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Skipping beats cycling at suppressing appetite, researchers find

That explains the mid-ride cake stop, then... but both more effective at fighting hunger than just sitting around

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 findings from the study carried out by researchers at Waseda University have been published in the journal Appetite, reports the website of the Australian magazine, Women’s Fitness.

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."

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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