Effect of carbohydrate feedings on muscle glycogen utilization and exercise performance

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1984 Jun;16(3):219-22.


Ten men were studied during 4 h of cycling to determine the effect of solid carbohydrate (CHO) feedings on muscle glycogen utilization and exercise performance. In the experimental trial (E) the subjects ingested 43 g of sucrose in solid form along with 400 ml of water at 0, 1, 2 and 3 h of exercise. During the control trial (C) they received 400 ml of an artificially sweetened drink without solid CHO. No differences in VO2, heart rate, or total energy expenditure were observed between trials; however, respiratory exchange ratios were significantly (P less than 0.05) higher during E. Blood glucose was significantly (P less than 0.05) elevated 20 min post-feeding in E; however, by 50 min no differences were observed between trials until 230 min (E = 4.5 +/- 0.2 mmol X l-1 vs C = 3.9 +/- 0.2, means +/- SE; P less than 0.05). Muscle glycogen utilization was significantly (P less than 0.05) lower during E (100.7 +/- 10.2 mmol X kg-1 w.w.) than C (126.2 +/- 5.5). During a sprint (100% VO2max) ride to exhaustion at the end of each trial, subjects performed 45% longer when fed CHO (E = 126.8 +/- 24.7 s vs C = 87.2 +/- 17.5; P less than 0.05). It was concluded that repeated solid CHO feedings maintain blood glucose levels, reduce muscle glycogen depletion during prolonged exercise, and enhance sprint performance at the end of such activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Glycogen / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Physical Exertion*


  • Glycogen