Carbohydrate ingestion during endurance exercise improves performance in adults

John Temesi, Nathan A. Johnson, Jacqueline Raymond, Catriona A. Burdon, Helen T. O'Connor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study was a systematic review with meta-analysis examining the efficacy of carbohydrate (CHO) ingestion compared with placebo (PLA) on endurance exercise performance in adults. Relevant databases were searched to January 2011. Included studies were PLA-controlled, randomized, crossover designs in which CHO ingestion not exceeding 8% and between 30 and 80 g/h during exercise of ≥1 h was evaluated via time trial (TT) or exercise time to exhaustion (TTE). The between-trial standardized mean differences [effect size (ES)] and pooled estimates of the effect of CHO ingestion were calculated. Of the 41,175 studies from the initial search, 50 were included. The ES for submaximal exercise followed by TT was significant (ES = 0.53; 95% CI = 0.37-0.69; P < 0.001) as was the ES for TT (ES = 0.30; 95% CI = 0.07-0.53; P = 0.011). The weighted mean improvement in exercise performance favored CHO ingestion (7.5 and 2.0%, respectively). TTE (ES=0.47; 95%CI=0.32-0.62;P < 0.001) and submaximal exercise followedbyTTE (ES =0.44; 95%CI=0.08-0.80; P= 0.017) also showed significant effects, with weighted mean improvementsof15.1 and 54.2%, respectively, with CHO ingestion. Similar trends were evident for subanalyses of studies using only male or trained participants, for exercise of 1-3 h duration, and where CHO and PLA beverages were matched for electrolyte content. The data support that ingestion of CHO between 30 and 80 g/h enhances endurance exercise performance in adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-897
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume141
Issue number5
Early online date16 Mar 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes

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