Influence of acute exercise with and without carbohydrate replacement on postprandial lipid metabolism

Michael Harrison, Donal J. O'Gorman, Noel McCaffrey, Marc T. Hamilton, Theodore W. Zderic, Brian P. Carson, Niall M. Moyna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Acute exercise, undertaken on the day before an oral fat tolerance test (OFTT), typically reduces postprandial triglycerides (TG) and increases high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C). However, the benefits of acute exercise may be overstated when studies do not account for compensatory changes in dietary intake. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of acute exercise, with and without carbohydrate (CHO) replacement, on postprandial lipid metabolism. Eight recreationally active young men underwent an OFTT on the morning after three experimental conditions: no exercise [control (Con)], prolonged exercise without CHO replacement (Ex-Def) and prolonged exercise with CHO replacement to restore CHO and energy balance (Ex-Bal). The exercise session in Ex-Def and Ex-Bal consisted of 90 min cycle ergometry at 70% peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) followed by 10 maximal 1-min sprints. CHO replacement was achieved using glucose solutions consumed at 0, 2, and 4 h postexercise. Muscle glycogen was 40 ± 4% (P < 0.05) and 94 ± 3% (P = 0.24) of Con values on the morning of the Ex-Def and Ex-Bal OFTT, respectively. Postprandial TG were 40 ± 14% lower and postprandial HDL-C, free fatty acids, and 3-hydroxybutyrate were higher in Ex-Def compared with Con (P < 0.05). Most importantly, these exercise effects were not evident in Ex-Bal. Postprandial insulin and glucose and the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMAIR) were not significantly different across trials. There was no relation between the changes in postprandial TG and muscle glycogen across trials. In conclusion, the influence of acute exhaustive exercise on postprandial lipid metabolism is largely dependent on the associated CHO and energy deficit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-949
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Energy deficit
  • Glycogen
  • High-density lipoprotein-cholesterol
  • Postprandial lipemia


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of acute exercise with and without carbohydrate replacement on postprandial lipid metabolism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this