Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (MS)

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Michelle Gray

Committee Member

Michelle Gray

Second Committee Member

Ro DiBrezzo

Third Committee Member

Matthew Ganio


Health and environmental sciences, Exercise, Moderately active females, Thermic effect of food


Diet and exercise are key components to overall health maintenance. Aspects contributing to weight maintenance include the thermic effect of food (TEF) and total energy expenditure (TEE), with TEF contributing to upwards of 10% TEE. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the interaction between TEF and exercise on TEE in moderately active females. METHODS: A sample population was established with the use of a health history questionnaire (HHQ). Ten active females of normal body composition, determined by body mass index (BMI) and a dual energy absorptiometry x-ray (DEXA) scan, participated in the study. Maximal aerobic capacity was determined using the standard Bruce graded exercise treadmill test. Participants returned for three additional testing sessions, each consisting of a different feeding protocol combined with 30 minutes of exercise performed at 60% VO2max. RESULTS: Repeated measures ANOVA indicated a significant time effect for the feeding protocols (α = .05). Post-hoc analyses indicated significantly greater TEF with high protein content compared to low and fasted as well as in low protein compared to the fasted condition. Combined with exercise, TEE was significantly greater under high protein conditions compared to fasted. No significance was found between the high and low protein conditions combined with exercise or with the low protein compared to fasted. CONCLUSION: Findings of this study indicate a relationship between protein content of a meal, TEF, and TEE with moderate-intensity exercise. High protein meal (45%) consumption potentiated a greater TEF and overall TEE in comparison to low protein meal (15%) consumption. In relation to exercise and TEE, significance was only found when comparing high protein meal consumption and exercise to the fasted state with exercise. Trends for increased TEF with exercise were present for exercise performed after consumption of a low protein meal compared to the high protein meal and the fasted state, though not statistically significant. Further research should be conducted examining chronic exposure to a high protein diet combined with exercise to observe potential increased interactions longitudinally. Additionally, a broader spectrum of populations should be studied to better understand protein metabolism and TEE potentiated through TEF and exercise.