Effect of exercise on glucose disposal: Response to a maximal insulin stimulus

R. E. Bourey, A. R. Coggan, W. M. Kohrt, J. P. Kirwan, D. S. King, J. O. Holloszy

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We used the euglycemic clamp to assess the effects of exercise on maximally insulin-stimulated glucose disposal. In 11 young men, a 60-min bout of exercise had no significant effect on the rate of glucose disposal during a euglycemic clamp performed ~30 min postexercise in which plasma insulin was raised to ~2,500 μU/ml (a maximal insulin stimulus). The maximal rate of glucose disposal attained during the clamp averaged 15.7 ± 1.0 mg·kg lean body mass-1·min-1 after exercise vs. a control value of 15.4 mg·kg lean body mass-1·min-1. In a second experiment, eight men performed supine cycle exercise during the 3rd h of a 4-h euglycemic clamp with a plasma insulin concentration of ~2,500 μU/ml. Exercise during the hyperinsulinemic clamp resulted in a 70% increase in glucose disposal rate. There was no measurable increase in glucose 6-phosphate in the quadriceps muscle during the insulin infusion at rest. We conclude that prior exercise does not enhance maximally insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in young healthy men. Our results are compatible with the interpretations that glucose availability rather than glucose metabolism limits the rate of glucose disposal in response to a maximal insulin stimulus in resting subjects and that the increase in glucose uptake in response to superimposed exercise is primarily due to an increase in glucose availability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1689-1694
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990


  • hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp
  • muscle glucose 6-phosphate
  • muscle glycogen


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