Pre-exercise carbohydrate and fluid ingestion: influence of glycemic response on 10-km treadmill running performance in the heat

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2000 Mar;40(1):41-50.


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of ingesting solutions containing mixtures of carbohydrate (CHO) types on pre-exercise glycemic response, exercise-induced hypoglycemia, metabolic responses, and 10-km treadmill running performance in a warm environment.

Methods: Ten trained runners completed 6, self-paced 10-km treadmill runs one hour after ingesting 900 ml of one of the following test solutions: a water placebo (WP), an 8 g 100 ml-1 high fructose corn syrup solution (HFG; 72 g CHO), a 6 g 100 ml-1 glucose solution (GLU; 54 g CHO), a 6 g.100 ml-1 sucrose/glucose mixture (SUG; 54 g CHO), or banana with water to equal 900 ml (BAN; approx. 54 g CHO). The sixth condition was 675 ml of an 8 g.100 ml-1 HFCS solution (LFG; 54 g CHO). Blood samples were taken prior to ingestion and every 15 min during rest and at 15 and 30 min, and at the end of the 10-km run. Blood was analyzed for glucose (BG) insulin (IN), glycerol, lactate, and percent change in plasma volume. Urine volume during the 1 hour of rest and change in body mass during exercise were also determined.

Results: A significant (p < 0.05) correlation (r = -0.684) was seen between the pre-exercise glycemic response (PEGR = area under the resting BG curve) and the change in BG from pre-EX to 15 min of exercise. BG at 15 min of exercise was significantly higher in the WP (5.22 mM) versus the other conditions (HFG = 3.32, LFG = 3.91, GLU = 3.38, BAN = 3.74 & SUG = 3.63 mM). Pre-exercise IN was lower in the WP (6.54 U ml-1) condition versus the other conditions (HFG = 22.1, LFG = 16.2, GLU = 23.3, BAN = 18.8 & SUG = 12.8 Ten km performance times were not different (WP = 41.87, HFG = 41.66, LFG = 41.79, GLU = 41.65, BAN = 41.53, and SUG = 41.75 min). A significantly greater body mass loss occurred due to urine production during the 60 min of rest in the WP compared to the other conditions. The degree of exercise-induced decline in blood glucose was related to the PEGR; however, the decline in BG did not affect 10-km running performance. In addition, there were no differences in the metabolic responses during exercise between the different CHO types, nor did the type of CHO influence running performance. Finally, the presence of CHO and/or electrolytes in the hydration solutions produced a better fluid retention during the 60-min pre-exercise rest period compared to water.

Conclusions: The results confirmed that if a competitive athlete consumed a breakfast prior to ingesting a CHO-electrolyte beverage, a practice that is common, the glycemic responses may be different.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Isotonic Solutions / pharmacology*
  • Isotonic Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Plasma Volume / drug effects
  • Running / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Isotonic Solutions
  • Lactic Acid