PURPOSE: This investigation examined if a high carbohydrate (CHO) diet, maintained across a seven-day training period, could attenuate post-exercise interleukin-6 (IL-6) and serum hepcidin levels. METHODS: Twelve endurance-trained male athletes completed two seven-day running training blocks whilst consuming either a high (8 g kg(-1)) versus a low (3 g kg(-1)) CHO isoenergetic diet. Each training block consisted of five running sessions performed on days 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7, with the intensity and duration of each session matched between training weeks. Serum levels of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and hepcidin were measured pre- and either immediately (IL-6) or 3-h (hepcidin) post-exercise on days 1 and 7 of each training week. RESULTS: During each training week, the immediate post-exercise IL-6 and 3-h post-exercise serum hepcidin levels were significantly elevated (both p = 0.001) from pre-exercise on days 1 and 7. These increases were not different between trials. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the ingestion of a high (compared to low) CHO diet over a seven-day training period is ineffective in attenuating post-exercise IL-6 and hepcidin responses. Such results may be due to the modest training load, the increased protein intake in the low-CHO trial, and a 48 h recovery period prior to sample collection on day 7, allowing a full recovery of muscle glycogen status between exercise sessions.
PURPOSE: To assess the influence of a simulated altitude exposure (~2,900 m above sea level) for a 3 h recovery period following intense interval running on post-exercise inflammation, serum iron, ferritin, erythropoietin, and hepcidin response. METHODS: In a cross-over design, ten well-trained male endurance athletes completed two 8 x 3 min interval running sessions at 85 % of their maximal aerobic velocity on a motorized treadmill, before being randomly assigned to either a hypoxic (HYP: F IO2 ~0.1513) or a normoxic (NORM: F IO2 0.2093) 3 h recovery period. Venous blood was collected pre- and immediately post-exercise, and after 3 and 24 h of recovery. Blood was analyzed for interleukin-6, serum iron, ferritin, erythropoietin, and hepcidin. RESULTS: Interleukin-6 was significantly elevated (p < 0.01) immediately post-exercise compared to baseline (NORM: 1.08 +/- 0.061 to 3.12 +/- 1.80) (HYP: 1.32 +/- 0.86 to 2.99 +/- 2.02), but was not different between conditions. Hepcidin levels were significantly elevated (p < 0.01) at 3 h post-exercise for both conditions when compared to baseline (NORM: 3.25 +/- 1.23 to 7.40 +/- 4.00) (HYP: 3.24 +/- 1.94 to 5.42 +/- 3.20), but were significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the HYP trial compared to NORM. No significant differences existed between HYP and NORM for erythropoietin, serum iron, or ferritin. CONCLUSION: Simulated altitude exposure (~2,900 m) for 3 h following intense interval running attenuates the peak hepcidin levels recorded at 3 h post-exercise. Consequently, a hypoxic recovery after exercise may be useful for athletes with compromised iron status to potentially increase acute dietary iron absorption.