The aim of this study was to determine the effects of postexercise ingestion of different-molecular-weight glucose polymer solutions on subsequent high-intensity interval-running capacity. In a repeated-measures design, 6 men ran for 60 min in the morning at 70% VO2max. Immediately post- and at 1 and 2 hr postexercise, participants consumed a 15% low-molecular-weight (LMW) or high-molecular-weight (HMW) carbohydrate solution, at a rate of 1.2 g of carbohydrate/kg body mass, or an equivalent volume of flavored water (WAT). After recovery, participants performed repeated 1-min intervals at 90% VO2max interspersed with 1 min active recovery (walking) until volitional exhaustion. Throughout the 3-hr recovery period, plasma glucose concentrations were higher (p = .002) during the HMW and LMW conditions than with WAT (M 7.0 ± 0.8, 7.5 ± 1.0, and 5.6 ± 0.2 mmol/L, respectively), although there was no difference (p = .723) between HMW and LMW conditions. Exercise capacity was 13 (43 ± 10 min; 95% CI for differences: 8–18; p = .001) and 11 min (41 ± 9 min; 95% CI for differences; 2–18: p = .016) longer with HMW and LMW solutions, respectively, than with WAT (30 ± 9 min). There was no substantial difference (2 min; 95% CI for differences: –5 to 10; p = .709) in exercise capacity between LMW and HMW solutions. Although this magnitude of difference is most likely trivial in nature, the uncertainty allows for a possible small substantial enhancement of physiological significance, and further research is required to clarify the true nature of the effect.
The authors are with the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.