This study investigated the effect of carbohydrate supplementation on substrate oxidation during exercise in hypoxia after preexercise breakfast consumption and omission.
Eleven men walked in normobaric hypoxia (FiO2 ~11.7%) for 90 min at 50% of hypoxic V˙O2max. Participants were supplemented with a carbohydrate beverage (1.2 g·min−1 glucose) and a placebo beverage (both enriched with U-13C6 D-glucose) after breakfast consumption and after omission. Indirect calorimetry and isotope ratio mass spectrometry were used to calculate carbohydrate (exogenous and endogenous [muscle and liver]) and fat oxidation.
In the first 60 min of exercise, there was no significant change in relative substrate oxidation in the carbohydrate compared with placebo trial after breakfast consumption or omission (both P = 0.99). In the last 30 min of exercise, increased relative carbohydrate oxidation occurred in the carbohydrate compared with placebo trial after breakfast omission (44.0 ± 8.8 vs 28.0 ± 12.3, P < 0.01) but not consumption (51.7 ± 12.3 vs 44.2 ± 10.4, P = 0.38). In the same period, a reduction in relative liver (but not muscle) glucose oxidation was observed in the carbohydrate compared with placebo trials after breakfast consumption (liver, 7.7% ± 1.6% vs 14.8% ± 2.3%, P < 0.01; muscle, 25.4% ± 9.4% vs 29.4% ± 11.1%, P = 0.99) and omission (liver, 3.8% ± 0.8% vs 8.7% ± 2.8%, P < 0.01; muscle, 19.4% ± 7.5% vs 19.2% ± 12.2%, P = 0.99). No significant difference in relative exogenous carbohydrate oxidation was observed between breakfast consumption and omission trials (P = 0.14).
In acute normobaric hypoxia, carbohydrate supplementation increased relative carbohydrate oxidation during exercise (>60 min) after breakfast omission, but not consumption.