Gastrointestinal Hormones, Morphological Characteristics, and Physical Performance in Elite Soccer Players

Iyed Salhi, Abderraouf Ben Aabderrahman, Raoua Triki, Cain C T Clark, Sabri Gaed, Anthony C Hackney, Ayoub Saeidi, Ismail Laher, Jennifer A Kurtz, Trisha A VanDusseldorp, Hassane Zouhal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    PURPOSE: To determine the relationship between gastrointestinal hormones (leptin, glucagon-like peptide-1), ghrelin, cholecystokinin, peptide YY, morphological characteristics, and physical performances in elite soccer players.

    METHODS: Q2 Twenty-two elite male soccer players (age = 23.1 [2.7] y, height = 177.0 [0.1] cm, weight = 70.2 [2.9] kg, body mass index = 22.1 [1.8] kg/m2) completed 3-day food records each week during the 5-week training period. Blood samples were drawn after an overnight fast before and after preseason training to assess gastrointestinal hormones (leptin, glucagon-like peptide-1, ghrelin, cholecystokinin, and peptide YY). Continuous analysis of the training load was used during the training period. Preintervention and postintervention tests assessed jumping (countermovement jump), sprinting (10, 20, and 30 m), and endurance fitness (the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 [YYIRT1]) levels.

    RESULTS: Preseason training decreased body mass index (P = .001; effect size [ES] = 0.183) and body fat percentage (P = .001; ES = 0.516). There were increases in countermovement jump (P = .032; ES = 0.215), 20- (P = .016; ES = 0.195) and 30-m sprints (P = .001; ES = 0.188), and YYIRT1 performance (P = .001; ES = 0.9). Levels of cholecystokinin, peptide YY, and ghrelin did not change during preseason training, although changes in leptin (P = .001; ES = 0.41) and glucagon-like peptide-1 levels (P = .039; ES = 0.606) were recorded. Leptinemia correlated with anthropometric parameters (body mass index, r = .77, P = .001; percentage of body fat,r = .67, P = .006) and the total distance covered during the YYIRT1 (r = -.54; P = .03).

    CONCLUSION: Changes in morphological parameters and physical performance in elite-level male soccer players are related to variations in selected gastrointestinal hormones.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1371-1381
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
    Issue number9
    Early online date23 Mar 2022
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


    • preseason
    • training
    • gut hormones
    • ghrelin
    • leptin
    • cholecystokinin
    • peptide YY
    • glucagon-like peptide-1


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