Metabolic and hormonal response to physical exercise during beta 1-selective and non-selective beta-blockade

Horm Metab Res. 1982 Nov;14(11):583-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1019087.


The effects of a beta 1-selective (metoprolol, 150 mg per day) and a non-selective beta-blocking agent (propranolol, 120 mg per day) on metabolic and hormonal responses to physical exercise (a 30 min bicycle ergometer test) were investigated against placebo in seven healthy male volunteers with a double blind cross-over design. The blood glucose level remained unchanged during placebo, it tended to increase during metoprolol, whereas it decreased during propranolol. Both metoprolol and propranolol counteracted the exercise-induced increase in plasma free fatty acids and caused a slight decrease in muscle glycogenolysis. The increase in blood lactate concentration during exercise was not influenced by beta-blockade. The secretion of glucagon and cortisol was not modified significantly by beta-blockade, whereas the growth hormone response to exercise was promoted equally by both beta-blocking agents. It has been assumed previously that, during treatment with beta-blocking agents, diminished hepatic gluconeogenesis, caused by the lack of lactate or free fatty acids, may result in a decline in blood glucose levels. The present results indicate that an inhibition of beta 2-mediated hepatic glycogenolysis by propranolol may also influence blood glucose homeostasis during exercise.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Hormones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Lipolysis
  • Liver Glycogen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Pulse / drug effects


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Hormones
  • Liver Glycogen
  • Glucagon
  • Hydrocortisone