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Campbell Menzies, Michael Wood, Joel Thomas, Aaron Hengist, Jean-Philippe Walhin, Robbie Jones, Kostas Tsintzas, Javier T. Gonzalez, and James A. Betts

; Ørtenblad & Nielsen, 2015 ). Supplementing endogenous energy stores through exogenous carbohydrate ingestion during exercise can postpone fatigue and improve performance ( Stellingwerff & Cox, 2014 ). Despite decades of research culminating in duration-specific guidelines for the amount and type of

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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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Vasilis Nikolopoulos, Melissa J. Arkinstall, and John A. Hawley

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of carbohydrate ingestion before and during intense constant load cycling to volitional fatigue on surface electromyographic (sEMG) activity from the vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus medialis (VM) muscles. After 24-h diet and training control, 8 well-trained subjects [maximal O2 uptake (VO2max) 66 ± 2 ml · kg–1· min–1; mean ± SD] ingested 8 ml · kg–1 of either a 6.4% carbohydrate-electrolyte (CHO) or a placebo (PLA) solution immediately before, followed by 2 ml · kg–1 of the same solution every 15 min while cycling to exhaustion at 84 ± 1% of VO2max. Exercise time to fatigue was 13% longer with CHO ingestion compared to PLA (58:54 ± 8:48 vs. 51:18 ± 5:54 min:s, NS). VO2 (4.22 ± 0.11 vs. 4.20 ± 0.14 L · min–1), heart rate (172 ± 4 vs. 176 ± 4 beats · min–1), ratings of perceived effort (18 ± 0.1 vs. 19 ± 0.1), and rates of carbohydrate oxidation (314 ± 28 vs. 324 ± 26 μmol · kg–1 · min–1) were similar for both PLA and CHO at exhaustion. There was no main treatment effect of CHO ingestion on blood glucose or lactate concentrations, nor plasma prolactin levels either during exercise or at fatigue. However, CHO ingestion attenuated the rise in EMG root mean square (RMS) activity during the latter stages (>45 min) of exercise and at the point of exhaustion for both VM (0.325 ± 0.010 vs. 0.403 ± 0.020 mV; p = .006) and VL (0.298 ± 0.011 vs. 0.370 ± 0.007 mV; p = .0004). We conclude that in well-trained subjects, the ingestion of carbohydrate attenuated the increase in surface electromyographic activity during intense, constant load cycling leading to exhaustion in ~1 h. The precise mechanism(s) underlying this effect cannot be attributed to alterations in CHO availability but, instead, may be linked to changes in afferent sensory input.

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Jie Kang, Robert J. Robertson, Bart G. Denys, Sergio G. DaSilva, Paul Visich, Richard R. Suminski, Alan C. Utter, Fredric L. Goss, and Kenneth F. Metz

This investigation determined whether carbohydrate ingestion during prolonged moderate-intensity exercise enhanced endurance performance when the exercise was preceded by carbohydrate supercompensation. Seven male trained cyclists performed two trials at an initial power output corresponding to 71 ± 1 % of their peak oxygen consumption. During the trials, subjects ingested either a 6% glucose/sucrose (C) solution or an equal volume of artificially flavored and sweetened placebo (P) every 20 min throughout exercise. Both C and P were preceded by a 6-day carbohydrate supercompensation procedure in which subjects undertook a depletion-taper exercise sequence in conjunction with a moderate- and high-carbohydrate diet regimen. Statistical analysis of time to exhaustion, plasma glucose concentration, carbohydrate oxidation rate, fat oxidation rate, and plasma glycerol concentration indicated that in spite of a carbohydrate supercompensation procedure administered prior to exercise, carbohydrate ingestion during exercise can exert an additional ergogenic effect by preventing a decline in blood glucose levels and maintaining carbohydrate oxidation during the later stages of moderate-intensity exercise.

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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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Alexander J. Koch, Jeffrey A. Potteiger, Marcia A. Chan, Stephen H. Benedict, and Bruce B. Frey

The effect of carbohydrate supplementation (CHO) on the lymphocyte response to acute resistance exercise was examined in 10 resistance-trained males. Subjects completed a randomized double-blind protocol with sessions separated by 14 days. The exercise session consisted of a high intensity, short rest interval squat workout. Subjects consumed 1.0 g · kg body mass−1 CHO or an equal volume of placebo (PLC) 10 min prior to and 10 min following exercise. Blood was collected at rest (REST), immediately post exercise (POST), and at 1.5 hours and 4.0 hours of recovery, and analyzed for plasma glucose, serum cortisol, leukocyte subsets, and phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation. A significant Treatment × Time effect was observed for lymphocyte proliferation between CHO and PLC, but post hoc analyses revealed no between-treatment differences at any post-exercise time point. Lymphocyte proliferation was significantly depressed below REST at POST (−39.2% for PLC, −25.7% for CHO). Significant fluctuations in leukocyte subset trafficking were observed for both treatments at POST, 1.5 hours, and 4.0 hours. Plasma glucose was significantly increased POST in CHO compared to PLC. Cortisol was significantly increased from REST to POST in both treatments. These data support a minimal effect of carbohydrate ingestion on the lymphocyte response to high-intensity resistance exercise.

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Ben M. Krings, Timothy J. Peterson, Brandon D. Shepherd, Matthew J. McAllister, and JohnEric W. Smith

The purpose of this investigation was to examine to the influence of carbohydrate ingestion (CHOI) and carbohydrate mouth rinse (CHOR) on acute repeat maximal sprint performance. Fourteen healthy males (age: 21.7 ± 1.8 years, mass: 82.3 ± 12.3 kg) completed a total of five 15-s maximal repeat sprints on a cycle ergometer against 0.075 kg ・ kg-1 body mass each separated by 4 min of active recovery. Subjects completed four experimental trials and were randomly assigned one of four treatments: (1) CHOI, (2) CHOR, (3) placebo mouth rinse (PLAR), (4) placebo ingestion (PLAI). Subjects rinsed or ingested six 50 mL 10% CHO solutions throughout each trial. Performance variables measured included rating of perceived exertion, peak heart rate, peak and mean power output, fatigue index, and total work. Significant treatment main effects were observed for mean power output (p = 0.026), total work (p = 0.020), fatigue index (p = 0.004), and heart rate (p = 0.013). Overall mean power output and total work were significantly greater with CHOI (659.3 ± 103.0 watts, 9849.8 ± 1598.8 joules) compared with CHOR (645.8 ± 99.7 watts, 9447.5 ± 1684.9 joules, p < .05). CHOI (15.3 ± 8.6 watts/s) significantly attenuated fatigue index compared with CHOR (17.7 ± 10.4 watts/s, p < .05). Based on our findings, CHOI was more likely to provide a beneficial performance effect compared with CHOR, PLAI, and PLAR. Athletes required to complete repeat bouts of high intensity exercise may benefit from CHOI.

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Paula Robson-Ansley, Martin Barwood, Clare Eglin, and Les Ansley

Fatigue is a predictable outcome of prolonged physical activity; yet its biological cause remains uncertain. During exercise, a polypeptide messenger molecule inter-leukin-6 (IL-6) is actively produced. Previously, it has been demonstrated that administration of recombinant IL-6 (rhIL-6) impairs 10-km run performance and heightened sensation of fatigue in trained runners. Both high carbohydrate diets and carbohydrate ingestion during prolonged exercise have a blunting effect on IL-6 levels post endurance exercise. We hypothesized that carbohydrate ingestion may improve performance during a prolonged bout of exercise as a consequence of a blunted IL-6 response. Seven recreationally trained fasted runners completed two 90-min time trials under CHO supplemented and placebo conditions in a randomized order. The study was of a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over study design. Distance covered in 90 min was significantly greater following exogenous carbohydrate ingestion compared with the placebo trial (19.13 ± 1.7 km and 18.29 ± 1.9 km, respectively, p = .0022). While post exercise IL-6 levels were significantly lower in the CHO trial compared with the placebo trial (5.3 ± 1.9 pg·mL−1 and 6.6 ± 3.0 pg·mL−1, respectively; p = .0313), this difference was considered physiologically too small to mediate the improvement in time trial performance.

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Christopher C. Webster, Jeroen Swart, Timothy D. Noakes, and James A. Smith

that his sprint-distance triathlon performance may have been compromised. He was reluctant to change his habitual LCHF diet but decided to add carbohydrate ingestion to his high-intensity training sessions and racing. This case study documents his exercise performance following this intervention and

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Vandre C. Figueiredo, Michelle M. Farnfield, Megan L.R. Ross, Petra Gran, Shona L. Halson, Jonathan M. Peake, David Cameron-Smith, and James F. Markworth

-enriched essential amino acid and carbohydrate ingestion following resistance exercise enhances mTOR signaling and protein synthesis in human muscle . American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism, 294 ( 2 ), E392 – E400 . PubMed ID: 18056791 doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00582.2007 10.1152/ajpendo.00582