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This study examined the effect of maltose-containing sports drinks on exercise performance. Ten subjects completed 4 trials. Each trial consisted of a glycogen depletion protocol, followed by a 15-min refueling, after which subjects performed an 1-h performance test while consuming one of the experimental drinks (HGlu, glucose; HMal, maltose; MalMix, sucrose, maltose, and maltodextrin; Plac, placebo). Drinks provided 0.65 g/kg body weight carbohydrates during refueling and 0.2 g/kg every 15 min during the performance test. Although no significant differences were found in performance (HGlu: 67.2 ± 2.0; HMal: 68.6 ± 1.7; MalMix: 66.7 ± 2.0; Plac: 69.4 ± 3.0 min, P > 0.05), subjects completed the MalMix trial 3.9% faster than the Plac. Carbohydrate drinks caused comparable plasma glucose values that were significantly higher during refueling and at the end of exercise, compared to Plac. The data suggest that although carbohydrate drinks help to maintain plasma glucose at a higher level, no differences in performance could be detected after glycogen-depleting exercise.

The authors are with the Dept of Nutrition and Dietetics, Laboratory of Nutrition & Clinical Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens 17671, Greece.