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The effects of ingesting different amounts of medium-chain triacylglycerol (MCT) and carbohydrate (CHO) on gastric symptoms, fuel metabolism, and exercise performance were measured in 9 endurance-trained cyclists. Participants, 2 hr after a standardized lunch, cycled for 2 hr at 63% of peak oxygen consumption and then performed a simulated 40-km time trial (T trial). During the rides, participants ingested either 10% 14C-glucose (GLU), 10% 14C-GLU + 1.72%MCT(LO-MCT), or 10% l4C-GLU + 3.44%MCT(HI-MCT) solutions: 400 ml at the start of exercise and then 100 ml every lOmin.MCTingestiondid not affect gastrointestinal symptoms. It only raised serum free fatty acid (FFA) and ß-hydroxybutyrate concentrations. Higher FFA and ß-hydroxybutyrate concentrations with MCT ingestion did not affect fuel oxidation or T-trial performance. The high CHO content of the pretrial lunch increased starting plasma insulin levels, which may have promoted CHO oxidation despite elevated circulating FFA concentrations with MCT ingestion.
Julia H. Goedecke, Steven C. Dennis, Timothy D. Noakes, and Estelle V. Lambert are with the MRC/UCT Bioenergetics of Exercise Research Unit, and Richard Elmer-English and Ingrid Schloss are with the Nutrition and Dietetic Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town Medical School, PO Box 115, Newlands 7725, South Africa.