Purpose: This study examined the effect of consuming carbohydrate- (CHO) electrolyte solution on running performance after different-glycemic-index (GI) meals.
Methods: Nine men completed 3 trials in a randomized counterbalanced order, with trials separated by at least 7 days. Two hours before the run after an overnight fast, each participant consumed a high-GI (GI = 83) or low-GI (GI = 36) CHO meal or low-energy sugar-free Jell-O (GI = 0, control). The 2 isocaloric GI meals provided 1.5 g available CHO/kg body mass. During each trial, 2 ml/kg body mass of a 6.6% CHO-electrolyte solution was provided immediately before exercise and every 2.5 km after the start of running. Each trial consisted of a 21-km performance run on a level treadmill. The participants were required to run at 70% VO2max during the first 5 km of the run. They then completed the remaining 16 km as fast as possible.
Results: There was no difference in the time to complete the 21-km run (high-GI vs. low-GI vs. control: 91.1 +/- 2.0 vs. 91.8 +/- 2.2 vs. 92.9 +/- 2.0 min, n.s.). There were no differences in total CHO and fat oxidation throughout the trials, despite differences in preexercise blood glucose, serum insulin, and serum free-fatty-acid concentrations.
Conclusion: When a CHO-electrolyte solution is consumed during a 21-km run, the GI of the preexercise CHO meal makes no difference in running performance.