We examined the relationship between energy expenditure (in kcal) and epinephrine (Epi), norepinephrine (NE), and growth hormone (GH) release. Ten men [age, 26 yr; height, 178 cm; weight, 81 kg; O2 uptake at lactate threshold (LT), 36.3 ml · kg-1 · min-1; peak O2 uptake, 49.5 ml · kg-1 · min-1] were tested on six randomly ordered occasions [control, 5 exercise: at 25 and 75% of the difference between LT and rest (0.25LT, 0.75LT), at LT, and at 25 and 75% of the difference between LT and peak (1.25LT, 1.75LT) (0900-0930)]. From 0700 to 1300, blood was sampled and assayed for GH, Epi, and NE. Carbohydrate (CHO) expenditure during exercise and fat expenditure during recovery rose proportionately to increasing exercise intensity (P = 0.002). Fat expenditure during exercise and CHO expenditure during recovery were not affected by exercise intensity. The relationship between exercise intensity and CHO expenditure during exercise could not be explained by either Epi (P = 1.00) or NE (P = 0.922), whereas fat expenditure during recovery increased with Epi and GH independently of exercise intensity (P = 0.028). When Epi and GH were regressed against fat expenditure during recovery, only GH remained statistically significant (P < 0.05). We conclude that a positive relationship exists between exercise intensity and both CHO expenditure during exercise and fat expenditure during recovery and that the increase in fat expenditure during recovery with higher exercise intensities is related to GH release.
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