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Res Sports Med. 2013;21(3):240-52. doi: 10.1080/15438627.2013.792088.

Metabolic responses during postprandial exercise.

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  • 1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey 08628, USA.


To examine metabolic interaction between meal and exercise, 10 men and 10 women completed three trials: (1) exercise (E), (2) consumption of a meal (M), and (3) consumption of a meal followed by exercise (M+E). All trials commenced after an overnight fast and were preceded by a rest period in which resting metabolic rate (RMR) was determined. The meal contained 721 kilocalories composed of 41%, 36%, and 23% of carbohydrate, lipids, and protein, respectively. Exercise protocol consisted of three continuous 10-minute cycling at 50%, 60%, and 70% VO2peak. Measurement began 60 min after the start of the meal and included VO2 that was used to determine meal-induced thermogenesis (MIT). VO2 was greater (p < .05) in M+E than in E at 50% and 60% VO2peak. MIT was higher (p < .05) during exercise at 50% VO2peak than at rest. It appears that postprandial exercise of mild intensities can potentiate MIT, thereby provoking a greater increase in energy expenditure.

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