Oral carbohydrate rinse: placebo or beneficial?


July 2013

Newsletter Sign Up


Carbohydrates during exercise can improve exercise performance even when the exercise intensity is high (>75% V˙O2max) and the duration relatively short (approximately 1 h), but the underlying mechanisms for the ergogenic effects are different from those during more prolonged exercise. Studies have even shown effects of oral carbohydrate mouth rinses compared to placebo with improvements typically between 2% and 3% during exercise lasting approximately 1 h. The effects appear more profound after an overnight fast, but effects are still present even after ingestion of a meal. Brain imaging studies have identified brain areas involved, and it is likely that the oral carbohydrate mouth rinse results in afferent signals capable of modifying motor output. These effects appear to be specific to carbohydrate and are independent of taste. Further research is warranted to fully understand the separate taste transduction pathways for various carbohydrates as well as the practical implications.

Curr Sports Med Rep (2013) Jul-Aug 12(4):222-7

GSSI Newsletter Sign up

Get the latest & greatest

All fields are required