Choosing a healthy snack is less likely if the choice is made following completion of an exercise workout

In December 2018 researchers from the USA published the results of their study to assess whether the timing of a snack choice was influenced by exercise. A total of 256 participants (55% male, average age 22 years, average BMI 25 kg/m²) who exercised on average 65 minutes per session were included in the study.  The individuals were given an accelerometer prior to their normal exercise session, thereby masking the purpose of the study, and were asked to choose between an apple or a chocolate brownie for consumption following completion of their exercise workout. The selection of snack took place either before or after their exercise session. Results showed that if the snack was chosen following the exercise session as opposed to before the exercise, those choosing the apple decreased by 74%, whereas the choice of a brownie increased by 14%.  In addition, 12% decided to choose “no snack” following the exercise session. The researchers therefore concluded that acute exercise can induce either a compensatory increase in food intake or a reduction in food intake, which results from appetite suppression in the post-exercise state.

Gustafson CR et al. Exercise and the Timing of Snack Choice: Healthy Snack Choice is Reduced in the Post-Exercise State. Nutrients. 2018 Dec 7;10(12). pii: E1941.

Leave a Reply