Regulation of Blood Glucose Homeostasis during Prolonged Exercise

  • Suh, Sang-Hoon (Laboratory of Sports Physiology and Medicine, Department of Physical Education, Yonsei University) ;
  • Paik, Il-Young (Laboratory of Sports Physiology and Medicine, Department of Physical Education, Yonsei University) ;
  • Jacobs, Kevin A. (Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Miami)
  • Received : 2007.03.16
  • Accepted : 2007.04.02
  • Published : 2007.06.30


The maintenance of normal blood glucose levels at rest and during exercise is critical. The maintenance of blood glucose homeostasis depends on the coordination and integration of several physiological systems, including the sympathetic nervous system and the endocrine system. During prolonged exercise increased demand for glucose by contracting muscle causes to increase glucose uptake to working skeletal muscle. Increase in glucose uptake by working skeletal muscle during prolonged exercise is due to an increase in the translocation of insulin and contraction sensitive glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4) proteins to the plasma membrane. However, normal blood glucose level can be maintained by the augmentation of glucose production and release through the stimulation of liver glycogen breakdown, and the stimulation of the synthesis of glucose from other substances, and by the mobilization of other fuels that may serve as alternatives. Both feedback and feedforward mechanisms allow glycemia to be controlled during exercise. This review focuses on factors that control blood glucose homeostasis during prolonged exercise.


Exertion;Glucose Kinetics;Homeostasis;Oxygen Consumption;Training


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