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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2012, Article ID 278678, 9 pages
Clinical Study

The Acute and Residual Effect of a Single Exercise Session on Meal Glucose Tolerance in Sedentary Young Adults

Section of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1200 Children's Ave, Suite 4500, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

Received 5 December 2011; Revised 10 March 2012; Accepted 16 March 2012

Academic Editor: Catherine Weikart Yeckel

Copyright © 2012 Kevin R. Short et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study goals were to (1) establish the variability in postprandial glucose control in healthy young people consuming a mixed meal and, then (2) determine the acute and residual impact of a single exercise bout on postprandial glucose control. In study 1, 18 people completed two similar mixed meal trials and an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT). There were strong test-retest correlations for the post-meal area under the curve (AUC) for glucose, insulin, and Cpeptide ( 𝑟 = 0 . 7 3 –0.83) and the Matsuda insulin sensitivity index (ISI, 𝑟 = 0 . 7 6 ), and between meal and IVGTT-derived ISI ( 𝑟 = 0 . 8 3 ). In study 2, 11 untrained young adults completed 3 trials. One trial (No Ex) was completed after refraining from vigorous activity for ≥3 days. On the other 2 trials, a 45-min aerobic exercise bout was performed either 17-hours (Prior Day Ex) or 1-hour (Same Day Ex) before consuming the test meal. Compared to No Ex and Prior Day Ex, which did not differ from one another, there were lower AUCs on the Same Day Ex trial for glucose (6%), insulin (20%) and C-peptide (14%). Thus, a single moderate intensity exercise session can acutely improve glycemic control but the effect is modest and short-lived.