Fahey, T. D., Larsen, J. D., Brooks, G. A., & Colvin, W. (1991). The effects of ingesting polylactate or glucose polymer drinks during prolonged exercise. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 1, 249-256.

[Polylactate is a combination of lactate and an amino acid.]

Five fasted male cyclists served as Ss and rode a cycle ergometer three times at 50% VO2max for 180 minutes. In a double-blind experiment, Ss were given a solution to be ingested during the performance (5 min before and then every 20 min during the exercise). A glucose polymer solution (7% of multidextrin), polylactate solution (80% polylactate, 20% sodium lactate as a 7% solution), and water sweetened with aspartame were used.

The glucose polymer and polylactate solutions produced similar effects in perceived exertion, sodium, potassium, chloride, lactate, heart rate, oxygen consumption, rectal temperature, and selected skin temperatures. However, the polylactate solution produced higher pH (less acidity) and bicarbonate (better buffering capacity) readings than the glucose condition.

This suggests that a polylactate solution might produce the same effects as a glucose polymer solution but with the added advantage of a better buffering effect.

Implication. One should consider using a polylactate over a glucose polymer solution as an intraexercise fluid replacement regimen for it produces an increased buffering effect.

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