Carb Sports Drinks: Spit Or Swallow?

  1. Exclamation Carb Sports Drinks: Spit Or Swallow?


    New research indicates that the ergogenic benefit of drinking a sugary sports drink may stem from activation of oral receptors -- not from the ingestion of the carbs themselves.

    "They propose that the sugar or carbohydrate glommed onto receptors in the mouth, causing a signaling cascade that activated these brain regions, with the result that the athletes felt they were not working as hard as they actually were—contributing to endurance and power output. Once again, it seems as if the brain, not the muscles, ultimately govern how well we do even on what seems to be a purely physical task. As the scientists put it, “carbohydrate in the human mouth activates regions of the brain that can enhance exercise performance.”
    Interesting. No mention of effects on cortisol of actual ingestion versus swishing it in your mouth. Haven't checked out the original article yet.

  2. Thumbs up


    interesting read, solid post!
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  3. UKStrength
    UKStrength's Avatar

    This research was my MSc thesis last year, we conducted a similar protocol but on 1-hr, middle distance, elite running performance.

    We saw a similar effect, and it's certainly transient because there was no improvement at all in markers of perceived exertion, felt arousal or feeling scale, although there was a tendency for the runners to have less gastrointestinal discomfort.

    We did not measure serum or salivary cortisol during the trial, only blood glucose, which was non-significantly different between carbohydrate and placebo.

    I think this research has got a lot of potential in the elite sports world, definitely so in weight-restricted sports or those where body weight of the competitor exerts an influence on performance (e.g. cycling or running).

    In bodybuilding...probably no use

  4. My girl says its polite to always swallow.

  5. My girls says my man juice tastes like a choc. protein shake.
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