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Current literature review provides an evaluation of advantages and limitations of biochemical control objects representing functional state of athletes as well as the outlook for using alternative targets regarding sports medicine. Traditionally, invasive procedures (venous blood collection, muscle biopsy) have been known as the gold standard for analyzing a wide range of biomarkers which could be employed as effective diagnostic tools to control the course of adaptation processes, monitor performance, overtraining and physical well-being of athletes, but these techniques are painful, time-consuming and place demands on storage and shipment. In this behalf finding an alternative objects for biochemical research that does not have disadvantages given above is the question of present interest. Saliva and dry blood spots (DBS) could serve as equally informative and promising targets for monitoring athletes’ condition. The non-invasive nature of saliva collection allows to shorten sample collection time, reduce stress hormones levels and possible infection contamination. Moreover, collecting saliva process does not require special equipment and trained medical staff which is particularly important when athletes are at training camps. The DBS method has successfully proven itself with regard to neonatal screening and pharmacokinetics studies. Its key benefits are simplicity, small volume of bioliquid, enhanced stability of adsorbed biomarkers on the card surface, lack of special storage and transportation requirements and low costs for samples shipment to the laboratory. Taken together outlined advantages will provide the opportunity to increase the frequency of biomaterial collection to perform selective observation of training loads effects on various systems of athletes’ body. The combination of DBS with immunochemical and mass-spectrometric approaches could serve as an efficient instrument to investigate the role of various biomarkers in monitoring the functional state of athletes. We searched for articles in MedLine database with the key words «dry blood spots», «saliva», «sports medicine», «sample collection», «sports biochemistry».

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