Using mouth rinse (MR) with carbohydrate during exercise has been shown to act as an ergogenic aid.
To investigate if nutritive or nonnutritive sweetened MR affects exercise performance and to assess the influence of sweetness intensity on endurance performance during a time trial (TT).
This randomized, single-blinded study had 4 treatment conditions. Sixteen subjects (9 men, 7 women) completed a 12.8-km TT 4 different times. During each TT, subjects mouth-rinsed and expectorated a different solution at time 0 and every 12.5% of the TT. The 4 MR solutions were sucrose (S) (sweet taste and provides energy of 4 kcal/g), a lower-intensity sucralose (S1:1) (artificial sweetener that provides no energy but tastes sweet), a higher-intensity sucralose (S100:1), and water as control (C). Completion times for each TT, heart rate (HR), and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were also recorded.
Completion time for S was faster than for C (1:03:47 ± 00:02:17 vs 1:06:56 ± 00:02:18, respectively; P < .001) and showed a trend to be faster vs S100:1 (1:03:47 ± 00:02:17 vs 1:05:38 ± 00:02:12, respectively; P = .07). No other TT differences were found. Average HR showed a trend to be higher for S vs C (P = .08). The only difference in average or maximum RPE was for higher maximum RPE in C vs S1:1 (P = .02).
A sweet-tasting MR did improve endurance performance compared with water in a significant manner (mean 4.5% improvement; 3+ min.); however, the presence of energy in the sweet MR appeared necessary since the artificial sweeteners did not improve performance more than water alone.
The authors are with the Dept of Nutritional Science, Texas Tech University, and the Dept of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia.