Fueling During Exercise

Editor(s): A. Jeukendrup, Sports Nutrition Focus 2007


There is a large body of evidence dating back to the 1920s but mostly from the 1980s that carbohydrates can improve performance during more prolonged exercise (>2h). The ingested carbohydrate can prevent a drop in blood glucose concentration and can help to maintain high rates of carbohydrate oxidation which is necessary to maintain relatively high exercise intensities. We and other have also demonstrated that carbohydrate during exercise can also improve high intensity exercise as short as 1h although the mechanisms may be central rather than metabolic. A greater contribution of exogenous carbohydrate (carbohydrate from a drink or food) will spare body carbohydrate stores and is generally believed to be beneficial. Over the last 15 years we have investigated ways to improve fuel delivery to the working muscle...