The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of pre-exercise high carbohydrate meals with high glycemic index (HGI) or low glycemic index (LGI) on blood leukocyte redistribution during subsequent endurance exercise. Eight male subjects performed a 90-min run on a treadmill at 70% VO2max 3 h after ingesting an isocaloric HGI or LGI meal with GI values of 77 and 37, respectively. Blood counts of leukocytes, and neutrophils and the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio were significantly lower in LGI than HGI at 90 min of exercise (P < 0.05). The plasma glucose concentrations were significantly higher in LGI than HGI between 15 min and 45 min of exercise. There were, however, no differences in plasma cortisol, growth hormone, and interleukin-6 concentrations between trials. Thus, the GI of a pre-exercise meal influences leukocyte trafficking and plasma glucose but has limited effects on circulating stress hormone and cytokine responses to exercise.
Li is with the Dept of Sports and Leisure Studies, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan. Wu is with the Dept of Exercise and Health Sciences, National Taiwan College of Physical Education, Taichung, Taiwan. Gleeson and Williams are with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Lough-borough University, Leicestershire, UK, LE11 3TU.