Physiological Impact of a Single Serving Slow Absorption Carbohydrate on Metabolic, Hemodynamic, and Performance Markers in Endurance Athletes During a Bout of Exercise

J Strength Cond Res. 2021 May 1;35(5):1262-1272. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003968.


Davitt, PM, Saenz, C, Hartman, T, Barone, P, and Estremera, S. Physiological impact of a single serving slow absorption carbohydrate on metabolic, hemodynamic, and performance markers in endurance athletes during a bout of exercise. J Strength Cond Res 35(5): 1262-1272, 2021-The purpose of this study was to determine how a slow-absorbing carbohydrate affected markers of metabolism, hemodynamics, and performance in well-trained endurance athletes. We examined total and exogenous carbohydrate oxidation (CHO ox), glucose, and performance after consuming different glucose beverages, before a treadmill run. Ten male runners (32.4 years; V̇o2max, 55.9 ml·kg-1·min-1) participated on 3 occasions: slow digestion CHO (S), fast digestion CHO (F), and water (W). Subjects consumed a 50 g dose of either S or F before a 3-hour treadmill run at 57% V̇o2max. Variables were assessed at -15, 0, 30, 60, 90, 135, and 180 minutes. Immediately postrun, subjects completed a time-to-fatigue test at 110% V̇o2max. There was a significant difference in CHO ox for W vs. F and S (C,1.14; S,1.52; F,1.66 ± 0.2 g·min-1, p < 0.05). Fat ox was significantly higher in S vs. F (S,0.54; F,0.47 ± 0.08 g·min-1, p < 0.05). Exogenous CHO ox was significantly higher in F vs. S (F,0.26; S,0.19 + 0.04 g·min-1, p < 0.05). There was a significant difference in average blood glucose for trial (F,94.5; S,97.1 vs. W,88.4 + 2.1 mg·dl-1) and time × trial for F vs. S (0 minutes, p < 0.05). There were no significant performance differences. Consumption of a single bolus of CHO beverage before a 3-hour run elicits significant alterations in energy metabolism compared with just water, with S CHO oxidizing significantly more fat than a rapidly digested carbohydrate. These findings suggest that slow-digesting modified starch provides a consistent blood glucose level and sustained exogenous energy supply during a sustained, 3-hour endurance run. Significance was set at p < 0.05.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates*
  • Exercise
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates