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Sports Med. 2013 Jun;43(6):463-81. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0046-9.

The latest on the effect of prior exercise on postprandial lipaemia.

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Laboratory of Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece.


This review examines the effect of prior exercise on postprandial triacylglycerol (pTAG) concentrations, an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Numerous studies have shown that a single bout of exercise reduces pTAG concentrations; however, several modulators such as exercise energy expenditure/deficit, mode of exercise (aerobic/resistance/high intensity/intermittent exercise or combinations), type of meal (moderate or high fat), time frame between exercise and meal and target group may individually or in conjunction influence this effect. On the other hand, at least for aerobic exercise, training reduces pTAG concentrations transiently (~2 days); therefore, exercise sessions should be frequent enough to maintain this clinically significant improvement. For the healthy population, it seems that a subject's preference and ability determine which type of exercise to undertake to attenuate pTAG concentrations; an energy expenditure of ~30 kJ/kg of body mass (or ~2-2.5 MJ) not combined with a corresponding increase in energy intake is required; for resistance or intermittent exercise, for those following a moderate rather than a high-fat diet, and for those with obesity (expressed as kJ/kg of body mass), a smaller energy expenditure is probably sufficient. More studies are needed to investigate dose-response/plateau effects, as well as the threshold of energy expenditure in those with diabetes mellitus and other high-risk populations. Finally, investigation of the underlying mechanisms may be clinically helpful in individualizing the appropriate intervention.

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