European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 115, Issue 12, pp 2521–2530 | Cite as

Acute dietary carbohydrate manipulation and the subsequent inflammatory and hepcidin responses to exercise

  • Claire E. Badenhorst
  • Brian Dawson
  • Gregory R. Cox
  • Coby M. Laarakkers
  • Dorine W. Swinkels
  • Peter Peeling
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the effects of 24-h controlled carbohydrate intake on next day pre- and post-exercise inflammatory and hepcidin responses.

Methods

In a crossover design, 12 well-trained endurance athletes (Ht 181.08 ± 7.68 cm; Wt 74.8 ± 11.5 kg, VO2peak 68.9 ± 7.2 ml kg−1 min−1) completed two experimental (2-day) trials. On day 1, participants completed a glycogen depletion task, including a 16-km run (80 % vVO2peak) and 5 × 1 min efforts (130 % vVO2peak) separated by 2-min recovery. Subsequently, strict dietary control was enforced for 24 h, where low carbohydrate (LCHO 3 g kg−1) or high carbohydrate (HCHO 10 g kg−1) diets were provided. Twenty-four hours later, participants completed an 8 × 3 min interval running session at 85 % vVO2peak followed by 3-h monitored recovery. Venous blood samples were collected pre-, immediately post- and 3-h post-exercise, which were analyzed for interleukin-6, serum iron, ferritin and hepcidin.

Results

Interleukin-6 was elevated (p < 0.001) immediately post-exercise compared to baseline in both conditions, but was lower in HCHO (p = 0.015). Hepcidin levels were also lower at baseline (p = 0.049) in HCHO, and a large effect (d = 0.72) indicated a trend for lower levels at 3-h post-exercise compared to LCHO. Serum iron was increased post-exercise for both trials (p = 0.001), whereas serum ferritin remained unchanged.

Conclusions

Twenty-four hours of controlled low carbohydrate intake resulted in higher baseline hepcidin levels and post-exercise IL-6 responses than a high carbohydrate intake. Such hormone increases may be induced by gluconeogenic signaling of the liver, and may negatively impact an athlete’s iron metabolism.

Keywords

Carbohydrates Iron metabolism Inflammation Athletes 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

BLa

Blood lactate

cAMP

Cyclic adenosine monophosphate

CHO

Carbohydrate

CO2

Carbon dioxide

CREBH

cAMP response element-binding protein

CV

Coefficient of variation

Fpn

Ferroportin

GXT

Graded exercise test

HAMP

Hepcidin gene

Hb

Haemoglobin

HCHO

High carbohydrate trial

Hct

Haematocrit

Hp

Haptoglobin

HR

Heart rate

IL-6

Interleukin-6

LCHO

Low carbohydrate trial

LSD

Least significant difference

O2

Oxygen

PPARGG1A

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 α

RPE

Rating of perceived exertion

SD

Standard deviation

TLCH

Train Low, Compete High

VO2peak

Peak oxygen uptake

vVO2peak

Velocity at peak oxygen uptake

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the High Performance Sports Research Grant funding received from the Australian Sports Commission.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire E. Badenhorst
    • 1
  • Brian Dawson
    • 1
  • Gregory R. Cox
    • 2
  • Coby M. Laarakkers
    • 3
    • 4
  • Dorine W. Swinkels
    • 3
    • 4
  • Peter Peeling
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Sport Science, Exercise and HealthThe University of Western Australia, M408CrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of SportGold CoastAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Laboratory Medicine (LGEM 830)Radboud University Medical CenterNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Hepcidinanalysis.comNijmegenThe Netherlands

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