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Daniel J. Peart, Andy Hensby and Matthew P. Shaw

The purpose of this study was to compare markers of hydration during submaximal exercise and subsequent time trial performance when consuming water (PW) or coconut water (CW). There was also a secondary aim to assess the palatability of CW during exercise and voluntary intake during intense exercise. 10 males (age 27.9 ± 4.9 years, body mass 78.1 ± 10.1kg, average max minute power 300.2 ± 28.2W) completed 60-min of submaximal cycling followed by a 10-km time trial on two occasions. During these trials participants consumed either PW or CW in a randomized manner, drinking a 250 ml of the assigned drink between 10–15 min, 25–30 min and 40–45 min, and then drinking ad libitum from 55-min until the end of the time trial. Body mass and urine osmolality were recorded preexercise and then after 30-min, 60-min, and post time trial. Blood glucose, lactate, heart rate, rate of perceived exertion (RPE; 6–20) and ratings of thirst, sweetness, nausea, fullness and stomach upset (1 =very low/none, 5= very high) were recorded during each drink period. CW did not significantly improve time trial performance compared with PW (971.4 ± 50.5 and 966.6 ± 44.8 s respectively; p = .698) and there was also no significant differences between trials for any of the physiological variables measured. However there were subjective differences between the beverages for taste, resulting in a significantly reduced volume of voluntary intake in the CW trial (115 ± 95.41 ml and 208.7 ± 86.22 ml; p < .001).

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Robert A. Robergs, Susie B. McMinn, Cristine Mermier, Guy Leadbetter III, Brent Ruby and Chris Quinn

This study was conducted to compare blood glucose and glucoregulatory hormone responses to the ingestion of solid and liquid carbohydrate (CHO) during prolonged cycling, followed by 30 min of isokinetic cycling. Eight male cyclists randomly completed three cycling trials (LC = liquid CHO, SCE = solid CHO with water equal to LC, SCA = solid CHO + ad libitum water). Each subject cycled for 120 min at 65% of VO2max with CHO ingestion (0.6 g CHO/kg/hr) at 0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min. Subjects then completed a 30-min maximal isokinetic ride at 90 rpm. There was no significant (p < .05) difference between the trials for plasma glucose, insulin, glucagon, glycerol, lactate, RER, HR, VO2 RPE, and total work performed during the isokinetic ride. However, serum glucose was significantly lower in the SCE and SCA trials compared to LC at 80 min. The ingestion of a solid food containing CHO. protein, and fat with added water produced similar blood glucose, metabolic, glucoregulatory hormone, and exercise performance responses to those seen with the ingestion of liquid CHO.

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Stephen R. Stannard, Martin W. Thompson and Janette C. Brand Miller

Consumption of low glycemic index (GI) foods before submaximal endurance exercise may be beneficial to performance. To test whether this may also be true for high intensity exercise. 10 trained cyclists began an incremental exercise test to exhaustion 65 min after consuming equal carbohydrate portions of glucose (HGI), pasta (LGI), and a noncarbohydrate control (PL). Time to fatigue did not differ significantly (p = 0.05) between treatments. Plasma glucose concentration was significantly lower after LGI vs. HGI from 15 to 45 min of rest postprandial. During exercise, plasma glucose concentration was significantly lower after HGI vs. LGI from 200 W until exhaustion. Plasma lactate concentration following HGI was significantly higher than PL from 30 min of rest postprandial through to the end of the 200-W workload. Plasma lactate concentration following LGI was significantly lower than after HGI from 45 min of rest postprandial through to the end of the 100-W workload. At higher exercise intensities, there was no significant difference in plasma lactate levels between treatments. These findings suggest that a high GI carbohydrate meal (1 g/kg body wt) 65 min prior to exercise decreases plasma glucose and increases plasma lactate levels compared to a low GI meal, but not enough to be detrimental to incremental exercise performance.

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Matthew David Cook, Stephen David Myers, John Stephen Michael Kelly and Mark Elisabeth Theodorus Willems

Impaired glucose tolerance was shown to be present 48 hr following muscle-damaging eccentric exercise. We examined the acute effect of concentric and muscle-damaging eccentric exercise, matched for intensity, on the responses to a 2-hr 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Ten men (27 ± 9 years, 178 ± 7 cm, 75 ± 11 kg, VO2max: 52.3 ± 7.3 ml·kg-1·min-1) underwent three OGTTs after an overnight 12 hr fast: rest (control), 40-min (5 × 8-min with 2-min interbout rest) of concentric (level running, 0%, CON) or eccentric exercise (downhill running, –12%, ECC). Running intensity was matched at 60% of maximal metabolic equivalent. Maximal isometric force of m. quadriceps femoris of both legs was measured before and after the running protocols. Downhill running speed was higher (level: 9.7 ± 2.1, downhill: 13.8 ± 3.2 km·hr-1, p < .01). Running protocols had similar VO2max (p = .59), heart rates (p = .20) and respiratory exchange ratio values (p = .74) indicating matched intensity and metabolic demands. Downhill running resulted in higher isometric force deficits (level: 3.0 ± 6.7, downhill: 17.1 ± 7.3%, p < .01). During OGTTs, area-under-the-curve for plasma glucose (control: 724 ± 97, CON: 710 ± 77, ECC: 726 ± 72 mmol·L-1·120 min, p = .86) and insulin (control: 24995 ± 11229, CON: 23319 ± 10417, ECC: 21842 ± 10171 pmol·L-1·120 min, p = .48), peak glucose (control: 8.1 ± 1.3, CON: 7.7 ± 1.2, ECC: 7.7 ± 1.1 mmol·L-1, p = .63) and peak insulin levels (control: 361 ± 188, CON: 322 ± 179, ECC: 299 ± 152 pmol·L-1, p = .30) were similar. It was concluded that glucose tolerance and the insulin response to an OGTT were not changed immediately by muscle-damaging eccentric exercise.

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Yan Burelle, François Péronnet, Denis Massicotte, Guy R. Brisson and Claude Hillaire-Marcel

The oxidation of 13C-labeled glucose and fructose ingested as a preexercise meal between 180 and 90 min before exercise was measured on 6 subjects when either a placebo or sucrose was ingested during the exercise period. Labeled hexose oxidation, which occurred mainly during the first hour of exercise, was not significantly modified when sucrose was ingested, but exogenous glucose oxidation was significantly higher than exogenous fructose oxidation in both situations. The results suggest that the absorption rate of exogenous hexoses was high when exercise was initiated but diminished thereafter, and that glucose and fructose released from sucrose ingested during exercise did not compete with glucose or fructose ingested before exercise for intestinal absorption, for conversion into glucose in the liver (for fructose), or for uptake and oxidation of glucose in peripheral tissues. However, as already shown, in terms of availability for oxidation of carbohydrates provided by the preexercise meal, glucose should be favored over fructose.

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Thomas D. Fahey, James D. Larsen, George A. Brooks, William Colvin, Steven Henderson and Darrel Lary

Five trained, fasted male cyclists rode a cycle ergometer three times at 50% of VO2,max for 180 min. Using a balanced order, double-blind procedure,subjects were given either a solution containing polylactate (PL: 80% polylactate, 20% sodium lactate, in 7% solution with water), glucose polymer (GP: multidextrin in 7% solution with water), or control (C: water sweetened with aspartame) 5 min before exercise and at 20-min intervals during exercise. Venous blood samples were taken at rest and at 20-min intervals during exercise. In general, PL and GP rendered similar results except that pH and bicarbonate (HCO3) were higher in PL. There were no differences between treatments in perceived exertion, sodium, potassium, chloride, lactate, heart rate, oxygen consumption, rectal temperature, or selected skin temperatures. These data show that polylactate may help maintain blood glucose and enhance blood buffering capacity during prolonged exercise and could be a useful component in an athletic fluid replacement beverage.

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William M. Sherman, Julie M. Lash, John C. Simonsen and Susan A. Bloomfield

Because muscle damage from eccentric exercise has been associated with alterations in muscle glycogen metabolism, this study determined the effects of exercise on the insulin and glucose responses to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). In a repeated-measures design, 11 subjects undertook either no exercise, 2 min of isokinetic leg exercise, or 50 min of level or downhill running. No exercise was performed and diet was controlled during the 48 hrs after the treatments and before the OGTT. Ratings of muscle soreness and CK activity were significantly elevated 48 hrs after downhill running. Level running also increased CK activity but did not induce muscle soreness. Isokinetic exercise did not affect either one. Blood glucose responses to the OGTT were similar among the treatments. In contrast, the insulin responses to the OGTT following downhill running were significantly increased. These results suggest that eccentric exercise associated with downhill running that results in delayed muscle soreness is associated with the development of a mild insulin-resistant condition.

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Randall L. Wilber and Robert J. Moffatt

Ten trained male runners performed a treadmill exercise test at 80% VO2max under two experimental conditions, carbohydrate (CHO, 7% carbohydrate) and placebo (P), to determine the effect of carbohydrate ingestion on endurance performance (treadmill run time), blood glucose concentration, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and subjective ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Treatment order was randomized and counterbalanced and test solutions were administered double-blind. Ingestion took place 5 min preexercise (250 ml) and at 15-min intervals during exercise (125 ml). Performance was enhanced by 29.4% (p ~ 0.05) during CHO (115 ±25 min) compared to P (92 ± 27 min). Blood glucose concentration was significantly greater during CHO (5.6 ± 0.9 mM) relative to P (5.0 ±0.7 mM). There was a significant increase in mean RER following CHO ingestion (.94±.01) compared to P (.90±.01). Average RPE was significantly less during CHO (14.5±2.3) relative to P (15.4±2.4). These data suggest that time to exhaustion of high-intensity treadmill exercise is delayed as a result of carbohydrate ingestion and that this effect is mediated by favorable alterations in blood glucose concentration and substrate utilization.

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Ellen Coleman

Athletes often train or compete in athletic events that significantly reduce muscle and liver glycogen reserves. Carbohydrate ingestion before or during endurance exercise enhances performance by maintaining blood glucose levels and carbohydrate utilization. Also, an adequate intake of carbohydrate following endurance exercise helps to restore muscle and liver glycogen. This paper reviews the physiologic and performance benefits of solid versus liquid carbohydrate feedings before, during, and following endurance exercise. Solid and liquid carbohydrates are equally effective in raising blood glucose and enhancing performance when consumed during endurance exercise. Also, both forms of carbohydrate are similarly beneficial in promoting muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise. It is unclear whether solid and liquid carbohydrate feedings have the same effect on serum glucose and performance when consumed before exercise. Although limited research suggests that a low glycemic solid carbohydrate may represent the best preexercise meal choice, further research is needed to support this hypothesis.

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Caitlin Campbell, Diana Prince, Marlia Braun, Elizabeth Applegate and Gretchen A. Casazza

Numerous studies have shown that ingesting carbohydrate in the form of a drink can improve exercise performance by maintaining blood glucose levels and sparing endogenous glycogen stores. The effectiveness of carbohydrate gels or jellybeans in improving endurance performance has not been examined. On 4 separate days and 1–2 hr after a standardized meal, 16 male (8; 35.8 ± 2.5 yr) and female (8; 32.4 ± 2.4 yr) athletes cycled at 75% VO2peak for 80 min followed by a 10-km time trial. Participants consumed isocaloric (0.6 g of carbohydrate per kg per hour) amounts of randomly assigned sports beans, sports drink, gel, or water only, before, during, and after exercise. Blood glucose concentrations were similar at rest between treatments and decreased significantly during exercise with the water trial only. Blood glucose concentrations for all carbohydrate supplements were significantly, p < .05, higher than water during the 80-min exercise bout and during the time trial (5.7 ± 0.2 mmol/L for sports beans, 5.6 ± 0.2 mmol/L for sports drink, 5.7 ± 0.3 mmol/L for gel, and 4.6 ± 0.3 mmol/L for water). There were no significant differences in blood glucose between carbohydrate treatments. The 10-km time trials using all 3 carbohydrate treatments were significantly faster (17.2 ± 0.6 min for sports beans, 17.3 ± 0.6 min for sports drink, and 17.3 ± 0.6 min for gel) than water (17.8 ± 0.7 min). All carbohydrate-supplement types were equally effective in maintaining blood glucose levels during exercise and improving exercise performance compared with water only.