Emanuele Cannizzaro, Fabiana Plescia, Luigi Cirrincione, Emanuele Lo Pinto, Fulvio Plescia
Agonistic sport represents a physically stressful situation associated with the release of catecholamine and cortisol that in turn influence the immune system. This study aimed to investigate the influence, in a team of water polo players, of the emotional processes characterizing the phase of waiting for the race on endocrine changes at the end of an official match. Thirteen professional water polo players participated in this study. Each player provided two saliva samples before and after three different time phases: (1) rest time, (2) workout and (3) competition. The results of the present study showed a significant increase in salivary cortisol levels before and after the competition and after workout sections. Our research confirms that the changes observed in athletes after the official competition depend both on the effects of the psycho-physical stress of the race and on other behavioral factors present before the athletic competition.