The purpose of the current study was to investigate the influence of ingesting a carbohydrate-electrolyte (CHO-E) beverage ad libitum or as a prescribed volume on 10-mile run performance and gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort. Nine male recreational runners completed the 10-mile run under the following 3 conditions: no drinking (ND; 0 ml, 0 g CHO), ad libitum drinking (AD; 315 ± 123 ml, 19 ± 7 g CHO), and prescribed drinking (PD; 1,055 ± 90 ml, 64 ± 5 g CHO). During the AD and PD trials, drinks were provided on completion of Miles 2, 4, 6, and 8. Running performance, speed (km/hr), and 10-mile run time were assessed using a global positioning satellite system. The runners’ ratings of perceived exertion and GI comfort were recorded on completion of each lap of the 10-mile run. There was a significant difference (p < .10) in performance times for the 10-mile race for the ND, AD, and PD trials, which were 72:05 ± 3:36, 71:14 ± 3:35, and 72:12 ± 3.53 min:s, respectively (p = .094). Ratings of GI comfort were reduced during the PD trial in comparison with both AD and ND trials. In conclusion, runners unaccustomed to habitually drinking CHO-E beverages during training improved their 10-mile race performance with AD drinking a CHO-E beverage, in comparison with drinking a prescribed volume of the same beverage or no drinking.
The authors are with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.