Following ingestion of a mixed-macronutrient meal, blood glucose and triacylglycerol (TAG) concentrations are elevated for approximately 2 and 8 hours respectively, depending on factors such as the amount and type of food ingested. For many individuals who consume at least three meals per day, the majority of waking hours are thus spent in a postprandial state. Exaggerated postprandial glycaemia and triglyceridaemia are associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and so strategies to alleviate such perturbations are desirable (e.g. exercise and/or diet). An acute bout of endurance, resistance or high-intensity and interval exercise typically mitigates postprandial glucose and TAG responses to subsequent meals. Regular exercise training also facilitates adaptations that beneficially alter postprandial metabolism. The health benefits of various dietary protocols have been debated in research and in the media over recent decades. To complicate matters, these strategies may be beneficial for glucose metabolism but simultaneously impair TAG metabolism or vice versa. Finally, despite the finding that diet and exercise can independently alter postprandial metabolism, there are fewer investigations of their ability to act synergistically to achieve a prophylactic response on postprandial blood glucose and TAG concentrations. This may provide the basis for future public health guidelines and is an important consideration in the context of the current worldwide prevalence of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Edinburgh, R. M., Betts, J. A., Burns, S. F., & Gonzalez, J. T. (2017). Concordant and divergent strategies to improve postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism. Nutrition Bulletin, 42(2), 113-122. https://doi.org/10.1111/nbu.12259