Journal of strength and conditioning research

Effect of gender on the GH-IGF-I response to anaerobic exercise in young adults.

PMID 24983853


Exercise-associated effects on the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor-I (GH-IGF-I) axis were studied, mainly after aerobic exercise. We determined the gender effect on the GH-IGF-I axis response to a standard all-out Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) in healthy active young adult men and women (men = 12 and women = 16; age range: 24-34 years). Blood samples for GH and IGF-I, key elements of the GH-IGF-I axis, were collected before and 20, 30, 40, and 60 minutes after the beginning of exercise. In addition, we collected postexercise blood lactate levels. Postexercise lactate levels were higher among men; however, this difference did not reach statistical significance (13.8 ± 1.3 vs. 11.1 ± 1.0 mmol·L, respectively; p = 0.1). The WAnT was associated with a significant increase in GH in both genders. However, GH peak was greater among women (10.8 ± 1.8 vs. 5.6 ± 1.4 ng·ml, in women and men, respectively; p < 0.01). In addition, postexercise GH peak occurred significantly earlier in female (20 minutes) compared with male participants (40 minutes). Exercise was associated with a significant increase in IGF only among men (from 166.8 ± 8.4 to 186.9 ± 9.3; p < 0.02); however, no significant between-gender effect was found. In summary, supramaximal anaerobic exercise was associated with a greater and earlier postexercise GH peak in women compared with men. All together, the results suggest anaerobic exercise-related anabolic-type hormonal response.