglobulin A responses to simulated and official Jiu-Jitsu matches. J Strength Cond Res 26(8): 2185–2191, 2012—The aim of this study was to compare the salivary cortisol (sC) and the salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA) responses to simulated and official Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) matches. Saliva samples were collected from 9 male BJJ athletes before (pre) and after (post) 2 simulated matches (SMs) and 2 official matches (OMs) performed during 2 different competitions. Salivary cortisol and sIgA concentrations (absolute concentration of sIgA [sIgAabs] and the secretion rate of sIgA [sIgArate]) were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For sC, there was an effect of condition (SM vs. OM) (p < 0.05) and a time effect (pre and post) (p < 0.05). The sC was lower during SMs as compared with that during OMs and lower at premeasurement when compared with postmeasurement. No changes were observed for sIgA measurements. In summary, both SMs and official BJJ matches can increase sC levels. Moreover, the higher sC resting levels, observed before OMs, suggest that psychological factors associated with high physical-physiological demands from official BJJ competitions maximize stress hormone responses. In addition, the present findings suggest that the acute effect of BJJ matches on mucosal immunity is minimal, and it seems unlikely that changes in cortisol play a major role in the alterations in sIgA levels in response to BJJ matches. The findings of this study suggest that the use of sC can provide valuable information for coaches regarding athletes' responses to competition. In addition, psychological strategies should be implemented before events, to improve the manner in which BJJ athletes cope with the stress inherent to official matches.

1Department of Sport, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

2Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil

3School of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Address correspondence to Alexandre Moreira,

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association