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Clin Invest Med. 1992 Oct;15(5):406-19.

Glucose turnover and its regulation during intense exercise and recovery in normal male subjects.

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McGill Nutrition & Food Science Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montréal, Québec.


Intense exercise to exhaustion is expected to be associated with rapid and large changes in glucose production (Ra) and utilization (Rd). To quantify these, and to determine their mechanisms and those of the prolonged postexercise hyperglycemia, we measured circulating metabolic regulators and glucose kinetics, the latter by the method of enriched tracer [3-3H] glucose infusion during exercise. Eighteen fit, lean young male subjects exercised to exhaustion at 80% of maximal workload (approximately 100% VO2max) on a cycle ergometer. Plasma glucose was 4.90 +/- 0.08 mM/L at rest, increased during exercise, then abruptly to 6.91 +/- 0.40 mM/L at 4 min recovery then gradually declined. Plasma insulin was constant during exercise, then doubled to 162 +/- 28 pmol/l until 20 min recovery, before declining. Plasma glucagon increased by 71 +/- 11 pg/mL. Plasma norepinephrine increased 18-fold and epinephrine 14-fold, both declining by 20 min recovery. Ra increased 7-fold by exhaustion to 13.0 +/- 1.18 mg/kg/min, then decreased to 2.43 +/- 0.24 mg/kg/min by 9 min, then to about 2 mg/kg/min the rest of recovery. Rd rose 3-fold (6.61 +/- 0.70 mg/kg/min), and remained lower than Ra to 7 min recovery, but thereafter declined more slowly. Thus, the rapid and extremely large increase in Ra was not matched by the increment in Rd during exercise and early recovery. We suggest that unlike in exercise of lesser intensity, the major mediators of both the increase in Ra and the restraint of the increase in Rd are the catecholamines. The post exercise hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia are appropriate to muscle glycogen repletion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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