This study examined the influence of insulin and glucose on the transcapillary fluid absorption during lower body negative pressure (LBNP) in humans. Ten healthy males [23 (1) years] were exposed to LBNP of 45 cmH(2)O on two occasions: (1) before and during a hyperinsulinaemic clamp (HI) and (2) before and during a hyperglycaemic clamp (HG). Transcapillary fluid absorption and blood flow were recorded with volumetric technique. Forearm blood flow increased during HI from 2.3 (0.3) ml (100 ml)(-1) min(-1) to 3.3 (0.5) ml (100 ml)(-1) min(-1) (P<0.05). The haemodynamic response to LBNP was similar during HI and HG compared with control LBNP. Transcapillary fluid absorption during LBNP increased during HG from 0.044 (0.007) ml (100 ml)(-1) min(-1) to 0.059 (0.009) ml (100 ml)(-1) min(-1) (P<0.01), whereas it was unchanged during HI. In conclusion, hyperglycaemia augments transcapillary fluid absorption from skeletal muscle and skin during LBNP whereas hyperinsulinaemia has no such effect. This indicates that in human hyperglycaemia contributes to plasma volume restitution during hypovolaemic circulatory stress.