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Alexander J. Koch, Jeffrey A. Potteiger, Marcia A. Chan, Stephen H. Benedict and Bruce B. Frey

The effect of carbohydrate supplementation (CHO) on the lymphocyte response to acute resistance exercise was examined in 10 resistance-trained males. Subjects completed a randomized double-blind protocol with sessions separated by 14 days. The exercise session consisted of a high intensity, short rest interval squat workout. Subjects consumed 1.0 g · kg body mass−1 CHO or an equal volume of placebo (PLC) 10 min prior to and 10 min following exercise. Blood was collected at rest (REST), immediately post exercise (POST), and at 1.5 hours and 4.0 hours of recovery, and analyzed for plasma glucose, serum cortisol, leukocyte subsets, and phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation. A significant Treatment × Time effect was observed for lymphocyte proliferation between CHO and PLC, but post hoc analyses revealed no between-treatment differences at any post-exercise time point. Lymphocyte proliferation was significantly depressed below REST at POST (−39.2% for PLC, −25.7% for CHO). Significant fluctuations in leukocyte subset trafficking were observed for both treatments at POST, 1.5 hours, and 4.0 hours. Plasma glucose was significantly increased POST in CHO compared to PLC. Cortisol was significantly increased from REST to POST in both treatments. These data support a minimal effect of carbohydrate ingestion on the lymphocyte response to high-intensity resistance exercise.