Carbohydrate Mouth Rinsing: Improved Neuromuscular Performance During Isokinetic Fatiguing Exercise

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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To determine whether repeated carbohydrate (CHO) mouth rinsing would improve neuromuscular performance during high-intensity fatiguing contractions.


Eighteen young men (age 26.1 ± 5.0 y, BMI 22.9 ± 1.9) performed 3 maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVICPRE). Immediately after, they completed 10-second mouth rinse with 6.4% maltodextrin solution (MAL), 7.1% glucose solution (GLU), water (W), artificially sweetened solution (PLA), or a control trial with no rinse (CON) in a crossover protocol. Subjects performed 5 sets of 30 isokinetic fatiguing contractions at 180°/s, and an MVICPOST with their elbow flexors was performed after each mouth rinse. Mechanical and electromyographic (EMG) signals were recorded from the biceps brachii and parameters of interest analyzed.


When rinsing the mouth with a solution containing CHO, independently of the sweetness, isokinetic performance was enhanced as shown by the greater total work achieved in comparison with CON. The decay of torque and mean fiber-conduction velocity (MFCV) recorded at the end of the fatiguing task was lower when rinsing the mouth with GLU than with CON. The torque recorded during the MVICPOST was greater with CHO with respect to CON, and this was associated to a lower decay of MFCV.


CHO mouth rinse counteracts fatigue-induced decline in neuromuscular performance, supporting the notion that CHO rinse may activate positive afferent signals able to modify motor output. Repeated mouth rinsing with sweet and nonsweet CHO-containing solutions can improve neuromuscular performance during an isokinetic intermittent fatiguing task.

The authors are with the Dept of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome “Foro Italico,” Rome, Italy.

Bazzucchi ( is corresponding author.