Effect of the glycemic index of pre-exercise snack bars on substrate utilization during subsequent exercise

Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong , Shatin , Hong Kong and.
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Impact Factor: 1.21). 08/2013; 64(8). DOI: 10.3109/09637486.2013.825701
Source: PubMed


To investigate the effect of the glycemic index (GI) of pre-exercise snack bars on substrate utilization during subsequent moderate intensity exercise.

Fourteen male participants (Age: 27 ± 5 yr; BMI: 22.5 ± 2.7 kg m(-2); [Formula: see text]: 48.7 ± 6.1 mL kg(-1 )min(-1)) completed two trials in a randomized and counterbalanced crossover design. Two iso-caloric snack bars with different GI values (20, LGI versus 68, HGI) were provided to the participants. Ninety minutes later, all participants completed 45 minutes of ergometer cycling at 65% [Formula: see text]. Substrate utilization was measured using indirect calorimetry.

During exercise, higher fat oxidation and lower carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation were observed in the LGI trial (LGI versus HGI: CHO, 87.3 ± 20.1 versus 99.2 ± 19.0 g, p < 0.05; Fat, 15.0 ± 5.8 versus 9.7 ± 7.0 g, p < 0.05).

Compared with an iso-caloric HGI snack bar, pre-exercise LGI snack bar consumption may facilitate a shift of substrate utilization from CHO to fat during subsequent moderate intensity exercise.

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    ABSTRACT: Endurance athletes rarely compete in the fasted state, as this may compromise fuel stores. Thus, the timing and composition of the pre-exercise meal is a significant consideration for optimizing metabolism and subsequent endurance performance. Carbohydrate feedings prior to endurance exercise are common and have generally been shown to enhance performance, despite increasing insulin levels and reducing fat oxidation. These metabolic effects may be attenuated by consuming low glycemic index carbohydrates and/or modified starches before exercise. High fat meals seem to have beneficial metabolic effects (e.g., increasing fat oxidation and possibly sparing muscle glycogen). However, these effects do not necessarily translate into enhanced performance. Relatively little research has examined the effects of a pre-exercise high protein meal on subsequent performance, but there is some evidence to suggest enhanced pre-exercise glycogen synthesis and benefits to metabolism during exercise. Finally, various supplements (i.e., caffeine and beetroot juice) also warrant possible inclusion into pre-race nutrition for endurance athletes. Ultimately, further research is needed to optimize pre-exercise nutritional strategies for endurance performance.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Nutrients