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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Dec;36(6):958-66. doi: 10.1139/h11-121. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Energy intake and appetite-related hormones following acute aerobic and resistance exercise.

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  • 1School of Sport Science, Exercise, and Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.


Previous research has shown that resistance and aerobic exercise have differing effects on perceived hunger and circulating levels of appetite-related hormones. However, the effect of resistance and aerobic exercise on actual energy intake has never been compared. This study investigated the effect of an acute bout of resistance exercise, compared with aerobic exercise, on subsequent energy intake and appetite-regulating hormones. Ten active men completed 3 trials in a counterbalanced design: 45 min of resistance exercise (RES; free and machine weights), aerobic exercise (AER; running), or a resting control trial (CON). Following exercise or CON, participants had access to a buffet-style array of breakfast foods and drinks to consume ad libitum. Plasma concentrations of a range of appetite-regulating hormones were measured throughout each trial. Despite significantly higher energy expenditure with AER compared with RES (p < 0.05), there was no difference in total energy intake from the postexercise meal between trials (p = 0.779). Pancreatic polypeptide was significantly higher prior to the meal after both RES and AER compared with CON. In contrast, active ghrelin was lower following RES compared with both CON and AER (p ≤ 0.05), while insulin was higher following RES compared with CON (p = 0.013). In summary, the differential response of appetite-regulating hormones to AER and RES does not appear to influence energy intake in the postexercise meal. However, given the greater energy expenditure associated with AER compared with RES, AER modes of exercise may be preferable for achieving short-term negative energy balance.

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