Long-chain n-3 PUFA can lower blood pressure (BP) but their acute effects on cardiac output, BP and systemic vascular resistance (SVR) in response to dynamic exercise are uncertain. We compared the effects of high-fat meals rich in EPA (20 : 5n-3), DHA (22 : 6n-3) or oleic acid (control) on cardiac output, BP and SVR in response to exercise stress testing. High-fat meals (50 g fat) containing high-oleic sunflower oil enriched with 4·7 g of either EPA or DHA v. control (high-oleic sunflower oil only) were fed to twenty-two healthy males using a randomised cross-over design. Resting measurements of cardiac output, heart rate and BP were made before and hourly over 5 h following the meal. A standardised 12 min exercise test was then conducted with further measurements made during and post-exercise. Blood samples were collected at fasting, 5 h postprandially and immediately post-exercise for the analysis of lipid, glucose and 8-isoprostane-F2α (8-iso-PGF2α). Plasma concentrations of EPA and DHA increased by 0·22 mmol/l 5 h following the EPA and DHA meals, respectively, compared with the control (P < 0·001). Resting cardiac output and 8-iso-PGF2α increased similarly following all meals and there were no significant differences in cardiac output during exercise between the meals. SVR was lower at 5 h and during exercise following the DHA but not EPA meal, compared with the control meal, by 4·9 % (95 % CI 1·3, 8·4; P < 0·01). Meals containing DHA appear to differ from EPA with regard to their effects on cardiovascular haemodynamics during exercise.