The effect of dietary control and carbohydrate supplementation on the immune and hormonal responses to rowing exercise

Sellar, Christopher M.; Syrotuik, Daniel G.; Field, Catherine J.; Bell, Gordon J.
October 2006
Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism;Oct2006, Vol. 31 Issue 5, p588
Academic Journal
To determine the effect of carbohydrate supplementation on the immune and stress hormone responses to 1 h of strenuous rowing exercise, 22 male subjects were randomly assigned to a placebo (PLA, n = 11) or carbohydrate (CHO, n = 11) group. Subjects completed 3 d of modified dietary intake, a standardized pre-exercise meal, and consumed either a carbohydrate beverage (1 g·kg body mass–1) or a non-caloric placebo drink before, during, and after a 1 h rowing trial. Increases were observed in adrenocorticotrophic hormone, cortisol, blood leukocytes, neutrophils, and natural killer cell concentrations and activity, whereas the ability of peripheral blood monouclear cells (PBMCs) to respond (interleukin-2 (IL-2) production) to stimulation was reduced 5 min after exercise in both groups (p < 0.05). Lymphocytes were also elevated, but in the PLA group only (p < 0.05). One hour after exercise, blood leukocytes remained elevated owing to increased neutrophil concentrations, whereas a number of lymphocyte subsets (CD3+, CD3+/4+, CD3+/8+, CD20+, CD25+, CD4+/25+, CD8+/25+) and the ability of PBMCs to respond to stimulation (IL-2, interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production) were lower than resting values in both groups (p < 0.05). Carbohydrate supplementation to athletes in the post-prandial state undergoing a 1 h rowing trial resulted in attenuation of the post-exercise increase in peripheral blood lymphocyte concentration, but had little effect on the ability of PBMCs to produce cytokines following stimulation, natural killer cell activity, stress hormone concentrations, exercise performance, or self-reported incidence of illness during the 14 d period following the experimental trial.


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