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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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John Seifert, Joseph Harmon and Patty DeClercq

The purpose of this study was to compare fluid retention of carbohydrate plus protein, a carbohydrate-only, and water following 2.5% body weight (BW) loss. Thirteen subjects dehydrated to 2.5% of BW, then ingested a CHO (6%) plus protein drink (1.5%; CP), a 6% CHO drink, or water (WA) at a volume equal to BW loss during a 3-h recovery. Fluid retention was significantly greater for CP (88 ± 4.7%) than CHO (75 ± 14.6%), which was greater than WA (53 ± 16.1%). Serum and urine osmolalities were greater for CP (284.7 ± 5.0; 569.4 ± 291.4 mOsm/kg) than CHO (282.6 ± 5.2; 472.9 ± 291.5 mOsm/kg) which were greater than WA (280.6 ± 5.9, 303.7 ± 251.5 mOsm/kg). Results indicate that fluid retention for CP was 15% greater than CHO and 40% greater than WA. Water ingestion led to a dilution of the serum and resulted in only 53% fluid retention.

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Robert Murray, William Bartoli, John Stofan, Mary Horn and Dennis Eddy

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of repeated ingestion of drinks containing varying concentrations of carbohydrate on gastric emptying rate during steady-state exercise. On five separate occasions, 14 subjects cycled for 90 min at an average power output of 151 ± 2 W. At 15-min intervals, subjects ingested 227 ± 3 ml of either water, 4% carbohydrate (CHO), 6% CHO, or 8% CHO. Gastric volume was determined prior to each drink and at 90 min using the modified double-sampling technique. Gross gastric volumes were significantly greater and mean gastric emptying rates and the percentage of ingested beverage emptied from the stomach were significantly less for 8% CHO. These data indicate that repeated ingestion of an 8% CHO beverage during exercise significantly reduces gastric emptying rate, whereas lower concentrations of carbohydrate do not. In addition, beverage osmolality is not as important as beverage energy content in influencing gastric emptying rate at these carbohydrate concentrations.

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Kirk J. Cureton, Gordon L. Warren, Mindy L. Millard-Stafford, Jonathan E. Wingo, Jennifer Trilk and Maxime Buyckx

This double-blind experiment examined the effects of a caffeinated sports drink during prolonged cycling in a warm environment. Sixteen highly trained cyclists completed 3 trials: placebo, carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink (CES), and caffeinated sports drink (CES+CAF). Subjects cycled for 135 min, alternating between 60% and 75% VO2max every 15 min for the first 120 min, followed by a 15-min performance ride. Maximal voluntary (MVC) and electrically evoked contractile properties of the knee extensors were measured before and after cycling. Work completed during the performance ride was 15–23% greater for CES+CAF than for the other beverages. Ratings of perceived exertion were lower with CES+CAF than with placebo and CES. After cycling, the MVC strength loss was two-thirds less for CES+CAF than for the other beverages (5% vs. 15%). Data from the interpolated-twitch technique indicated that attenuated strength loss with CES+CAF was explained by reduced intrinsic muscle fatigue.

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Costas A. Anastasiou, Stavros A. Kavouras, Christina Koutsari, Charalambos Georgakakis, Katerina Skenderi, Michael Beer and Labros S. Sidossis

This study examined the effect of maltose-containing sports drinks on exercise performance. Ten subjects completed 4 trials. Each trial consisted of a glycogen depletion protocol, followed by a 15-min refueling, after which subjects performed an 1-h performance test while consuming one of the experimental drinks (HGlu, glucose; HMal, maltose; MalMix, sucrose, maltose, and maltodextrin; Plac, placebo). Drinks provided 0.65 g/kg body weight carbohydrates during refueling and 0.2 g/kg every 15 min during the performance test. Although no significant differences were found in performance (HGlu: 67.2 ± 2.0; HMal: 68.6 ± 1.7; MalMix: 66.7 ± 2.0; Plac: 69.4 ± 3.0 min, P > 0.05), subjects completed the MalMix trial 3.9% faster than the Plac. Carbohydrate drinks caused comparable plasma glucose values that were significantly higher during refueling and at the end of exercise, compared to Plac. The data suggest that although carbohydrate drinks help to maintain plasma glucose at a higher level, no differences in performance could be detected after glycogen-depleting exercise.

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Mindy L. Millard-Stafford, Kirk J. Cureton, Jonathan E. Wingo, Jennifer Trilk, Gordon L. Warren and Maxime Buyckx

Caffeine is regarded as a diuretic despite evidence that hydration is not impaired with habitual ingestion. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a caffeinated sports drink impairs fluid delivery and hydration during exercise in warm, humid conditions (28.5 °C, 60% relative humidity). Sixteen cyclists completed 3 trials: placebo (P), carbohydrate-electrolyte (CE), and caffeinated (195 mg/L) sports drink (CAF+CE). Subjects cycled for 120 min at 60–75%VO2max followed by 15 min of maximal-effort cycling. Heart rate and rectal temperature were similar until the final 15 min, when these responses and exercise intensity were higher with CAF+CE than with CE and P. Sweat rate, urine output, plasma-volume losses, serum electrolytes, and blood deuterium-oxide accumulation were not different. Serum osmolality was higher with CAF+CE vs. P but not CE. The authors conclude that CAF+CE appears as rapidly in blood as CE and maintains hydration and sustains cardiovascular and thermoregulatory function as well as CE during exercise in a warm, humid environment.

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David S. Rowlands, Darrell L. Bonetti and Will G. Hopkins

Isotonic sports drinks are often consumed to offset the effects of dehydration and improve endurance performance, but hypotonic drinks may be more advantageous. The purpose of the study was to compare absorption and effects on performance of a commercially available hypotonic sports drink (Mizone Rapid: 3.9% carbohydrate [CHO], 218 mOsmol/kg) with those of an isotonic drink (PowerAde: 7.6% CHO, 281 mOsmol/kg), a hypertonic drink (Gatorade: 6% CHO, 327 mOsmol/kg), and a noncaloric placebo (8 mOsmol/kg). In a crossover, 11 cyclists consumed each drink on separate days at 250 ml/15 min during a 2-hr preload ride at 55% peak power followed by an incremental test to exhaustion. Small to moderate increases in deuterium oxide enrichment in the preload were observed with Mizone Rapid relative to PowerAde, Gatorade, and placebo (differences of 88, 45, and 42 parts per million, respectively; 90% confidence limits ±28). Serum osmolality was moderately lower with Mizone Rapid than with PowerAde and Gatorade (–1.9, –2.4; mOsmol/L; ±1.2 mOsmol/L) but not clearly different vs. placebo. Plasma volume reduction was small to moderate with Mizone Rapid, PowerAde, and Gatorade relative to placebo (–1.9%, –2.5%, –2.9%; ± 2.5%). Gut comfort was highest with Mizone Rapid but clearly different (8.4% ± 4.8%) only vs PowerAde. Peak power was highest with Mizone Rapid (380 W) vs. placebo and other drinks (1.2–3.0%; 99% confidence limits ±4.7%), but differences were inconclusive with reference to the smallest important effect (~1.2%). The outcomes are consistent with fastest fluid absorption with the hypotonic sports drink. Further research should determine whether the effect has a meaningful impact on performance.

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Brenton J. Baguley, Jessica Zilujko, Michael D. Leveritt, Ben Desbrow and Christopher Irwin

The aim of this study was to compare the effect of ad libitum intake of a milk-based liquid meal supplement against a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink following exercise induced fluid loss. Seven male participants (age 22.3 ± 3.4 years, height 179.3 ± 7.9 cm, body mass 74.3 ± 7.3 kg; mean ± SD) completed 4 separate trials and lost 1.89 ± 0.44% body mass through moderate intensity exercise in the laboratory. After exercise, participants consumed ad libitum over 2 h a milk-based liquid meal supplement (Sustagen Sport) on two of the trials (S1, S2) or a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink (Powerade) on two of the trials (P1, P2), with an additional 1 hr observational period. Measures of body mass, urine output, gastrointestinal tolerance and palatability were collected throughout the recovery period. Participants consumed significantly more Powerade than Sustagen Sport over the 2 h rehydration period (P1 = 2225 ± 888 ml, P2 = 2602 ± 1119 mL, S1 = 1375 ± 711 mL, S2 = 1447 ± 857 ml). Total urine output on both Sustagen trails was significantly lower than the second Powerade trial (P2 = 1447 ± 656 ml, S1 = 153 ± 62 ml, S2 = 182 ± 118 mL; p < .05) and trended toward being lower compared with the first Powerade trial (P1 = 1057 ± 699 ml vs. S1, p = .067 and vs. S2, p = .061). No significant differences in net fluid balance were observed between any of the drinks at the conclusion of each trial (P1 = −0.50 ±0. 46 kg, P2 = −0.40 ± 0.35 kg, S1 = −0.61 ± 0.74 kg, S2 = −0.45 ± 0.58 kg). Gastrointestinal tolerance and beverage palatability measures indicated Powerade to be preferred as a rehydration beverage. Ad libitum milk-based liquid meal supplement results in similar net fluid balance as a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink after exercise induced fluid loss.

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Ben Desbrow, Sally Anderson, Jennifer Barrett, Elissa Rao and Mark Hargreaves

The effects of a commercial sports drink on performance in high-intensity cycling was investigated. Nine well-trained subjects were asked to complete a set amount of work as fast as possible (time trial) following 24 h of dietary (subjects were provided with food, energy 57.4 ± 2.4 kcal/kg and carbohydrate 9.1 ± 0.4 g/kg) and exercise control. During exercise, subjects were provided with 14 mL/kg of either 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte (CHO-E) solution or carbohydrate-free placebo (P). Results showed that subjects’ performances did not greatly improve (time, 62:34 ± 6:44 min:sec (CHO-E) vs. 62:40 ± 5:35 min:sec (P); average power output, 283.0 ± 25.0 W (CHO-E) vs. 282.9 ± 29.3 W (P), P > 0.05) while consuming the sports drink. It was concluded that CHO-E consumption throughout a 1-h time trial, following a pre-exercise dietary regimen designed to optimize glucose availability, did not improve time or power output to a greater degree than P in well-trained cyclists.

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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.