Citation Info

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 57(5):563-569. Available:

Effects of ingesting 6% and 12% glucose/electrolyte beverages during prolonged intermittent cycling in the heat.

Davis JM, Burgess WA, Slentz CA, Bartoli WP, Pate RR.


This study compared the effects of ingesting 6% (MC) and 12% (HC) glucose/electrolyte beverages, and a flavored water placebo (P) on markers of fluid absorption, palatability, and physiological function during prolonged intermittent cycling in the heat. On three occasions, 15 trained male cyclists performed two 60 min cycling bouts at 65% VO2max (E1 and E2). A brief exhaustive performance ride (approximately 3 min) was completed after E1 and E2, and after 20 min recovery (P1, P2, P3). Every 20 min, subjects consumed 275 mL of P, MC or HC. The first drink contained 20 mL of D2O, a tracer of fluid entry into blood plasma. Plasma D2O accumulation was slower for HC than for P and MC (P less than 0.001). HC caused more nausea (P less than 0.01) and fullness (P less than 0.05) than MC or P, and subjects said they would be less likely to consume HC during training or competition (P less than 0.10). Sweat rates, HR, Tre, Tsk, VO2, and PV were similar for all drinks. Performance of P1, P2, P3 were not different among drinks. However, four cyclists failed to maintain the prescribed work rate during E2 for HC but only one failed for MC and P. These data suggest that the slow absorption of a 12% glucose/electrolyte beverage during prolonged intermittent exercise in the heat may increase the risk of gastrointestinal distress and thereby limit performance.