Effects of three commercially available sports drinks on substrate metabolism and subsequent endurance performance in a postprandial state

Lu Qin, Qi Rong Wang, Zi Long Fang, Ting Wang, Ai Qi Yu, Yu Jie Zhou, Yi Zheng, Mu Qing Yi

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9 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the effects of commercially available sports beverages with various components on substrate metabolism and subsequent performance. Methods: Two studies were conducted in a double-blinded, counterbalanced manner. Study I was designed to determine the glycemic index, while study II determined the utilization of substrates and subsequent exercise performance. Ten healthy male participants (age 21.70 ± 2.41 years, height 176.60 ± 5.23 cm, weight 66.58 ± 5.38 kg, VO2max 48.1 ± 8.4 mL/kg/min) participated in both study I and study II. Three types of commercially available sports beverage powders were used. The powders consisted primarily of oligosaccharides (low molecular weight carbohydrates, L-CHO), hydrolyzed starch (high molecular weight CHO, H-CHO), and whey protein powder with carbohydrate (CHO-PRO). They were dissolved in purified water with identical CHO concentration of 8% (w/v). In study I, each participant underwent two oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) and one glycemic response test for each sports drink. In study II, participants cycled for 60 min at 70% VO2max, one hour after consuming a standardized breakfast. One of four prescribed beverages (L-CHO, H-CHO, CHO-PRO, and Placebo control, PLA) was served at 0, 15, 30, 45 min during the exercise. Six hours after the first exercise session, participants came back for a “time to exhaustion test” (TTE). Blood samples were drawn at 0, 30, and 60 min in the first exercise session, while arterial blood gas analysis was conducted at 0, 30, and 60 min in both sessions. Subjective feelings (rating of perceived exertion and abdominal discomfort) were also evaluated every 30 min during exercise. Results: Compared to the reference standardized glucose solution, the glycemic index of the L-CHO beverage was 117.70 ± 14.25, while H-CHO was 105.50 ± 12.82, and CHO-PRO was 67.23 ± 5.88. During the exercise test, the insulin level at 30 and 60 min was significantly lower than baseline following the treatment of L-CHO, H-CHO, and PLA (p < 0.05). The CHO oxidation rate at 60 min in the first exercise session was significantly higher than that at 60 min in the second exercise session following the L-CHO treatment (p < 0.05). Time to exhaustion was not significantly different (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The CHO sports beverage with additional PRO maintains insulin production during endurance cycling at 70% VO2max in the postprandial state. L-CHO sports beverage suppresses fat utilization during the subsequent exercise performance test. The subsequent exercise performance (as evaluated by TTE) was not influenced by the type of CHO or the addition of PRO in the commercially available sports beverages used in the present study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number377
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 12 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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