Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

Influence of resistance and aerobic exercise on hunger, circulating levels of acylated ghrelin, and peptide YY in healthy males

David R. Broom, Rachel L. Batterham, James A. King, David J. Stensel


Resistance (muscle strengthening) exercise is a key component of exercise recommendations for weight control, yet very little is known about the effects of resistance exercise on appetite. We investigated the effects of resistance and aerobic exercise on hunger and circulating levels of the gut hormones acylated ghrelin and peptide YY (PYY). Eleven healthy male students: age 21.1 ± 0.3 yr, body mass index 23.1 ± 0.4 kg/m2, maximum oxygen uptake 62.1 ± 1.8 ml·kg−1·min−1 (means ± SE) undertook three, 8-h trials, 1) resistance exercise: a 90-min free weight lifting session followed by a 6.5-h rest period, 2) aerobic exercise: a 60-min run followed by a 7-h rest period, 3) control: an 8-h rest, in a randomized crossover design. Meals were provided 2 and 5 h into each trial. Hunger ratings and plasma concentrations of acylated ghrelin and PYY were measured throughout. Two-way ANOVA revealed significant (P < 0.05) interaction effects for hunger, acylated ghrelin, and PYY, indicating suppressed hunger and acylated ghrelin during aerobic and resistance exercise and increased PYY during aerobic exercise. A significant trial effect was observed for PYY, indicating higher concentrations on the aerobic exercise trial than the other trials (8 h area under the curve: control 1,411 ± 110, resistance 1,381 ± 97, aerobic 1,750 ± 170 pg/ml 8 h). These findings suggest ghrelin and PYY may regulate appetite during and after exercise, but further research is required to establish whether exercise-induced changes in ghrelin and PYY influence subsequent food intake.

  • appetite
  • obesity
  • physical activity
  • weight control


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