• Emily Stynes

Can Exercise Influence Our Food Choices - Part 2

Updated: Feb 13

Due to my findings gathered for my final year research dissertation, I am now a named author for the study titled ‘Sweet and Umami Taste Perception Differs With Habitual Physical Activity In Males’.

Taste perception can be defined as ‘the sensation that results when taste buds in the tongue and throat convey information about the chemical composition of a soluble stimulus’.

The 5 basic tastes are sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami which is the taste of amino acids found in protein (1). Some research has even confirmed carbohydrates and fat to have a particular taste also (1).

As explained in the previous blog titled 'Can Exercise Influence Our Food Choices?', the impact of physical activity on the regulation of food intake is a complex process with various physiological, metabolic, psychological and behavioural factors involved. A wide range of factors can have an impact on our taste perception including genetics, age, drugs/medications, sleep, anxiety level, neurotransmitters, hormonal factors and habitual diet (2).

Investigations as to whether taste perception of habitually active males differed from inactive males was undertaken in this study to get a better understanding for the impact of physical activity on our food intakes and whether differences in taste perception could influence our food choices and eating behaviours. Interestingly, this study did find differences in the taste perception of sweet and umami tastes in active males vs inactive males.

Click on the link below if you would like to find out more from this published study.



1. Julia YQ Low, Kathleen E Lacy, Robert L McBride, Russell SJ Keast, Carbohydrate Taste Sensitivity Is Associated with Starch Intake and Waist Circumference in Adults,The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 147, Issue 12, December 2017, Pages 2235–2242, https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.117.254078

2. Ozilgen, Sibel. (2012). Factors affecting taste perception and food choice. The Sense of Taste. 115-125.

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