Soccer and metabolism: what are the limits of using saliva to understand the body responses?
Science is playing an increasingly important role in the world of sport. Understanding the molecular basis that relates to the degree of training, athletic performance or risk of injury can represent a major advance in ensuring the health of athletes and improving their sports performance. In the specific case of our study, we explored the possibility of using saliva to relate the physical activity during an official soccer game with the metabolic changes that it generates as a response in the body. We have discussed the limits of using this fluid, regardless how easy it is to obtain, and the difficulty of recognizing in its composition the result of a discontinuous physical activity such as soccer.
Our results indicate that it is possible to measure changes in metabolites related to hydration status, energy used by the body and the level of different metabolites. In the first case, we have observed that it is possible to exploit the total concentration of metabolites in the saliva to measure the dehydration produced during the match. We have found that this index is even more sensitive than the total amount of proteins. Regarding the energetics of the organism and the production of lactic acid, we have confirmed the low correlation between the level of this metabolite in saliva and the one observed in blood. In addition, the effect of its increase is less and lasts less time. For all these reasons, the use of the lactic acid concentration in saliva is of relative importance in defining the level of training and relative fatigue, as opposed to its level in the blood. Several other metabolites such as glucose, galactose, creatinine, urea, several amino acids including taurine, and hypoxanthine showed significant differences after the match.
One of the limits to this type of study is related to the different times and intensities of physical exercise that players develop on the field, which play an important role in the metabolic changes that are caused. This feature, and the short time that the effect of physical activity is maintained in the saliva metabolic profile, makes it necessary to plan adequately the sample taken immediately after the exercise ceases, and to consider, using additional biometric measures, the different effort made by each player.
A final important conclusion is that it will be impossible to completely understand the complex response of our metabolism to exercise with just a few metabolic markers. When evaluating the systemic reaction to this type of stimulus, it must be taken into account that in addition to competition, the final effect is determined by the diet, hydration, training and overall health of the athlete. Metabolomics studies, which measure a large number of metabolites simultaneously, have a great opportunity to contribute to this goal.
Daniel Oscar Cicero
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Chimiche, Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Italy
Salivary Metabolome and Soccer Match: Challenges for Understanding Exercise induced Changes
Pitti E, Petrella G, Di Marino S, Summa V, Perrone M, D’Ottavio S, Bernardini A, Cicero DO
Metabolites. 2019 Jul 11
|Do patients return to sport activities after total… Total hip replacement (THR) is a successful procedure to treat end-stage hip osteoarthritis. The procedure is increasingly performed in adults of working age, who often wish to return to highly…|
|Bell ringers: Concussion problems in youth football players Concussion has become an important topic in sports news and research. While researchers are studying the mental, physical, and emotional effects of concussion within professional, college, and high school athletes;…|
|Body composition and left ventricular hypertrophy in… Cardiac adaptation to intense physical training is determined by many factors including age, lifestyle, body size, training load, ethnicity and sex. Females show a lower cardiac mass than males, the…|
|Heart medication and metabolism: What physicians… Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally and have been for a long time. This spotlight has ensured that doctors treating patients with heart problems have a wide…|
|Complexity and behavioral diversity in evolving… Evolutionary Game Theory - an application of game theory to evolving populations in biology, introduced by Maynard Smith and Price in 1973 - provides a mathematical framework describing dynamics of…|
|Talking about childhood music: A twin study To what extent do childhood experiences of music practice influence thinking about music later in life? We could get an idea about this if we talk about childhood music memories while physiological recordings are made concomitantly.…|