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Failure of Low Dose Carbohydrate Feeding to Attenuate Glucoregulatory Hormone Responses and Improve Endurance Performance

William A. Burgess, J. Mark Davis, William P. Bartoli, and Jeffrey A. Woods

The effects of ingesting a low dose of CHO on plasma glucose, glucoregulatory hormone responses, and performance during prolonged cycling were investigated. Nine male subjects cycled for 165 min at ≈67% peak VO 2 followed by a two-stage performance ride to exhaustion on two occasions in the laboratory. Every 20 min during exercise, subjects consumed either a flavored water placebo (P) or a dilute carbohydrate beverage (C). Blood samples were collected immediately before, every 20 min throughout, and immediately after exercise. Plasma was analyzed for glucose, lactate, free fatty acids (FFA), and various glucoregulatory hormones. VO 2 , RER, heart rate, perceived exertion, and exercise performance were also measured. Lactate, FFA, epinephrine, norepinephrine, ACTH, cortisol, and glucagon increased with exercise whereas glucose and insulin decreased (p≤05). Except for a small difference in glucose at 158 min of exercise and at exhaustion, no significant differences were found between drinks for any of the variabfes studied (p ≥ 05). Ingestion of 13 g carbohydrate per hour is not sufficient to maintain plasma glucose, attenuate the glucoregulatory hormone response, and improve performance during prolonged moderate intensity cycling.