The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of repeated ingestion of drinks containing varying concentrations of carbohydrate on gastric emptying rate during steady-state exercise. On five separate occasions, 14 subjects cycled for 90 min at an average power output of 151 ± 2 W. At 15-min intervals, subjects ingested 227 ± 3 ml of either water, 4% carbohydrate (CHO), 6% CHO, or 8% CHO. Gastric volume was determined prior to each drink and at 90 min using the modified double-sampling technique. Gross gastric volumes were significantly greater and mean gastric emptying rates and the percentage of ingested beverage emptied from the stomach were significantly less for 8% CHO. These data indicate that repeated ingestion of an 8% CHO beverage during exercise significantly reduces gastric emptying rate, whereas lower concentrations of carbohydrate do not. In addition, beverage osmolality is not as important as beverage energy content in influencing gastric emptying rate at these carbohydrate concentrations.
The authors are with the Gatorade Exercise Physiology Laboratory, 617 West Main st., Barrington, IL 60010.