Energy gel ingestion and glucose levels during 2-hour cycling exercise
Ferrentino, April Rose
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Endurance athletes have long used carbohydrate supplementation during prolonged exercise, with more recent use of energy gels to enhance performance. While much research exists to support ingestion of carbohydrate beverages, very little exists analyzing the effects of energy gels. Purpose . The purposes of this study were (1) To determine the effect of energy gel ingestion on blood glucose, lactate and (2) To investigate the effects of different ingestion schedules on blood glucose and lactate during 2 hours of steady-state cycling exercise and performance of a 15 minute time trial. Methods . 10 trained cyclists (5 men, 5 women 28±3.66 yrs; 69±11 kg; VO 2max = 54.57±9.45ml/kg/min) performed three exercise trials in random order. Energy gel was ingested 15 minutes prior to exercise during all trials. The three experimental trials included ingestion every 30 minutes (T1), every 45 minutes (T2) during exercise, and no gel ingested during exercise (T3). Participants cycled at 70% of VO 2 max for 2 hours, followed by a 15 minute fixed gear time trial. Results . Blood glucose at 60 minutes of exercise was significantly higher (p=0.038) during T1(125.5±30.9) and T2 (127.6±14.8) compared with T3 (102.8±15.8). Time trial distance was significantly greater for T1 (4.70 mi) than T2 (4.46 mi) (p=0.008) and T3 (4.16 mi) (p<0.001). Conclusions . Ingestion of energy gels during prolonged cycling elevates blood glucose levels and enhances subsequent performance, while more frequent ingestion elicits additional performance benefits.