Ghrelin Responses to Acute Exercise and Training

  • Jaak JürimäeEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Endocrinology book series (COE)


The importance of physical exercise in regulating energy balance and ultimately body mass is widely recognized. Important to this regulatory system is the existence of several appetite hormones, including adipose and gut tissue hormones that communicate the status of body energy stores to the hypothalamus. Among the gut hormones, ghrelin is a hormone well known for its acute orexigenic properties to stimulate food consumption. Changes in circulating ghrelin levels influence the physiological drive to eat, weight gain and also reproductive function. Ghrelin may also be involved in pubertal development and may vary dramatically depending on specific body composition, physical activity and physical fitness parameters. Ghrelin levels are elevated in young athletes. Pubertal onset decreases ghrelin levels even in the presence of chronically elevated energy expenditure as seen in young athletes. Ghrelin may also be used as an indicator of energy imbalance across the menstrual cycle in athletes. Acute exercise studies have demonstrated varied responses of different ghrelin forms to the acute exercise in various subject groups including athletes. There is an evidence to indicate that exercise training does not influence circulating ghrelin independent of weight loss. Ghrelin levels increase with body weight loss and decrease with body weight gain. Additional research is needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms regulating ghrelin responses to acute exercise and sport training in individuals with different body composition, physical activity and physical fitness parameters. This chapter focuses on the available information about the effects of acute exercise and chronic exercise training on the secretion of ghrelin.


Ghrelin Energy availability Negative energy balance Adiposity Acute exercise Exercise training Athletes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Sport Sciences and PhysiotherapyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

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