Duodenal motility during a run-bike-run protocol: the effect of a sports drink

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002 Oct;14(10):1125-32. doi: 10.1097/00042737-200210000-00014.


Objective: To examine the effect of a sports drink during strenuous exercise on duodenal motility and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Methods: In a cross-over design, seven male triathletes performed two 170-min run-bike-run tests at about 70% peak oxygen uptake (O(2peak)), with either a 7% carbohydrate (CHO) sports drink or tap water. Antroduodenal motility (phase III of the migrating motor complex; MMC) was measured with an ambulant manometry system. The effect of the two exercise trials on the first appearance of the MMC was assessed in the postprandial period.

Results: Exercise heart rate, percentage O(2peak) and loss of body mass did not differ significantly between the two trials. After the start of the exercise, the expected time before the first phase III occurrence, based on the actual energy intake of the last meal in the morning before exercise (1048 +/- 294 kcal), a fixed gastric emptying rate and a lag phase for solid food, was 183 +/- 113 min (mean +/- standard deviation [SD]). The real time period between the start of the exercise with CHO and the first phase III was 63 +/- 61 min, which was significantly shorter than that observed with tap water (152 +/- 59 min). Both real time periods were shorter than the expected time period of 183 +/- 113 min (P < 0.05). During exercise, the number of subjects with a phase III was higher with CHO than with tap water (n =6 v. n =1; P < 0.05). Also, the median number of phases III per hour with CHO was higher than with tap water (0.4 v. 0.0; P < 0.05). During cycling, significantly more phases III per hour (0.9) were measured than during running (0.2). All subjects reported one or more gastrointestinal symptoms during exercise, however, without a clear association with the mode of exercise or supplementation.

Conclusions: Prolonged exercise results in gastrointestinal symptoms and a significant interruption of postprandial motility. Only the latter phenomenon depends on the mode of exercise and supplementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages*
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Duodenum / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Postprandial Period
  • Running / physiology*