Interactive effects of acute exercise and carbohydrate-energy replacement on insulin sensitivity in healthy adults

Drusus Johnson-Bonson, Ben J. Narang, Russell Davies, Aaron Hengist, Harry Smith, Jon Watkins, Harry Taylor, Jean-Philippe Walhin, Javier Gonzalez, James Betts

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This study investigated whether carbohydrate-energy replacement immediately after prolonged endurance exercise attenuates insulin sensitivity the following morning, and whether exercise improves insulin sensitivity the following morning independent of an exercise-induced carbohydrate deficit.
Oral glucose tolerance and whole-body insulin sensitivity were compared the morning after three evening conditions, involving: (1) treadmill exercise followed by a carbohydrate replacement drink (200 or 150 g maltodextrin for males and females, respectively; CHO-replace); (2) treadmill exercise followed by a non-caloric, taste-matched placebo (CHO-deficit); or (3) seated rest with no drink provided (Rest). Treadmill exercise involved 90 minutes at ~80% age-predicted maximum heart rate. Seven males and two females (aged 23 ± 1 years; body mass index 24.0 ± 2.7 kg·m-2) completed all conditions in a randomized order.
Matsuda index improved by 22% (2.2 [0.3, 4.0] au, p = .03) and HOMA2-IR improved by 10% (-0.04 [-0.08, 0.00] au, p = .04) in CHO-deficit versus CHO-replace, without corresponding changes in postprandial glycemia. Outcomes were similar between Rest and other conditions. These data suggest that improvements to insulin sensitivity in healthy populations following acute moderate/vigorous intensity endurance exercise may be dependent on the presence of a carbohydrate-energy deficit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism
Publication statusAcceptance date - 1 Apr 2021

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