Carbohydrate and exercise performance: The role of multiple transportable carbohydrates

School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.
Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care 07/2010; 13(4):452-7. DOI: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328339de9f
Source: PubMed


Carbohydrate feeding has been shown to be ergogenic, but recently substantial advances have been made in optimizing the guidelines for carbohydrate intake during prolonged exercise.
It was found that limitations to carbohydrate oxidation were in the absorptive process most likely because of a saturation of carbohydrate transporters. By using a combination of carbohydrates that use different intestinal transporters for absorption it was shown that carbohydrate delivery and oxidation could be increased. Studies demonstrated increases in exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rates of up to 65% of glucose: fructose compared with glucose only. Exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rates reach values of 1.75 g/min whereas previously it was thought that 1 g/min was the absolute maximum. The increased carbohydrate oxidation with multiple transportable carbohydrates was accompanied by increased fluid delivery and improved oxidation efficiency, and thus the likelihood of gastrointestinal distress may be diminished. Studies also demonstrated reduced fatigue and improved exercise performance with multiple transportable carbohydrates compared with a single carbohydrate.
Multiple transportable carbohydrates, ingested at high rates, can be beneficial during endurance sports in which the duration of exercise is 3 h or more.

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    • "However, there are surprisingly few studies to base recommendations on. Furthermore, it is now also recommended that carbohydrates should be advised in absolute amounts as no correlation was seen between body mass and exogenous carbohydrate oxidation (Jeukendrup 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: In healthy individuals, high carbohydrate intake is recommended during prolonged exercise for maximum performance. In type 1 diabetes (T1D), this would alter the insulin requirements. The aim of the study was to evaluate the safety of high glucose supplementation during prolonged exercise and the glucose control when a novel strategy of increased carbohydrate supply was implemented during prolonged exercise in T1D. Eight subjects with T1D participated in a sports camp including sessions of prolonged exercise and individualized feedback during three consecutive days. This was later followed by a 90 km cross-country skiing race. Large amounts of carbohydrates, 75 g/h, were supplied during exercise and the insulin requirements were registered. Glucose was measured before, during and after exercise aiming at euglycaemia, 4-8 mmol/L (72-144 mg/dL). During the race, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) was used as an aspect of safety and to allow direct and individual adjustments. Compared to ordinary carbohydrate supply during exercise, the high carbohydrate supplementation resulted in significantly increased insulin doses to maintain euglycaemia. During the cross-country skiing race, the participants succeeded to reach mean target glucose levels; 6.5 ± 1.9 mmol/L (117 ± 34 mg/dL) and 5.7 ± 1.5 mmol/L (103 ± 27 mg/dL) at the start and finish of the race, respectively. Episodes of documented hypoglycemia (<4 mmol/L/72 mg/dL) were rare. CGM was used for adjustments. In this study, large carbohydrate supplementation in T1D individuals during prolonged aerobic exercise is safe and allows the subjects to maintain glycaemic control and indicates the feasibility of CGM under these conditions.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Arbeitsphysiologie
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    • "Although the exact mechanisms are still not completely understood, it has been known for some time that carbohydrate ingestion during exercise can increase exercise capacity and improve exercise performance (for reviews see Jeukendrup [12, 15]). In general, during exercise longer than 2 h, carbohydrate feeding will prevent hypoglycemia, will maintain high rates of carbohydrate oxidation, and increase endurance capacity compared with placebo ingestion. "
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    ABSTRACT: There have been significant changes in the understanding of the role of carbohydrates during endurance exercise in recent years, which allows for more specific and more personalized advice with regard to carbohydrate ingestion during exercise. The new proposed guidelines take into account the duration (and intensity) of exercise and advice is not restricted to the amount of carbohydrate; it also gives direction with respect to the type of carbohydrate. Studies have shown that during exercise lasting approximately 1 h in duration, a mouth rinse or small amounts of carbohydrate can result in a performance benefit. A single carbohydrate source can be oxidized at rates up to approximately 60 g/h and this is the recommendation for exercise that is more prolonged (2-3 h). For ultra-endurance events, the recommendation is higher at approximately 90 g/h. Carbohydrate ingested at such high ingestion rates must be a multiple transportable carbohydrates to allow high oxidation rates and prevent the accumulation of carbohydrate in the intestine. The source of the carbohydrate may be a liquid, semisolid, or solid, and the recommendations may need to be adjusted downward when the absolute exercise intensity is low and thus carbohydrate oxidation rates are also low. Carbohydrate intake advice is independent of body weight as well as training status. Therefore, although these guidelines apply to most athletes, they are highly dependent on the type and duration of activity. These new guidelines may replace the generic existing guidelines for carbohydrate intake during endurance exercise.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014
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    • "Use of more than one CHO in an exercise drink is said to enhance CHO absorption via separate transport mechanisms across the intestinal wall [6]. A combination of glucose and fructose has also been found to enhance gastric emptying [7] and fluid delivery [8] and enhances short-term recovery after exhaustive exercise [9]. Thus, it is hypothesized that a mixed CHO drink will enable greater improvement in endurance exercise performance than a drink of glucose alone through increased oxidation of exogenous CHO and maintenance of endogenous glucose stores [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This double-blinded, crossover randomized controlled trial study was designed to establish if combined ingestion of glucose and fructose (GLU + FRU) at the moderate rate 0.5 g·min−1 would result in higher rates of carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation compared with glucose (GLU) alone. Eight untrained females (VO2max: 25.8 ± 3.2 mL·kg−1·min−1) cycled on two different occasions for 60 min at 50% of maximal power output (60% ± 1 % VO2max) and consumed 12% CHO solution of either providing 0.33 g·min−1 glucose + 0.17 g·min−1 fructose (GLU + FRUC) or 0.5 g·min−1 of glucose (GLU) alone. Heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed during exercise and subjective exercise experience assessed two days after each trial. CHO oxidation was not significantly different ( P > 0.05 ) between GLU + FRU and GLU (0.8 ± 0.06 g·min−1 and 0.78 ± 0.05 g·min−1, resp.). CHO oxidation rates during the final 30 min of the recovery period were not significantly different between GLU + FRU and GLU (0.17 ± 0.04 g·min−1 and 0.14 ± 0.05 g·min−1, resp.). Experience of distress was significantly higher ( P < 0.05 ) for GLU compared to GLU + FRU. The results reveal that consuming modest amounts of glucose plus fructose does not boost CHO oxidation above that of glucose alone during submaximal exercise.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014
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