The aim was to investigate the effects of 48 hr of fluid, energy, or combined fluid and energy restriction on circulating leukocyte and lymphocyte subset counts (CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+) and bacterially stimulated neutrophil degranulation at rest and after exercise. Thirteen healthy men (M ± SEM age 21 ± 1 yr) participated in 4 randomized 48-hr trials. During control (CON) participants received their estimated energy (2,903 ± 17 kcal/day) and fluid (3,912 ± 140 ml/day) requirements. During fluid restriction (FR) they received their energy requirements and 193 ± 19 ml/day water to drink. During energy restriction (ER) they received their fluid requirements and 290 ± 6 kcal/day. Fluid and energy restriction (F+ER) was a combination of FR and ER. After 48 hr, participants performed a 30-min treadmill time trial (TT) followed by rehydration (0–2 hr) and refeeding (2–6 hr). Circulating leukocyte and lymphocyte counts remained unchanged for CON and FR. Circulating leukocyte, lymphocyte, CD3+, and CD4+ counts decreased by ~20% in ER and ~30% in F+ER by 48 hr (p < .01), returning to within 0-hr values by 6 hr post-TT. Circulating neutrophil count and degranulation were unaltered by dietary restriction at rest and after TT. In conclusion, a 48-hr period of ER and F+ER, but not FR, decreased circulating leukocyte, lymphocyte, CD3+, and CD4+ counts but not neutrophil count or degranulation. Circulating leukocyte and lymphocyte counts normalized on refeeding. Finally, dietary restriction did not alter circulating leukocyte, lymphocyte, and neutrophil responses to 30 min of maximal exercise.
Laing is with the Olympic Medical Institute, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, HA1 3UJ, UK. Oliver, Wilson, and Walsh are with the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, LL57 2PZ, UK. Walters is with the Haematology Dept., Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, LL57 2PW, UK. Bilzon is with Headquarters Army Recruiting and Training Division, Upavon, SN9 6BE, UK.