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Carbohydrate Attenuates Perceived Exertion during Intermittent Exercise and Recovery

UTTER, ALAN C.1; KANG, JIE3; NIEMAN, DAVID C.1; DUMKE, CHARLES L.1; McANULTY, STEVEN R.1; McANULTY, LISA S.2

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 5 - pp 880-885
doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31803174a8
APPLIED SCIENCES: Psychobiology and Behavioral Strategies

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of carbohydrate supplementation on differentiated and undifferentiated ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) during prolonged intermittent exercise and recovery.

Methods: Twelve male subjects cycled for 2.0 h at 64% Wmax and 73% V˙O2peak with 3-min rest intervals interspersed every 10 min (2.6 h of total exercise time, including rest intervals) with placebo (P) or carbohydrate (C) beverages. RPE was assessed during the last minute of each 10-min exercise interval and then every 30 s during the 3-min recovery period.

Results: The pattern of change in RPE over time was significantly different between C and P ingestion (P < 0.05), with attenuated RPE responses found for both overall body (O) and legs (L). A significant main effect was found for recovery RPE-O between C and P ingestion (P < 0.05), with attenuated RPE responses found in the later part of the 2-h run. C relative to P ingestion was associated with higher respiratory exchange ratios and plasma levels of glucose and with lower levels of plasma cortisol.

Conclusions: These data indicate that carbohydrate supplementation attenuates perceived exertion during prolonged intermittent exercise and recovery.

Departments of 1Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science and 2Family and Consumer Sciences, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC; and 3Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ

Address for correspondence: Alan C. Utter, Ph.D., M.P.H., Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608; E-mail: utterac@appstate.edu.

Submitted for publication August 2006.

Accepted for publication December 2006.

©2007The American College of Sports Medicine