Plasma cytokine responses to resistance exercise with different nutrient availability on a concurrent exercise day in trained healthy males

Physiol Rep. 2018 Jun;6(11):e13708. doi: 10.14814/phy2.13708.


Carbohydrate availability is proposed as a potential regulator of cytokine responses. We aimed to evaluate the effect of a preresistance exercise carbohydrate meal versus fat meal on plasma cytokine responses to resistance exercise after an endurance exercise earlier that day. Thirteen young, healthy, recreationally active males performed two experimental days with endurance exercise in the morning and resistance exercise in the afternoon. Either a carbohydrate (110 g carbohydrate, 52 g protein, 9 g fat; ~750 kcal) or an isocaloric fat meal (20 gr carbohydrate, 52 g protein, 51 g fat) was provided 2 h before resistance exercise. Blood was taken at baseline and at regular time intervals to measure circulating plasma cytokine levels (e.g. IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-15, TNFα, ANGPTL4, decorin and MCP-1). Plasma glucose and insulin were higher in the postprandial period before the start of the resistance exercise on the carbohydrate condition, while free fatty acids were reduced. At 2 h postresistance exercise, IL-6 concentrations were higher in the fat condition compared to the carbohydrate condition (P < 0.05). In addition, in both conditions IL-6 levels were higher at all time points compared with baseline (P < 0.05). The pattern of increase in plasma IL-8 and IL-10 did not differ significantly between conditions (P > 0.05). There were no differences between conditions on TNFα levels and levels remain constant when compared with baseline (P > 0.05). ANGPTL4, IL-15, Decorin and MCP-1 showed no differences between the fat and carbohydrate condition (P > 0.05). The composition of the pre-exercise meal did in general not influence cytokine responses in the postresistance exercise period, except postresistance exercise circulating plasma IL-6 levels being higher in the fat condition compared with carbohydrate. Our findings support the view that pre-exercise carbohydrate availability does not have a major impact on acute responses of circulating plasma cytokines in humans.

Keywords: Circulating cytokines; Nutrient availability; endurance exercise; resistance exercise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Physical Endurance
  • Postprandial Period
  • Resistance Training*
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cytokines
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Insulin
  • Glycogen