The coordination of nutrient sensing, delivery, uptake and utilization is essential for maintaining cellular, tissue and whole-body homeostasis. Such synchronization can be achieved only if metabolic information is communicated between the cells and tissues of the entire organism. During intense exercise, the metabolic demand of the body can increase approximately 100-fold. Thus, exercise is a physiological state in which intertissue communication is of paramount importance. In this Review, we discuss the physiological processes governing intertissue communication during exercise and the molecules mediating such cross-talk.