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    Sweet and umami taste perception differs with habitual exercise in males
    Taste is influenced by several factors. However, whether habitual exercise level is associated with differences in taste perception has received little investigation. The aim of this study was to determine if habitual exercise is associated with differences in taste perception in men. Active (n = 16) and inactive (n = 14) males, between ages 18–55, underwent two days of sensory testing, using prototypical taste stimuli of high and low concentrations for sweet, salt, bitter, sour, umami, and carbohydrate (maltodextrin). Mean perceived intensity and hedonic ratings were recorded. Eating behaviour was assessed by the three factor eating questionnaire and food intake by EPIC food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). There were moderate to large differences between the two groups in perceived intensity for sweet taste at the high concentration and umami taste at both high and low concentrations, with active males recording a higher perceived intensity (p < 0.05 for all). The active group also recorded a greater dislike for umami low and carbohydrate low concentration (p < 0.01). Salt, bitter and sour perception did not significantly differ between the two groups. FFQ analysis showed no difference in % energy from macronutrients between the groups. Eating behaviour traits correlated with sweet taste intensity and umami taste liking, independent of activity status. Results indicated that sweet and umami taste perception differ in active compared to inactive males. Habitual exercise level should be considered in taste perception research and in product development. Whether differences in taste perception could be one factor influencing food intake and thus energy balance with habitual exercise warrants further investigation.
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