Can Intense Workouts Actually Cause You To Eat Less?

Most of us have experienced our appetites increase after a hard workout. But according to a new study published in Nature, more intense workouts may help reduce your appetite. In the study, researchers found that the production of a single molecule, known as lac-phe, may be responsible for appetite suppression following a strenuous workout (via New York Times). A mix of lactate and the amino acid phenylalanine, lac-phe was found in the bloodstream of humans, horses, and mice in much greater quantities after intense workouts compared to easier ones.

To find out if this molecule could have an impact on appetite, scientists fed kibble to a group of mice, some of whom had exercised more leisurely and others who were forced to run at high speeds. The study's results found that the mice that produced more lac-phe after exercise were less likely to overeat than the mice that produced less. This suggests that more intense exercise can produce higher quantities of lac-phe, which can cause appetite suppression, at least in mice.

Engage in more intense exercises

Since evidence of lac-phe's effects on human appetite is limited, further research is needed to determine whether or not an increased production of the molecule can actually reduce your appetite. However, this doesn't mean that you can't find out for yourself. Sandra Arévalo, the National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Healthline that she recommends adding more intense exercises to your workout routine to find out if they can help suppress your appetite.

For instance, you can try running, cycling, swimming, dancing, or even weight-bearing exercises to raise your heart rate and work up a sweat. According to Arévalo, however, an exercise is not considered intense unless it's difficult for your carry on a conversion while doing it. "Intense exercises are those that make you breathe harder, break a sweat, and increase your pulse," she said. That being said, safety is key, so be sure to start off slow, especially if you're not used to working out.