Oral Contraceptive Use does not Negatively Affect Body Composition and Strength Adaptations in Trained Women

Ramón Romance, Salvador Vargas, Sergio Espinar, Jorge L Petro, Diego A Bonilla, Brad J Schöenfeld, Richard B Kreider, Javier Benítez-Porres
International Journal of Sports Medicine 2019, 40 (13): 842-849
The purpose was to analyze the influence of oral contraceptive use on body composition and strength levels in trained women. Twenty-three resistance-trained women participated in this study (age=27.4±3.4 years; fat mass=28.0±5.0%; BMI=22.9±2.7 kg∙m-2). Subjects performed an 8-week non-linear resistance-training program. Participants were assigned to either a group that consumed oral contraceptives (n=12, OC) or to a group that did not consume (n=11, NOC). Changes in body composition were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Strength performance was assessed via the one maximum repetition (1RM) test in the squat and bench press, and muscular power was evaluated using the countermovement jump (CMJ) test. Fat free mass increased significantly in OC but no changes were seen in NOC. There were no changes in fat mass for either OC or NOC. Significant changes were found in bench press 1RM for both OC and NOC; similarly, increases in squat 1RM were reported in OC and NOC. Alternatively, no significant changes were found in CMJ in both OC and NOC. No significant between-group differences were detected in any of the studied variables. The use of oral contraceptives during resistance training did not negatively affect body composition or strength levels in trained women.

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