Effects of sweetness and energy in drinks on food intake following exercise

Physiol Behav. 1999 Apr;66(2):375-9. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(98)00280-7.


Exercise is known to cause physiological changes that could affect the impact of nutrients on appetite control. This study was designed to assess the effect of drinks containing either sucrose or high-intensity sweeteners on food intake following exercise. Using a repeated-measures design, three drink conditions were employed: plain water (W), a low-energy drink sweetened with artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame-K (L), and a high-energy, sucrose-sweetened drink (H). Following a period of challenging exercise (70% VO2 max for 50 min), subjects consumed freely from a particular drink before being offered a test meal at which energy and nutrient intakes were measured. The degree of pleasantness (palatability) of the drinks was also measured before and after exercise. At the test meal, energy intake following the artificially sweetened (L) drink was significantly greater than after water and the sucrose (H) drinks (p < 0.05). Compared with the artificially sweetened (L) drink, the high-energy (H) drink suppressed intake by approximately the energy contained in the drink itself. However, there was no difference between the water (W) and the sucrose (H) drink on test meal energy intake. When the net effects were compared (i.e., drink + test meal energy intake), total energy intake was significantly lower after the water (W) drink compared with the two sweet (L and H) drinks. The exercise period brought about changes in the perceived pleasantness of the water, but had no effect on either of the sweet drinks. The remarkably precise energy compensation demonstrated after the higher energy sucrose drink suggests that exercise may prime the system to respond sensitively to nutritional manipulations. The results may also have implications for the effect on short-term appetite control of different types of drinks used to quench thirst during and after exercise.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite / physiology
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Hunger / physiology
  • Male
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology*
  • Taste / drug effects
  • Taste / physiology*


  • Sweetening Agents