Preexercise Carbohydrate Feeding and High-Intensity Exercise Capacity: Effects of Timing of Intake and Carbohydrate Concentration

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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The present study aimed to investigate the influence of timing of preexercise carbohydrate feeding (Part A) and carbohydrate concentration (Part B) on short-duration high-intensity exercise capacity. In Part A, 17 males, and in Part B 10 males, performed a peak power output (PPO) test, two familiarization trials at 90% of PPO, and 4 (for Part A) or 3 (for Part B) experimental trials involving exercise capacity tests at 90% PPO. In Part A, the 4 trials were conducted following ingestion of a 6.4% carbohydrate/electrolyte sports drink ingested 30 (C30) or 120 (C120) minutes before exercise, or a flavor-matched placebo administered either 30 (P30) or 120 (P120) minutes before exercise. In Part B, the 3 trials were performed 30 min after ingestion of 0%, 2% or 12% carbohydrate solutions. All trials were performed in a double-blind cross-over design following and overnight fast. Dietary intake and activity in the 2 days before trials was recorded and replicated on each visit. Glucose, lactate, heart rate, and mood/arousal were recorded at intervals during the trials. In Part A, C30 produced the greatest exercise capacity (mean ± SD; 9.0 ± 1.9 min, p < .01) compared with all other trials (7.7 ± 1.5 min P30, 8.0 ± 1.7 min P120, 7.9 ± 1.9 min C120). In Part B, exercise capacity (min) following ingestion of the 2% solution (9.2 ± 2.1) compared with 0% (8.2 ± 0.7) and 12% (8.0 ± 1.3) solutions approached significance (p = .09). This study provides new evidence to suggest that timing of carbohydrate intake is important in short duration high-intensity exercise tasks, but a concentration effect requires further exploration.

The authors are with the Health and Exercise Sciences Research Group, School of Sport, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK.

Address author correspondence to Stuart D.R. Galloway at s.d.r.galloway@stir.ac.uk.