INTRODUCTION: Uric acid (UA), a major plasmatic antioxidant is an intracellular scavenger, especially during metabolic stress. UA serum concentration could be important for evaluating oxidant stress and the correspondent response in sportsmen, who are prone to the risk of oxidant increase and related cell and tissue damage. METHODS: Blood was collected from 10 male and 8 female alpine skiers from the Italian National Team (current age range, 26-33 and 24-28 years, respectively) over an entire season. The analyses were performed using an uricase-based enzymatic method. RESULTS: Mean UA values were 3.8 mg/dl in females and 4.8 mg/dl in males: a significant difference between genders was maintained across all four competitive seasons. No differences emerged within either gender during each season nor between different intra-seasonal or inter-seasonal blood drawings in individual athletes. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that serum UA in top-level athletes is a stable parameter. High-intensity workload caused serum UA changes lower than biological variability both within the competitive season or between different seasons. Serum UA increased immediately after exercise, but the resting concentration was not influenced by sports activity. The data of our study showed that this parameter is not useful for marking high physical demand or overtraining.
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