Jeukendrup, A. E., Pfeiffer, B., Stellingwerff, T., & Zaltas, E. (2009). Carbohydrate oxidation from a carbohydrate gel compared to a drink during exercise. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 1456.

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This study evaluated if carbohydrate ingested in the form of a gel is oxidized as effectively as a drink. Well-trained cyclists (N = 8) performed three exercise trials in random order. The trials consisted of cycling at 591% VO2max for 180 minutes while receiving a carbohydrate gel plus plain water, a carbohydrate drink, or plain water. Both carbohydrate treatments delivered glucose plus fructose in a ratio of 2:1 at a rate of 1.8 g/min. Fluid intake was matched between treatments.

Exogenous carbohydrate oxidation from both treatments showed a similar time course with peak exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rates being reached at the end of 180 minutes of exercise. Peak exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rates and efficiency were not different between the gel and drink treatments.

Implication. Gel and drink carbohydrate supplements act similarly.

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