Purpose: To investigate the effect of acute alcohol consumption on muscular performance recovery, assessed by maximal torque production, and on inflammatory capacity, assessed by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated cytokine production, following muscle-damaging resistance exercise in women.
Methods: Thirteen recreationally resistance-trained women completed two identical exercise bouts (300 maximal single-leg eccentric leg extensions) followed by alcohol (1.09 g ethanol kg-1 fat-free body mass) or placebo ingestion. Blood was collected before (PRE), and 5 (5 h-POST), 24 (24 h-POST), and 48 (48 h-POST) hours after exercise and analyzed for LPS-stimulated cytokine production (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 and IL-10). Maximal torque production (concentric, eccentric, isometric) was measured for each leg at PRE, 24 h-POST, and 48 h-POST.
Results: Although the exercise bout increased LPS-stimulated production of TNF-α (%change from PRE: 5 h-POST 109%; 24 h-POST 49%; 48 h-POST 40%) and decreased LPS-stimulated production of IL-8 (5 h-POST -40%; 24 h-POST -50%; 48 h-POST: -43%) and IL-10 (5 h-POST: -37%; 24 h-POST -32%; 48 h-POST -31%), consuming alcohol after exercise did not affect this response. Regardless of drink condition, concentric, eccentric, and isometric torque produced by the exercised leg were lower at 24 h-POST (concentric 106 ± 6 Nm, eccentric 144 ± 9 Nm, isometric 128 ± 8 Nm; M ± SE) compared to PRE (concentric 127 ± 7 Nm, eccentric 175 ± 11 Nm, isometric 148 ± 8 Nm). Eccentric torque production was partially recovered and isometric torque production was fully recovered by 48 h-POST.
Conclusions: Alcohol consumed after muscle-damaging resistance exercise does not appear to affect inflammatory capacity or muscular performance recovery in resistance-trained women. Combined with previous findings in men, these results suggest a gender difference regarding effects of alcohol on exercise recovery.
Keywords: Binge drinking; Cytokines; Lipopolysaccharide; Muscle damage; Resistance exercise.