The influence of vigorous running and cycling exercise on hunger perceptions and plasma acylated ghrelin concentrations in lean young men
Vigorous running suppresses plasma acylated ghrelin concentrations but the limited literature on cycling suggests that acylated ghrelin is unchanged, perhaps because body mass is supported during cycling. It is important from a research and applied perspective to determine whether acylated ghrelin and hunger responses are exercise-mode specific. This study sought to examine this. Eleven recreationally active males fasted overnight and completed three 4-h trials: control, running, and cycling, in a random order. Participants rested throughout the control trial and ran or cycled at 70% of mode-specific maximal oxygen uptake for the first hour during exercise trials, resting thereafter. Hunger was measured every 0.5 h using visual analogue scales. Eight venous blood samples were collected to determine acylated ghrelin concentrations and a standardised meal was consumed at 3 h. Compared with the control trial, acylated ghrelin concentrations were suppressed to a similar extent at 0.5 and 1 h during the running (p < 0.005) and cycling (p < 0.001) trials. Area under the curve values for ghrelin concentration over time were lower during exercise trials versus control (Control: 606 ± 379; Running: 455 ± 356; Cycling: 448 ± 315 pg·mL(-1)·4 h(-1); mean ± SD, p < 0.05). Hunger values did not differ significantly between trials but an interaction effect (p < 0.05) indicated a tendency for hunger to be suppressed during exercise. Thus, at similar relative exercise intensities, plasma acylated ghrelin concentrations are suppressed to a similar extent during running and cycling.
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