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MILLER J. M.; COYLE, E. F.; SHERMAN, W. M.; HAGBERG, J. M.; COSTILL, D. L.; FINK, W. J.; TERBLANCHE, S. E. and; HOLLOSZY, J. O.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: 1983
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ABSTRACT

This study evaluated the effectiveness of pre-exercise glycerol feeding in protecting against development of hypoglycemia and sparing muscle glycogen during prolonged, intense exercise. Thirty minutes after ingesting either glycerol (1 gm·kg-1 body weight) or a placebo, 10 cyclists performed as much exercise on a cycle ergometer as they were able in 150 min. The average exercise intensity was 72% of VO2max during both trials. Glycerol ingestion increased blood glycerol concentration 100-fold, but did not alter the respiratory exchange ratio (R), plasma levels of insulin and free-fatty acids, or blood lactate and β-hydroxybutyrate. The only significant effect of glycerol feeding was to postpone the decline in blood glucose by about 30 min. This suggests that glycerol served, to a limited extent, as a gluconeogenic substrate; however, glycerol ingestion did not spare muscle glycogen during 90 min of treadmill exercise at 71% VO2max. It appears that man cannot utilize glycerol as gluconeogenic substrate rapidly enough to serve as a major energy source during strenuous exercise.

©1983The American College of Sports Medicine