This study investigated the effect of a fed or fasted state on the salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) response to prolonged cycling. Using a randomized, crossover design, 16 active adults (8 men and 8 women) performed 2 hr of cycling on a stationary ergometer at 65% of maximal oxygen uptake on 1 occasion after an overnight fast (FAST) and on another occasion 2 hr after consuming a 2.2-MJ high-carbohydrate meal (FED). Timed, unstimulated whole saliva samples were collected immediately before ingestion of the meal, immediately preexercise, 5 min before cessation of exercise, immediately postexercise, and 1 hr postexercise. The samples were analyzed for s-IgA concentration, osmolality, and cortisol, and saliva flow rates were determined to calculate s-IgA secretion rate. Saliva flow rate decreased by 50% during exercise (p < .05), and s-IgA concentration increased by 42% (p < .05), but s-IgA secretion rate remained unchanged. There was a 37% reduction in s-IgA:osmolality postexercise (p < .05), and salivary cortisol increased by 68% (p < .05). There was no effect of FED vs. FAST on these salivary responses. The s-IgA concentration, secretion rate, and osmolality were found to be significantly lower in women than in men throughout the exercise protocol (p < .05); however, there was no difference between genders in saliva flow rate, s-IgA:osmolality ratio, or cortisol. These data demonstrate that a fed or fasted state 2 hr before exercise does not influence resting s-IgA or the response to prolonged cycling. Furthermore, these results show lower levels of s-IgA and osmolality in women than in men at rest.
Allgrove is with the School of Science, University of Greenwich at Medway, Kent, ME4 4TB, UK. Geneen, Latif, and Gleeson are with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU, UK.