Testosterone-cortisol ratio

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In human biology, the testosterone-cortisol ratio describes the ratio between testosterone, the primary male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid, and cortisol, another steroid hormone, in the human body.[1]

The ratio is often used as a biomarker of physiological stress in athletes during training, during athletic performance, and during recovery, and has been explored as a predictor of performance.[1][2][3] At least among weight-lifters, the ratio tracks linearly with increases in training volume over the first year of training but the relationship breaks down after that.[1] A lower ratio in weight-lifters just prior to performance appears to predict better performance.[1]

The ratio has been studied as a possible biomarker for criminal aggression, but as of 2009 its usefulness was uncertain.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Storey A, Smith HK (September 2012). "Unique aspects of competitive weightlifting: performance, training and physiology". Sports Medicine. 42 (9): 769–90. doi:10.1007/BF03262294. PMID 22873835.
  2. ^ Reilly T, Ekblom B (June 2005). "The use of recovery methods post-exercise". Journal of Sports Sciences. 23 (6): 619–27. CiteSeerX doi:10.1080/02640410400021302. PMID 16195010.
  3. ^ Mujika I, Padilla S, Pyne D, Busso T (2004). "Physiological changes associated with the pre-event taper in athletes". Sports Medicine. 34 (13): 891–927. doi:10.2165/00007256-200434130-00003. PMID 15487904.
  4. ^ Terburg D, Morgan B, van Honk J (2009-06-01). "The testosterone-cortisol ratio: A hormonal marker for proneness to social aggression". secondary. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 32 (4): 216–23. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2009.04.008. PMID 19446881.