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Does prior acute exercise affect postexercise substrate oxidation in response to a high carbohydrate meal?

Author(s): Long Wiley | Wells Katherine | Englert Virginia | Schmidt Stacy | Hickey Matthew | Melby Christopher

Journal: Nutrition & Metabolism
ISSN 1743-7075

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 2;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background Consumption of a mixed meal increases postprandial carbohydrate utilization and decreases fat oxidation. On the other hand, acute endurance exercise increases fat oxidation and decreases carbohydrate utilization during the post-exercise recovery period. It is possible that the resulting post-exercise increase in circulating nonesterified fatty acids could attenuate the ability of ingested carbohydrate to inhibit lipid oxidation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether prior exercise attenuates the usual meal-induced decline in lipid oxidation. Methods Six healthy, physically active young subjects (x age = 26.3 years, 4 males, 2 females) completed three treatments in random order after a ~10 h fast: (a) Exercise/Carbohydrate (Ex/CHO) – subjects completed a bout of exercise at 70% VO2peak (targeted net energy cost of 400 kcals), followed by consumption of a carbohydrate-rich meal; (b) Exercise/Placebo (Ex/Placebo) – subjects completed an identical bout of exercise followed by consumption of a placebo; and (c) No Exercise/Carbohydrate (NoEx/CHO) – subjects sat quietly rather than exercising and then consumed the carbohydrate-rich meal. Blood samples were obtained before and during the postprandial period to determine plasma glucose, insulin, and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA). Respiratory gas exchange measures were used to estimate rates of fat and carbohydrate oxidation. Results Plasma NEFA were approximately two-fold higher immediately following the two exercise conditions compared to the no-exercise condition, while meal consumption significantly increased insulin and glucose in both Ex/CHO and NoEx/CHO. NEFA concentrations fell rapidly during the 2-h postprandial period, but remained higher compared to the NoEx/CHO treatment. Carbohydrate oxidation increased rapidly and fat oxidation decreased in response to the meal, with no differences in the rates of carbohydrate and fat oxidation during recovery between the Ex/CHO and NoEx/CHO conditions. Conclusion The plasma NEFA concentration is increased during the post exercise period, which is associated with elevated fat oxidation when no meal is consumed. However, when a mixed meal is consumed immediately following exercise, the initially elevated plasma NEFA concentration decreases rapidly, and postexercise fat oxidation during this 2-h postexercise, postprandial period is no higher than that of the 2-h postprandial period without prior exercise.
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