Welsh, R. S., Byam, S., Bartoli, W., Burke, J. M., Williams, H., & Davis, J. M. (1999). Influence of carbohydrate ingestion on physical and mental function during intermittent high-intensity exercise to fatigue. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 484.

Physically active men (N = 5) and women (N = 5), experienced in sports such as soccer and basketball, completed three practice sessions and two experimental trials (CHO ingestion, placebo ingestion) employing a shuttle running protocol designed to mimic the demands of a basketball game. The experimental session consisted of four 15-min quarters of intermittent shuttle-running of varying intensities. A 20-min half time period was provided, and the whole experience was terminated with a shuttle run to fatigue. Various physical tests (shuttle run to fatigue, 20-m maximal sprint, 10 maximal vertical jumps), and mental function (whole-body motor skill test, POMS, and Stroop color-word test) were performed throughout the experimental trials. CHO and placebo fluids were consumed before, and following each quarter on two separate occasions of the experimental regime.

CHO ingestion resulted in an increase of 37% in run-time to fatigue, and a faster 20-m sprint. The motor skill test was improved and perceived exertion was lowered under the CHO condition.

Implication. CHO supplementation before and during a high-intensity intermittent sport improves physical and mental function.

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