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Feed restriction and a diet's caloric value: The influence on the aerobic and anaerobic capacity of rats

Leandro Pereira de Moura13*, Carlos Augusto Kalva-Filho2, João Paulo Loures2, Maria de Sousa Silva2, Lucas Pilla Zorzetto1, Marcelo Costa Junior1, Michel Barbosa de Araújo1, Rodrigo Augusto Dalia1 and Maria Alice Rostom de Mello1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Nutrition, Metabolism and Exercise, Department of Physical Education, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), 24ª avenue n° 1515, P.O. Box 199, Bela Vista, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil

2 Laboratory of Exercise Physiology (LAFE), Department of Physical Education, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Roberto Simonsen Street, 305, Presidente Prudente, SP, Brazil

3 Education, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Avenida 24ª n° 1515, P.O. Box 199 Bela Vista, Rio Claro 13506-900, SP, Brazil

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:10  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-10

Published: 26 March 2012



The influence of feed restriction and different diet's caloric value on the aerobic and anaerobic capacity is unclear in the literature. Thus, the objectives of this study were to determine the possible influences of two diets with different caloric values and the influence of feed restriction on the aerobic (anaerobic threshold: AT) and anaerobic (time to exhaustion: Tlim) variables measured by a lactate minimum test (LM) in rats.


We used 40 adult Wistar rats. The animals were divided into four groups: ad libitum commercial Purina® diet (3028.0 Kcal/kg) (ALP), restricted commercial Purina® diet (RAP), ad libitum semi-purified AIN-93 diet (3802.7 Kcal/kg) (ALD) and restricted semi-purified AIN-93 diet (RAD). The animals performed LM at the end of the experiment, 48 h before euthanasia. Comparisons between groups were performed by analysis of variance (p < 0,05).


At the end of the experiment, the weights of the rats in the groups with the restricted diets were significantly lower than those in the groups with ad libitum diet intakes. In addition, the ALD group had higher amounts of adipose tissue. With respect to energetic substrates, the groups subjected to diet restriction had significantly higher levels of liver and muscle glycogen. There were no differences between the groups with respect to AT; however, the ALD group had lower lactatemia at the AT intensity and higher Tlim than the other groups.


We conclude that dietary restriction induces changes in energetic substrates and that ad libitum intake of a semi-purified AIN-93 diet results in an increase in adipose tissue, likely reducing the density of the animals in water and favouring their performance during the swimming exercises.

Diet; Feed restriction; Lactate minimum