Citation Info

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 32(8):1384-1389. Available:

Influence of carbohydrate on cytokine and phagocytic responses to 2 h of rowing.

Henson DA, Nieman DC, Nelson-Cannarella SL, Fagoaga OR, Shannon M, Bolton MR, Davis JM, Gaffney CT, Kellin WJ, Austin MD, Hiertman JM, Schilling BK.


This study examined the influence of carbohydrate (C) versus placebo (P) beverage ingestion on the phagocytic and cytokine responses to normal rowing training by 15 elite female rowers.

METHODS: Athletes received C or P before, during and after, two, 2-h bouts of rowing performed on consecutive days. Blood was collected before and 5-10 min and 1.5 h after rowing. Metabolic measures indicated that training was performed at moderate intensities, with some high-intensity intervals interspersed throughout the sessions.

RESULTS: Concentrations of blood neutrophils and monocytes, phagocytic activity, and plasma IL-1ra were significantly lower postexercise after C versus P ingestion. No differences were observed for oxidative burst activity, IL-6, IL-8, or TNF°. Glucose was significantly higher after 2 h f rowing with C ingestion; however, cortisol, growth hormone, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and CRP were not affected by carbohydrate.

These data indicate that carbohydrate compared with placebo ingestion attenuated the moderate rise in blood neutrophils, monocytes, phagocytosis, and plasma IL-1ra concentrations that followed 2-h bouts of training in elite female rowers. No changes in blood hormone concentrations were found.