Low volume-high intensity interval exercise elicits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in humans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the present study was to compare acute changes in oxidative stress and inflammation in response to steady state and low volume, high intensity interval exercise (LV-HIIE). Untrained healthy males (n = 10, mean ± s: age 22 ± 3 years; VO2MAX 42.7 ± 5.0 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1)) undertook three exercise bouts: a bout of LV-HIIE (10 × 1 min 90% VO2MAX intervals) and two energy-matched steady-state cycling bouts at a moderate (60% VO2MAX; 27 min, MOD) and high (80% VO2MAX; 20 min, HIGH) intensity on separate days. Markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and physiological stress were assessed before, at the end of exercise and 30 min post-exercise (post+30). At the end of all exercise bouts, significant changes in lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH) and protein carbonyls (PCs) (LOOH (nM): MOD +0.36; HIGH +3.09; LV-HIIE +5.51 and PC (nmol · mg(-1) protein): MOD -0.24; HIGH -0.11; LV-HIIE -0.37) were observed. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) increased post+30, relative to the end of all exercise bouts (TAC (µM): MOD +189; HIGH +135; LV-HIIE +102). Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10 increased post+30 in HIGH and LV-HIIE only (P < 0.05). HIGH caused the greatest lymphocytosis, adrenaline and cardiovascular response (P < 0.05). At a reduced energy cost and physiological stress, LV-HIIE elicited similar cytokine and oxidative stress responses to HIGH.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Early online date27 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015