Effect of high-intensity interval exercise on basal triglyceride metabolism in non-obese men

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013 Aug;38(8):823-9. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2012-0468. Epub 2013 Mar 18.


A single bout of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise has been shown to produce the same or greater metabolic benefits as continuous endurance exercise with considerably less energy expenditure, but whether this applies to very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) metabolism is not known. We sought to examine the effect of a single bout of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise on basal VLDL-triglyceride (TG) kinetics 14 and 48 h after exercise cessation to determine the acute and time-dependent effects of this type of exercise on VLDL-TG metabolism. Eight healthy sedentary men (age, 23.6 ± 6.1 years; body mass index, 23.1 ± 2.2 kg·m(-2), peak oxygen consumption (V̇O2peak), 36.3 ± 5.5 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1)) participated in three stable isotopically labeled tracer infusion studies: (i) 14 h and (ii) 48 h after a single bout of high-intensity aerobic interval exercise (60% and 90% of V̇O2peak in 4 min intervals for a total of 32 min; gross energy expenditure ∼500 kcal) and (iii) after an equivalent period of rest, in random order. Fasting plasma VLDL-TG concentration was 20% lower at 14 h (P = 0.046) but not at 48 h (P = 1.000) after exercise compared with the resting trial. VLDL-TG plasma clearance rate increased by 21% at 14 h (P < 0.001) but not at 48 h (P = 0.299) after exercise compared with rest, whereas hepatic VLDL-TG secretion rate was not different from rest at any time point after exercise. We conclude that high-intensity interval exercise reduces fasting plasma VLDL-TG concentrations in non-obese men the next day by augmenting VLDL-TG clearance, just like a single bout of continuous endurance exercise. This effect is short-lived and abolished by 48 h after exercise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basal Metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Male
  • Triglycerides* / blood


  • Triglycerides