How a Sports Hormone Check can monitor health in Bodybuilders, Sports and Athletes

by imedical

Monday September 19th 2022

How a Sports Hormone Check can monitor health in Bodybuilders, Sports and Athletes-Sports-Blood-Checks01a

Hormones regulate every activity in your body, from metabolism and growth to reproduction and your sleep cycle. Whilst there are over 50 different hormones in the human body, there are more specific hormones that affect athletic performance, growth, strength and endurance. The slightest imbalance can cause fluctuations in your mood, motivation, and energy levels.

A sports hormone check can also include biomarkers such as iron status, thyroid hormones, haemaglobin, red and white blood cells, adrenocortex function (serum), and cholesterol levels. However, let's look at some of the most critical performance hormones you should pay attention to and note that these Hormones can be tested through medical blood test laboratories in Australia and are available without a doctors prescription.

1. Cortisol

You're probably no stranger to adrenaline; however, there's so much more your adrenal glands are responsible for. Cortisol is another hormone that affects your physical well-being, strength, and fitness levels.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone released when stimulated by the pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). It has a catabolic effect and converts amino acids from muscles into glucose in the liver for energy, i.e. muscle breakdown. It also stimulates the release of fatty acids from tissue to be used by your muscles whilst leaving glucose circulating through the blood to be used by the brain.

Cortisol is necessary for optimal metabolic function; however, chronically elevated levels lead to poorer physical performance. Conversely, if left unchecked, high cortisol levels result in muscular deterioration, suppressed immune function, and increased risk of injury. Low Cortisol needs investigation by your Dr


DHEA-S, on the other hand, has an anabolic effect, creating living tissue from the food. Again, produced by the adrenal glands, it's a steroid hormone found in males and females and is converted into androgens (testosterone and androstenedione) and estrogen. DHEA-S declines with age and serves as a biomarker to detect early signs of disease depending on high or low your levels are. Although DHEA-S is a prohibited substance for competitive athletes, it's possible to naturally adjust levels through nutrition and specific exercise routines.

Adrenocortex Function (serum) tests measure the hormones your adrenal glands produce. Balancing your cortisol and DHEA-S levels to maximise performance and endurance and maintain muscle strength is vital.

3. Testosterone

Testosterone is the hormone responsible for the male reproductive system and is produced in the testicles of men, and to a lesser degree, in women's ovaries. Testosterone influences muscle mass, bone mass, fat distribution, and the production of red blood cells. Although women typically have much lower testosterone levels, it's a hormone that plays a huge role in athletic performance.

Low testosterone in men can often be a reason for slow muscle growth, mood fluctuations, and lack of motivation, so it's important to rule this out as a cause.

If you're taking testosterone supplements, it's essential to check various markers, including haemoglobin, red cells, kidney and liver function, and cholesterol. Therefore, a male hormone and checkup panel test is recommended to assess a range of biomarkers such as E2, LH, FSH, SHBG, and testosterone.

4. Oestradiol (E2)

Oestradiol is a female steroid hormone responsible for maintaining the female reproductive system. Women have higher levels than men, but both sexes are affected by oestradiol as it plays a role in tissue formation and bone thickness.

In women, oestradiol levels decline with age, leading to various health ailments, including osteoporosis.

In Men, Excess Testosterone can be aromatase (converted) into E2. High E2 in Men may produce Gynecomastia (enlargement of male breast tissue).


In Men, LH (Luteinizing hormone) stimulates testosterone production in the testes. FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) helps control sperm production. With exogenous Testosterone use, FSH and LH production shut down because the body decides natural production is unnecessary. Natural FSH and LH levels will return to normal after a certain amount of time, usually months.

6. Prolactin

The main role if Prolactin it to promote lactation. High levels of Prolactin in Men can cause difficulty in getting an erection, as well as breast tenderness and gynecomastia. It has other roles such as regulating the immune system.

Why You Should Test Regularly

Whether you're a Body Builder, an Athlete, or simply striving to achieve maximum health and fitness, a sports hormone check can help you maximise the potential to achieve your goals.

Keeping track of your biomarkers helps you to understand how your training affects your body chemistry and to monitor for problems that may not otherwise be noticed. Additionally, areas for improvement can be seen.

Hormone and blood testing aren't necessarily required too often. With steroid use, testing a little more regularly is recommended. In addition, tests may be customised to suit your objectives.

Other non Pathology testing that may be suitable for chronic steroid users would be a Stress Echocardiogram. The Echocardiogram looks at the beating heart with ultrasound, requiring the heart to be put under stress while walking fast on a treadmill. A Cardiologist can then monitor any changes or problems in the hearts activity.

While Body builders are not generally at higer risk of kidney, liver and other health issues than the rest of the population it is worthwhile to monitor health. The exception would be with chronic steroid use and bloods should be monitored on a more regular basis.

If you are looking for the tools to carry out comprehensive Hormone testing without a doctors referral, keep in check your fitness progress or to help understand how Hormones affect your body, check out the range of hormone blood test panels we offer or create your own series of tests here - Build Your Own

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