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Skipping Breakfast Before Exercise Creates a More Negative 24-hour Energy Balance: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Healthy Physically Active Young Men

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Emma Stevenson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Background: At rest, breakfast omission lowers daily energy intake, but also lowers energy expenditure, attenuating any effect on energy balance. The effect of breakfast omission, on energy balance when exercise is prescribed, is unclear. Objective: The aim was to assess the effect of pre-exercise breakfast omission versus consumption on 24-h energy balance. Methods: Twelve healthy physically active young men (age 23 ± 3 years, body mass index 23.6 ± 2.0 kg·m-2) completed three trials in a randomized order (seperated >1 week): a breakfast of oats and milk (431 kcal; 65 g CHO, 11 g FAT, 19 g PRO) followed by rest (BR); breakfast before exercise (BE; 60 min cycling at 50% peak power output); and overnight-fasting before exercise (FE). The 24-h energy intake was calculated from breakfast, and an ad libitum lunch, snacks and dinner. Indirect calorimetry with heart-rate-accelerometry were used for substrate utilization and 24-h energy expenditure. A [6,6-2H2]-glucose infusion was used to investigate tissue-specific carbohydrate utilization. Results: Energy balance (24 h) was -400 kcal (normalized 95 % confidence intervals: -230 to -571 kcal) with exercise and breakfast ommision (FE), and this was significantly lower than the rest trial (BR; 492 [332 to 652] kcal) and also the exercise but with prior breakfast consumption (BE; 7 [-153 to 177] kcal; both P<0.01 versus FE). Plasma glucose utilization in FE (mainly representing liver glucose utilization), was positively correlated with energy intake compensation at lunch (r= 0.62, P= 0.03), suggesting a role for liver carbohydrate use in post-exercise energy balance regulation. Conclusion: Neither exercise energy expenditure nor the restricted energy intake via breakfast omission were completely compensated for post-exercise. In healthy men, pre-exercise breakfast omission creates a more negative daily energy balance and could therefore be a useful strategy to induce a short-term energy deficit. Registered at (NCT02258399).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Edinburgh RM, Hengist A, Smith HA, Travers RL, Betts JA, Thompson D, Walhin JP, Wallis GA, Hamilton DL, Stevenson EJ, Tipton KD, Gonzalez JT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Nutrition

Year: 2019

Volume: 149

Issue: 8

Pages: 1326–1334

Print publication date: 01/08/2019

Online publication date: 10/04/2019

Acceptance date: 23/01/2019

Date deposited: 06/02/2019

ISSN (print): 0022-3166

ISSN (electronic): 1541-6100

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxz018


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