Carbohydrate Intake and Recovery from Prolonged Exercise

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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The influence of increased carbohydrate intake on endurance capacity was investigated following a bout of prolonged exercise and 22.5 hrs of recovery. Sixteen male subjects were divided into two matched groups, which were then randomly assigned to either a control (C) or a carbohydrate (CHO) condition. Both groups ran at 70% VO2max on a level treadmill for 90 min or until volitional fatigue, whichever came first (T1), and 22.5 hours later they ran at the same % VO2max for as long as possible to assess endurance capacity (T2). During the recovery, the carbohydrate intake of the CHO group was increased from 5.8 (±0.5) to 8.8 (±0.1) g kg-1 BW. This was achieved by supplementing their normal diet with a 16.5% glucose-polymer solution. An isocaloric diet was prescribed for the C group, in which additional energy was provided in the form of fat and protein. Run times over T1 did not differ between the groups. However, over T2 the run time of the C group was reduced by 15.57 min (p<0.05), whereas those in the CHO group were able to match their T1 performance. Blood glucose remained stable throughout Tl and T2 in both groups. In contrast, blood lactate, plasma FFA, glycerol, ammonia, and urea increased. Thus, a high carbohydrate diet restored endurance capacity within 22.5 hrs whereas an isocaloric diet without additional carbohydrate did not.

The authors are with the Dept. of Physical Education, Sports Science and Recreation Management at Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. Request reprints from Dr. Williams.

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