Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Chemistry Dept.


Julie T Millard


Fatigue in athletes caused by inadequate rest and other stressors can be severely detrimental to their health, and yet there is no reliable way to measure and track fatigue. Many classical measures of fatigue like body mass and resting heart rate are not reliable ways to track the physical fatigue of an athlete because they can change with many factors. In addition, it is not known how academic stress on top of physical stress affects fatigue. Metabolomics is a relatively new area of study and tracking metabolites offers the possibility to produce biomarkers to assess fatigue. This study collected saliva samples from 10 football players to determine salivary levels of the metabolites cortisol, alanine and glutamine to track the fatigue of the subjects. Due to the small subject pool, much of the changes in classical fatigue measures and metabolite concentrations were determined to be statistically insignificant. Even so, alanine exhibited relatively small changes in concentration, while glutamine exhibited a drop over the course of the football season. Cortisol did not seem to show any consistent trends.


Fatigue, Athletics, Glutamine, Alanine, Cortisol, Metabolomics