Introduction: Strenuous physical stress induces a range of physiological responses, the extent depending, among others, on the nature and severity of the exercise, a person’s training level and overall physical resilience. This principle can also be used in an experimental set-up by measuring time-dependent changes in biomarkers for physiological processes. In a previous report, we described the effects of workload delivered on a bicycle ergometer on intestinal functionality. As a follow-up, we here describe an analysis of the kinetics of various other biomarkers. Aim: To analyse the time-dependent changes of 34 markers for different metabolic and immunological processes, comparing four different exercise protocols and a rest protocol. Methods: After determining individual maximum workloads, 15 healthy male participants (20–35 years) started with a rest protocol and subsequently performed (in a cross-over design with 1-week wash-out) four exercise protocols of 1-h duration at different intensities: 70% Wmax in a hydrated and a mildly dehydrated state, 50% Wmax and intermittent 85/55% Wmax in blocks of 2 min. Perceived exertion was monitored using the Borg’ Rating of Perceived Exertion scale. Blood samples were collected both before and during exercise, and at various timepoints up to 24 h afterward. Data was analyzed using a multilevel mixed linear model with multiple test correction. Results: Kinetic changes of various biomarkers were exercise-intensity-dependent. Biomarkers included parameters indicative of metabolic activity (e.g., creatinine, bicarbonate), immunological and hematological functionality (e.g., leukocytes, hemoglobin) and intestinal physiology (citrulline, intestinal fatty acid-binding protein, and zonulin). In general, responses to high intensity exercise of 70% Wmax and intermittent exercise i.e., 55/85% Wmax were more pronounced compared to exercise at 50% Wmax. Conclusion: High (70 and 55/85% Wmax) and moderate (50% Wmax) intensity exercise in a bicycle ergometer test produce different time-dependent changes in a broad range of parameters indicative of metabolic activity, immunological and hematological functionality and intestinal physiology. These parameters may be considered biomarkers of homeostatic resilience. Mild dehydration intensifies these time-related changes. Moderate intensity exercise of 50% Wmax shows sufficient physiological and immunological responses and can be employed to test the health condition of less fit individuals.
- physiological responses