An acute bout of cycling does not induce compensatory responses in pre-menopausal women not using hormonal contraceptives

Joel Rocha, Jenny R. Paxman, Caroline F. Dalton, Mark Hopkins, David R. Broom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


There is a clear need to improve understanding of the effects of physical activity and exercise on appetite control. Therefore, the acute and short-term effects (three days) of a single bout of cycling on energy intake and energy expenditure were examined in women not using hormonal contraceptives. Sixteen active (n = 8) and inactive (n = 8) healthy pre-menopausal women completed a randomised crossover design study with two conditions (exercise and control). The exercise day involved cycling for 1 h (50% of maximum oxygen uptake) and resting for 2 h, whilst the control day comprised 3 h of rest. On each experimental day participants arrived at the laboratory fasted, consumed a standardised breakfast and an ad libitum pasta lunch. Food diaries and combined heart rate-accelerometer monitors were used to assess free-living food intake and energy expenditure, respectively, over the subsequent three days. There were no main effects or condition (exercise vs control) by group (active vs inactive) interaction for absolute energy intake (P > 0.05) at the ad libitum laboratory lunch meal, but there was a condition effect for relative energy intake (P = 0.004, η p 2 = 0.46) that was lower in the exercise condition (1417 ± 926 kJ vs. 2120 ± 923 kJ). Furthermore, post-breakfast satiety was higher in the active than in the inactive group (P = 0.005, η p 2 = 0.44). There were no main effects or interactions (P > 0.05) for mean daily energy intake, but both active and inactive groups consumed less energy from protein (14 ± 3% vs. 16 ± 4%, P = 0.016, η p 2 = 0.37) and more from carbohydrate (53 ± 5% vs. 49 ± 7%, P = 0.031, η p 2 = 0.31) following the exercise condition. This study suggests that an acute bout of cycling does not induce compensatory responses in active and inactive women not using hormonal contraceptives, while the stronger satiety response to the standardised breakfast meal in active individuals adds to the growing literature that physical activity helps improve the sensitivity of short-term appetite control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
Early online date26 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Active
  • Appetite
  • Energy expenditure
  • Exercise
  • Food intake
  • Inactive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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