Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Betts, James A. Chowdhury, Enhad A. Gonzalez, Javier T. Richardson, Judith D. Tsintzas, Kostas and Thompson, Dylan 2016. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, p. 1.

    Sasaki, Hiroyuki Ohtsu, Teiji Ikeda, Yuko Tsubosaka, Miku and Shibata, Shigenobu 2014. Combination of meal and exercise timing with a high-fat diet influences energy expenditure and obesity in mice. Chronobiology International, Vol. 31, Issue. 9, p. 959.


Effects of exercise before or after meal ingestion on fat balance and postprandial metabolism in overweight men

  • Nor M. F. Farah (a1) (a2) and Jason M. R. Gill (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 26 October 2012

It is unclear how timing of exercise relative to meal ingestion influences substrate balance and metabolic responses. The present study aimed to compare the effects of exercise performed before or after breakfast on fat balance and postprandial metabolism. A total of ten sedentary overweight men (aged 28·1 (sem 10·7) years, BMI 29·0 (sem 2·8) kg/m2) underwent three trials in random order involving: (1) performing no exercise (CON), or walking for 60 min at 50 % maximal O2 uptake either (2) before (Ex-Meal) or (3) after (Meal-Ex) consuming a standardised breakfast meal. In each trial an ad libitum lunch was provided 3·5 h after breakfast. Substrate utilisation was assessed by indirect calorimetry and blood was taken at regular intervals over an 8·5 h observation period. At the end of the observation period, fat balances in the Ex-Meal ( − 1043 (sem 270) kJ) and Meal-Ex ( − 697 (sem 201) kJ) trials were both significantly lower than CON (204 (sem 165) kJ) and fat balance in the Ex-Meal trial was significantly lower than in the Meal-Ex trial (all P <0·0001). Compared with the CON trial, the 8·5 h postprandial TAG response was only significantly lowered in the Ex-Meal trial ( − 17 %, P =0·025) and not in the Meal-Ex trial ( − 11 %, P =0·20). Both the Ex-Meal and Meal-Ex trials showed significantly lowered insulin responses relative to the CON trial (by 19 and 24 %, respectively, P <0·01 for both). There were no differences in lunch energy intake between trials. The present findings suggest that there may be an advantage for body fat regulation and lipid metabolism in exercising before compared with after breakfast. However, further study is needed to determine whether the present findings extend over the long term under free-living conditions.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Effects of exercise before or after meal ingestion on fat balance and postprandial metabolism in overweight men
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Effects of exercise before or after meal ingestion on fat balance and postprandial metabolism in overweight men
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Effects of exercise before or after meal ingestion on fat balance and postprandial metabolism in overweight men
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr J. M. R. Gill, fax +44 141 3302522, email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1Y Schutz (2004) Dietary fat, lipogenesis and energy balance. Physiol Behav 83, 557564.

2K Hansen , T Shriver & D Schoeller (2005) The effects of exercise on the storage and oxidation of dietary fat. Sports Med 35, 363373.

3E Jokisch , A Coletta & HA Raynor (2012) Acute energy compensation and macronutrient intake following exercise in active and inactive males who are normal weight. Appetite 58, 722729.

5NM Farah , D Malkova & JM Gill (2010) Effects of exercise on postprandial responses to ad libitum feeding in overweight men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42, 20152022.

10P Bennard & E Doucet (2006) Acute effects of exercise timing and breakfast meal glycemic index on exercise-induced fat oxidation. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 31, 502511.

11D Malkova & JMR Gill (2006) Effects of exercise on postprandial lipoprotein metabolism. Future Lipidol 1, 743755.

13KN Frayn (2002) Insulin resistance, impaired postprandial lipid metabolism and abdominal obesity. A deadly triad. Med Princ Pract 11, Suppl. 2, 3140.

14FL Burton , D Malkova , MJ Caslake , et al. (2008) Energy replacement attenuates the effects of prior moderate exercise on postprandial metabolism in overweight/obese men. Int J Obes (Lond) 32, 481489.

15JMR Gill , A Al-Mamari , WR Ferrell , et al. (2004) Effects of prior moderate exercise on postprandial metabolism and vascular function in lean and centrally obese men. J Am Coll Cardiol 44, 23752382.

16M Kolifa , A Petridou & V Mougios (2004) Effect of prior exercise on lipemia after a meal of moderate fat content. Eur J Clin Nutr 58, 13271335.

18CS Katsanos & RJ Moffatt (2004) Acute effects of premeal versus postmeal exercise on postprandial hypertriglyceridemia. Clin J Sport Med 14, 3339.

20AE Hardman & HE Aldred (1995) Walking during the postprandial period decreases alimentary lipaemia. J Cardiovasc Risk 2, 7178.

21G Schlierf , A Dinsenbacher , H Kather , et al. (1987) Mitigation of alimentary lipemia by postprandial exercise – phenomena and mechanisms. Metabolism 36, 726730.

22L Klein , TD Miller , TE Radam , et al. (1992) Acute physical exercise alters apolipoprotein E and C-III concentrations of apo E-rich very low density lipoprotein fraction. Atherosclerosis 97, 3751.

24M Harrison , DJ O'Gorman , N McCaffrey , et al. (2009) Influence of acute exercise with and without carbohydrate replacement on postprandial lipid metabolism. J Appl Physiol 106, 943949.

25SA Newsom , S Schenk , KM Thomas , et al. (2010) Energy deficit after exercise augments lipid mobilization but does not contribute to the exercise-induced increase in insulin sensitivity. J Appl Physiol 108, 554560.

26AJ Stunkard & S Messick (1985) The three-factor eating questionnaire to measure dietary restraint, disinhibition and hunger. J Psychosom Res 29, 7183.

27T Van Strien , JER Frijters , APA Bergers , et al. (1986) Dutch eating behavior questionnaire for assessment of restrained, emotional, and external eating behavior. Int J Eat Disord 5, 315.

29A Flint , A Raben , JE Blundell , et al. (2000) Reproducibility, power and validity of visual analogue scales in assessment of appetite sensations in single test meal studies. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 24, 3848.

31CP Herman & J Polivy (2005) Normative influences on food intake. Physiol Behav 86, 762772.

32JM Gill , D Malkova & AE Hardman (2005) Reproducibility of an oral fat tolerance test is influenced by phase of menstrual cycle. Horm Metab Res 37, 336341.

33K Tsintzas & C Williams (1998) Human muscle glycogen metabolism during exercise. Effect of carbohydrate supplementation. Sports Med 25, 723.

36K Charlot , A Pichon & D Chapelot (2011) Exercise prior to a freely requested meal modifies pre and postprandial glucose profile, substrate oxidation and sympathovagal balance. Nutr Metab (Lond) 8, 66.

38K Deighton , JC Zahra & DJ Stensel (2012) Appetite, energy intake and resting metabolic responses to 60 min treadmill running performed in a fasted versus a postprandial state. Appetite 58, 946954.

39MH Cheng , D Bushnell , DT Cannon , et al. (2009) Appetite regulation via exercise prior or subsequent to high-fat meal consumption. Appetite 52, 193198.

40KT Borer , E Wuorinen , C Chao , et al. (2005) Exercise energy expenditure is not consciously detected due to oro-gastric, not metabolic, basis of hunger sensation. Appetite 45, 177181.

41M Hopkins , NA King & JE Blundell (2010) Acute and long-term effects of exercise on appetite control: is there any benefit for weight control? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 13, 635640.

42JA King , LK Wasse , J Ewens , et al. (2011) Differential acylated ghrelin, peptide YY3-36, appetite, and food intake responses to equivalent energy deficits created by exercise and food restriction. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 96, 11141121.

43NA King , M Hopkins , P Caudwell , et al. (2008) Individual variability following 12 weeks of supervised exercise: identification and characterization of compensation for exercise-induced weight loss. Int J Obes (Lond) 32, 177184.

44JE Turner , D Markovitch , JA Betts , et al. (2010) Nonprescribed physical activity energy expenditure is maintained with structured exercise and implicates a compensatory increase in energy intake. Am J Clin Nutr 92, 10091016.

45ND Barwell , D Malkova , M Leggate , et al. (2009) Individual responsiveness to exercise-induced fat loss is associated with change in resting substrate utilization. Metabolism 58, 13201328.

47MC Peddie , NJ Rehrer & TL Perry (2012) Physical activity and postprandial lipidemia: are energy expenditure and lipoprotein lipase activity the real modulators of the positive effect? Prog Lipid Res 51, 1122.

48B Gabriel , A Ratkevicius , P Gray , et al. (2012) High-intensity exercise attenuates postprandial lipaemia and markers of oxidative stress. Clin Sci (Lond) 123, 313321.

49B Kiens , H Lithell , KJ Mikines , et al. (1989) Effects of insulin and exercise on muscle lipoprotein lipase activity in man and its relation to insulin action. J Clin Invest 84, 11241129.

50SL Herd , B Kiens , LH Boobis , et al. (2001) Moderate exercise, postprandial lipemia and skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase activity. Metabolism 50, 756762.

52IA Al-Shayji , MJ Caslake & JM Gill (2012) Effects of moderate exercise on VLDL1 and intralipid kinetics in overweight/obese middle-aged men. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 302, E349E355.

53JMR Gill , SL Herd , NV Tsetsonis , et al. (2002) Are the reductions in triglyceride and insulin levels after exercise related? Clin Sci 102, 223231.

54KA Holtz , BR Stephens , CG Sharoff , et al. (2008) The effect of carbohydrate availability following exercise on whole-body insulin action. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 33, 946956.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *