Gastric emptying, absorption, and carbohydrate oxidation during prolonged exercise

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1992 Feb;72(2):468-75. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1992.72.2.468.


This study was designed to examine aspects of digestive function that may limit assimilation of water and oxidation of orally ingested carbohydrate (CHO) during exercise. Eight males completed a crossover study in which each cycled on four occasions for 80 min at 70% maximal O2 consumption. Beverage was consumed at 0, 20, 40, and 60 min. Beverages were water, 4.5% glucose (4.5G), 17% glucose (17G), and 17% maltodextrin (17MD). CHO beverages contained 20 meq/l NaCl and were 13C enriched to measure exogenous CHO oxidation. Gastric (beverage) volume was measured at 80 min. Water uptake was estimated by including 2H2O in the beverage and measuring 2H accumulation in blood. Jejunal perfusion tests were conducted at rest with the same subjects and beverages. In 60 min, 1,294 +/- 31 (SE) ml were ingested; at 80 min, volumes emptied with H2O (1,257 +/- 32 ml) and 4.5G (1,223 +/- 32 ml) were greater than with 17G (781 +/- 56 ml) and 17MD (864 +/- 71 ml; P less than 0.05). Total CHO oxidized was similar with all beverages, but there was a greater increase in exogenous CHO oxidation over time with 17G and 17MD than with 4.5G; 54, 19, and 18% of the CHO ingested with 4.5G, 17G, and 17MD, respectively, was oxidized. This represents 57, 32, and 27%, respectively, of the CHO emptied from the stomach. 2H accumulation in the blood was more rapid with H2O and 4.5G than with 17G or 17MD. Net jejunal water absorption was greater from 4.5G than from water. Net water absorption was also observed from 17MD, whereas net secretion was observed with 17G.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Digestion / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Plasma Volume / physiology
  • Water / metabolism


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Water