Timmons BW, Bar-or O.
To examine the effect of prolonged cycling on ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) in boys and men and whether carbohydrate (CHO) ingestion would lower RPE during exercise.
Ten boys (9-10 yr) and 10 men (20-25 yr) cycled for 60 min at approximately 70% VO2peak on two occasions. In a double-blind, counterbalanced design, a total volume of 24 mL.kg(-1) body mass of either a 6% CHO-electrolyte (CT) or flavored water (WT) beverage was consumed intermittently before and during exercise in each trial. Oxygen consumption (VO2), ventilation (VE), respiratory rate (RR), RPE (Borg's 6-20 scale), and heart rate (HR) were recorded periodically throughout exercise. Plasma glucose (GLU) was determined before and after exercise.
Postexercise GLU was not different between age groups but higher (P<0.001) during CT (5.6 +/- 0.2 mmol.L(-1)) compared with WT (4.7 +/- 0.1 mmol.L(-1)). CHO ingestion had no effect (P>0.05) on VO2, VE, RR, or RPE in either group. RR during exercise was higher (P<0.01) in boys (39.0 +/- 2.2 breaths.min(-1)) than in men (30.9 +/- 1.3 breaths.min(-1)). HR was slightly higher (P=0.047) during CT (160 +/- 3 beats.min(-1)) compared with WT (156 +/- 4 beats.min(-1)) and increased less over time (P<0.01) in boys compared with men. RPE at 5 min of exercise was similar (P>0.05) between boys (11.8 +/- 0.7) and men (12.0 +/- 0.7) but increased faster (P<0.01) over time in boys. The average exercise RPE was higher (P<0.01) in boys (15.8 +/- 0.5) than in men (14.0 +/- 0.4).
The higher and faster increase in RPE during exercise in boys, compared with men, may reflect a sensitivity to RR that outweighed any effect of CHO ingestion on RPE.