Appetite-regulatory hormone responses on the day following a prolonged bout of moderate-intensity exercise

James A. King*, Jack O. Garnham, Andrew P. Jackson, Benjamin M. Kelly, Soteris Xenophontos, Myra A. Nimmo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
372 Downloads (Pure)


Exercise increases energy expenditure however acutely this does not cause compensatory changes in appetite or food intake. This unresponsiveness contrasts the rapid counter-regulatory changes seen after food restriction. The present investigation examined whether corrective changes in appetite-regulatory parameters occur after a time delay, namely, on the day after a single bout of exercise. Nine healthy males completed two, two-day trials (exercise & control) in a random order. On the exercise trial participants completed 90min of moderate-intensity treadmill running on day one (10:30-12:00h). On day two appetite-regulatory hormones and subjective appetite perceptions were assessed frequently in response to two test meals provided at 08:00 and 12:00h. Identical procedures occurred in the control trial except no exercise was performed on day one. Circulating levels of leptin were reduced on the day after exercise (AUC 5841±3335 vs. 7266±3949ng-1·mL-1·7h, P=0.012). Conversely, no compensatory changes were seen for circulating acylated ghrelin, total PYY, insulin or appetite perceptions. Unexpectedly, levels of acylated ghrelin were reduced on the exercise trial following the second test meal on day two (AUC 279±136 vs. 326±136pg-1·mL-1·3h, P=0.021). These findings indicate that short-term energy deficits induced by exercise initially prompt a compensatory response by chronic but not acute hormonal regulators of appetite and energy balance. Within this 24h time-frame however there is no conscious recognition of the perturbation to energy balance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Early online date3 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Appetite regulation
  • Compensation
  • Exercise
  • Gut peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy


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