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Melinda L. Millard-Stafford, Mary Beth Brown, and Teresa K. Snow


Effects of acute carbohydrate ingestion on blood lactate (BLa) response to graded exercise was examined in highly trained male and female swimmers.


Twenty-three swimmers performed the United States Swimming Lactate Protocol, a graded interval test (5 × 200 on 5 min), following ingestion of carbohydrate sports drink (CHO) and placebo (PLA).


There was no difference in heart rate (P = .55), swim velocity (P = .95), or ratings of perceived exertion (P = .58) between beverages. There was a signifcant main effect for gender (P = .002) on BLa during all swim stages and recovery. In females, BLa was 27% to 50% higher for CHO during the first (P = .009) and second (P = .04) swim stages. Predicted BLa at selected swim velocity was higher (P = .048) for CHO versus PLA in females at 1.27 m·s−1 and higher (P < .02) for men at 1.4 m·s−1. Mean (±SD) BLa was significantly (P = .004) greater for CHO (2.7 ± 1.2) compared with PLA (2.0 ± 1.1 mmol·L−1) during the second test stage and when normalized relative to velocity (P = .004). Peak BLa after the final swim (9.6 ± 3.1 vs. 9.0 ± 3.2 mmol·L−1, P = .36) was not different between CHO and PLA.


Acute CHO ingestion alters the BLa: swim velocity relationship during moderate intensity swims of an incremental swim test, particularly for females. Therefore, pretest beverage ingestion should be standardized during the administration of BLa testing to prevent potential erroneous interpretations regarding athlete’s training status.

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Mindy L. Millard-Stafford, Phillip B. Sparling, Linda B. Rosskopf, and Teresa K. Snow

Our purpose was to determine if sports drinks with 6 and 8% CHO differentially affect physiological responses or run performance in the heat. Ten men ran 32 km while ingesting: placebo (P), 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte (CE6), and 8% carbohydrate-electrolyte (CE8). At 15 km, a 250 mL drink labeled with deuterium oxide (D2O) was ingested. Blood glucose and respiratory exchange ratio were significantly higher (P < 0.05) for CE6 and CE8 compared to P. Rectal temperature (Tre) at 32 km was higher for CE8 (40.1 ± 0.2 °C) compared to P (39.5 ± 0.2 °C) but similar to CE6 (39.8 ± 0.2 °C). D2O accumulation was not different among drink trials. Run performance was 8% faster for CE8 (1062 ± 31 s) compared to P (1154 ± 56 s) and similar to CE6 (1078 ± 33 s). Confirming the ACSM Position Stand, 8% CE are acceptable during exercise in the heat and attenuate the decline in performance.

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Mindy Millard-Stafford, Linda B. Rosskopf, Teresa K. Snow, and Bryan T. Hinson

Twelve highly trained male runners ran 15 km at self-selected pace on a treadmill in warm conditions to demonstrate differences in physiological responses, fluid preferences, and performance when ingesting sports drinks or plain water before and during exercise. One hour prior to the start of running, an equal volume (1,000 ml) of either water or a 6% or an 8% carbohydrate-electrolyte (CE) drink was ingested. Blood glucose was significantly higher 30 min following ingestion of 6% and 8% CE compared to water, significantly lower at 60 min postingestion with both sports drinks than with water, but similar after 7.5 km of the run for all beverages. During the first 13.4 km, oxygen uptake and run times were not different between trials; however, the final 1.6-km performance run was faster with both CE drinks compared to water. Despite a lower preexercise blood glucose, CE consumption prior to and during exercise significantly improved performance in the last 1.6 km of a 15-km run compared to water.