GlucoseFructose Enhances Performance versus Isocaloric, but Not Moderate, Glucose

BAUR, DANIEL A.; SCHROER, ADAM B.; LUDEN, NICHOLAS D.; WOMACK, CHRISTOPHER J.; SMYTH, SARAH A.; SAUNDERS, MICHAEL J.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: September 2014 - Volume 46 - Issue 9 - p 1778–1786
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000284
Applied Sciences

Purpose: The effects of glucose-and-fructose (GF) coingestion on cycling time trial (TT) performance and physiological responses to exercise were examined under postprandial conditions.

Methods: Eight trained male cyclists (age, 25 ± 6 yr; height, 180 ± 4 cm; weight, 77 ± 9 kg; V˙O2max, 62 ± 6 mL·kg−1·min−1) completed the study. Subjects ingested either an artificially sweetened placebo (PL), a moderate-glucose beverage (MG, 1.03 g·min−1), a high-glucose beverage (HG, 1.55 g·min−1), or a GF beverage (1.55 g·min−1, 2:1 ratio) during approximately 3 h of exercise, including 2 h of constant-load cycling (55% Wmax, 195 ± 17 W), immediately followed by a computer-simulated 30-km TT. Physiological responses (V˙E, V˙O2, RER, HR, blood glucose level, blood lactate level, and RPE) and incidences of gastrointestinal distress were assessed during early (15–20 min), middle (55–60 min), and late exercise (115–120 min) and during the TT. Magnitude-based qualitative inferences were used to evaluate differences between treatments.

Results: In comparison with that in PL (52.9 ± 3.7 min), TT performances were faster with GF (50.4 ± 2.2 min, “very likely” benefit), MG (51.1 ± 2.4 min, “likely” benefit), and HG (52.0 ± 3.7 min, “possible” benefit). GF resulted in a “likely” improvement versus HG (3.0%) and an “unclear” effect relative to MG (1.2%). MG was “possibly” beneficial versus HG (1.8%). Few incidences of GI distress were reported in any trials.

Conclusions: GF ingestion seems to enhance performance, relative to PL and HG. However, it is unclear whether GF improves performance versus moderate doses of glucose.

Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

Address for correspondence: Michael John Saunders, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology, James Madison University, 261 Bluestone Dr., MSC 2302, Harrisonburg, VA 22807; E-mail: saundemj@jmu.edu.

Submitted for publication September 2013.

Accepted for publication January 2014.

© 2014 American College of Sports Medicine