OBJECTIVES: Exercise confers numerous health benefits; however, unhealthy, or excessive food and drink consumption post-exercise may counteract at least some of these benefits. There is emerging evidence that certain exercise-related factors, including the psychological experiences associated with different forms of exercise motivation, may influence post-exercise energy intake. Questions remain, though, about the optimal exercise characteristics that may reduce overconsumption of food/drink post-exercise.
DESIGN: Narrative review.
METHODS: In this narrative review, we overview the developing body of literature linking the psychological experiences in exercise with subsequent energy intake, focusing first on the relationship between exercise motivation and food consumption, and then on practical strategies which may be utilised to promote healthier post-exercise food choices.
RESULTS: Preliminary evidence suggests that psychological experiences associated with high-quality autonomous motivation for exercise may reduce subsequent energy intake. Exercise factors (both psychological and physiological in nature) that have been shown to influence post-exercise energy consumption may interact, resulting in synergistic or antagonistic effects on subsequent food and drink consumption, through mechanisms which have not been considered previously.
CONCLUSIONS: Exercise experiences may be shaped to promote healthier subsequent eating behaviours and future work is encouraged to enable researchers to identify combinations of exercise conditions and experiences that have the strongest influence on post-exercise food and drink consumption.