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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Oct;115(10):2215-22. doi: 10.1007/s00421-015-3202-0. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Timing of post-exercise carbohydrate ingestion: influence on IL-6 and hepcidin responses.

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School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health (M408), The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia.
School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health (M408), The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia.
Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Department of Laboratory Medicine (TML 830), Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
5, Geert Grooteplein 10 (830), 6525 GA, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Carbohydrate ingestion prior and during exercise attenuates exercise-induced interleukin-6. This investigation examined if an analogous effect was evident for interleukin-6 and hepcidin response when carbohydrates were ingested post-exercise.


In a crossover design, 11 well-trained endurance athletes completed two experimental trials. Participants completed an 8 × 3 min interval running session at 85 % vVO2peak followed by 5 h of monitored recovery. During this period, participants were provided with two 1.2 g kg(-1) carbohydrate beverages at either an early feeding time (immediately post-exercise and 2 h post-exercise) or delayed feeding time (2 h post-exercise and 4 h post-exercise). Venous blood samples were collected pre-, immediately post-, 3 and 5 h post-exercise. Samples were analysed for Interleukin-6, serum iron, serum ferritin and hepcidin.


Interleukin-6 was significantly elevated (p = 0.004) immediately post-exercise compared to baseline for both trials. Hepcidin levels were significantly elevated at 3 h post-exercise (p = 0.001) and 5 h post-exercise (p = 0.002) compared to baseline levels in both trials, with no significant difference between the two conditions and any time point. Serum iron was significantly increased from baseline to immediately post-exercise (p = 0.001) for both trials, with levels decreasing by 3 h (p = 0.025) and 5 h post-exercise (p = 0.001). Serum ferritin levels increased immediately post-exercise compared to baseline (p = 0.006) in both conditions.


The timing and ingestion of post-exercise carbohydrate ingestion do not appear to impact post-exercise interleukin-6 and hepcidin responses; this is likely a result of the interval running task inducing an inflammatory response and subsequent up-regulation of hepcidin.


Cytokine; Interval running; Iron metabolism; Nutrition

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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