Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 71–76 | Cite as

Acute downhill running does not induce fat oxidation

  • Shaea A. Alkahtani
Original Article



Eccentric exercise has been suggested for its potential to increase several health outcomes, including exercise-induced fat oxidation. Comparison of exercise intensity rather than exercise workload is required.


Thirteen moderately active young men (mean age, 24.6 ± 5.6 years; body mass index, 23.76 ± 3.24 kg/m2; maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), 49.00 ± 3.19 ml/kg/min) performed two counterbalanced running sessions for 40 min at 60% VO2max, either running flat (Con-Exe) or running downhill at a gradient of − 12% (Ecc-Exe). The volumes of oxygen and carbon dioxide (VO2 and VCO2) were collected during exercise sessions, and fat oxidation was calculated.


There was no significant interaction between exercise condition and exercise duration (p > 0.05), and individual variations in fat oxidation during Con-Exe and Ecc-Exe were large and inconsistent.


Downhill running at 60% VO2max and inclination of − 12% does not induce fat oxidation.


Substrate oxidation Eccentric exercise Muscle contraction Respiratory exchange ratio 



This is a research project that was supported by a grant from the research center for the sports science and physical activity, deanship of scientific research at King Saud University. The author thanks all participants, the Cardiovascular Laboratory and all research assistants, particularly Mr. Abdullah Al-Qawati.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest to be disclosed.

Informed consent

Participants who expressed their interest in the study were asked to sign informed consent before commencing the study.

Ethical statement

The study procedure was approved by the Institutional Review Board at King Saud University (IRB No. E-16-1831).


  1. 1.
    Marcus RL et al (2009) Increased strength and physical performance with eccentric training in women with impaired glucose tolerance: a pilot study. J Women’s Health 18(2):253–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rattray B et al (2014) Short-term eccentric exercise in newly diagnosed type II diabetics: an exploratory study. Sport Sci Health 10(3):199–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Drexel H et al (2008) Metabolic and anti-inflammatory benefits of eccentric endurance exercise—a pilot study. Eur J Clin Invest 38(4):218–226CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lastayo P et al (1999) Chronic eccentric exercise: improvements in muscle strength can occur with little demand for oxygen. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 276(2):R611–R615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Paschalis V et al (2011) A weekly bout of eccentric exercise is sufficient to induce health-promoting effects. Med Sci Sports Exerc 43(1):64–73CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Philippe M et al (2016) Acute effects of concentric and eccentric exercise matched for energy expenditure on glucose metabolism in healthy females: a randomized crossover trial. SpringerPlus 5(1):1455CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Philippe M et al (2016) Acute effects of concentric and eccentric exercise on glucose metabolism and interleukin-6 concentration in healthy males. Biol Sport 33(2):153CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pokora I et al (2014) Effects of downhill and uphill exercises of equivalent submaximal intensities on selected blood cytokine levels and blood creatine kinase activity. Biol Sport 31(3):173CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Agarwal M et al (2017) Cardiovascular response and serum interleukin-6 level in concentric vs. eccentric exercise. J Clin Diagn Res JCDR 11(4):CC04PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Penailillo L, Blazevich A, Nosaka K (2014) Energy expenditure and substrate oxidation during and after eccentric cycling. Eur J Appl Physiol 114(4):805–814CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jeukendrup A, Wallis G (2005) Measurement of substrate oxidation during exercise by means of gas exchange measurements. Int J Sports Med 26(Suppl 1):S28–S37CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Navalta JW, Sedlock DA, Park K-S (2004) Physiological responses to downhill walking in older and younger individuals. Age (yr) 64(3):45–51Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cook MD et al (2015) Effect of level and downhill running on breathing efficiency. Sports 3(1):12–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Alkahtani S (2014) Comparing fat oxidation in an exercise test with moderate-intensity interval training. J Sports Sci Med 13(1):51PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kacyon CJ et al (2015) The effects of interval training and steady-state exercise on fat oxidation and VO2max in recreationally active, college aged males. In: International journal of exercise science: conference proceedingsGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    NIH (2015) NIH osteoporosis and related bone diseases National Resource Center. Osteoporosis in men. Accessed 21 Feb 2017
  17. 17.
    Chubak J et al (2006) Effect of exercise on bone mineral density and lean mass in postmenopausal women. Med Sci Sports Exerc 38(7):1236CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bolam KA, Van Uffelen JG, Taaffe DR (2013) The effect of physical exercise on bone density in middle-aged and older men: a systematic review. Osteoporos Int 24(11):2749–2762CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Scott JP et al (2011) The role of exercise intensity in the bone metabolic response to an acute bout of weight-bearing exercise. J Appl Physiol 110(2):423–432CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Balci S (2012) Comparison of substrate oxidation during walking and running in normal-weight and overweight/obese men. Obes Facts 5(3):327–338CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rynders CA et al (2011) Oxygen uptake and ratings of perceived exertion at the lactate threshold and maximal fat oxidation rate in untrained adults. Eur J Appl Physiol 111(9):2063–2068CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Croci I et al (2014) Reproducibility of fat max and fat oxidation rates during exercise in recreationally trained males. PLoS One 9(6):e97930CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Achten J, Jeukendrup A (2003) Maximal fat oxidation during exercise in trained men. Int J Sports Med 24(08):603–608CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Meyer T et al (2009) The reliability of fatmax. Scand J Med Sci Sports 19(2):213–221CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Seiberl W, Power GA, Hahn D (2015) Residual force enhancement in humans: current evidence and unresolved issues. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 25(4):571–580CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Exercise Physiology, College of Sport Sciences and Physical ActivityKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations