In news that may provide a partial explanation for cyclists’ fondness for cake during a mid-ride café stop, researchers in Japan have discovered that skipping is more effective than riding a bike at suppressing hunger pangs.
The academics who conducted the study believe that the explanation partly lies in the fact that skipping is a weight-bearing activity that exercises the muscles and joints more so than a non-weight bearing one such as cycling.
It is also thought that the vigorous up-and-down movement in activities such as skipping or running had the effect of interfering with hormones that regulate appetite.
Perhaps surprisingly, given the associations many have with exercise working up a hunger, both skipping and cycling were found to suppress appetite more than simply doing nothing. Best keep that bowl of tortilla chips away from the sofa, then.
The researchers studied the effects of different activities on fifteen participants, who fastest for 12 hours before being subject to three separate tests.
In the first, they used a skipping rope for five minutes, took ten minutes’ rest, then repeated the sequence another two times, after which they rested for two hours.
The subjects then did the same with the exercise involving a static bicycle rather than a skipping rope, and the third phase of the experiment involved them resting for two and a half hours.
During the experiment, the participants made notes of how hungry they were feeling, while researchers tested them for levels of the hormones that govern appetite.
"The suppression of hunger during rope skipping was greater than that during the bicycle exercise, despite the similar energy expenditure between them," explained the researchers.
"This suggests weight-bearing exercise may induce greater suppression of appetite than non-weight bearing."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.