The Effects of a Carbonated Carbohydrate Drink on Gastric Emptying, Gastrointestinal Distress, and Exercise Performance

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Jeffrey J. Zachwieja
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David L. Costill
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Glenn C. Beard
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Robert A. Robergs
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David D. Pascoe
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Dawn E. Anderson
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To determine the effect of a carbonated carbohydrate (CHO) drink on gastric function and exercise performance, eight male cyclists completed four 120- min bouts of cycling. Each bout consisted of a 105-min ride at 70% VO2max followed by a 15-min self-paced performance ride. During each trial, one of four test solutions was ingested: carbonated CHO (C-10%), noncarbonated CHO (NC-10%), carbonated non-CHO (C), and noncarbonated non-CHO (NC). Following the performance ride, the subjects had their stomach contents removed by aspiration. There were no significant differences in gastric emptying (GE) except for Trial C-10%, which averaged 13.3% less than NC. However, there was no difference in the perception of gastrointestinal comfort between this trial and any other. Average power output during the performance ride was not significantly different between carbonated and noncarbonated trials, or between CHO-fed and no-CHO trials; however, the subjects worked at a greater intensity when fed CHO. Finally, acid base status did not change when a carbonated drink was ingested. This indicates that adding carbonation to a sport drink does not significantly alter gastric function, the perception of GI comfort, or exercise performance.

Zachwieja is with the Div. of Metabolism, Washington U. School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. Costill, Beard, and Anderson are with the Human Performance Lab, Ball State U., Muncie, IN 47306. Robergs is with the Dept. of Health Promotion, P.E., & Leisure Studies, U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Pascoe is with the Dept. of Health & Human Performance, Auburn U., Auburn, AL 36849.

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