JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

A step towards personalized sports nutrition: carbohydrate intake during exercise

Asker Jeukendrup
Sports Medicine 2014, 44 Suppl 1: S25-33
24791914
There have been significant changes in the understanding of the role of carbohydrates during endurance exercise in recent years, which allows for more specific and more personalized advice with regard to carbohydrate ingestion during exercise. The new proposed guidelines take into account the duration (and intensity) of exercise and advice is not restricted to the amount of carbohydrate; it also gives direction with respect to the type of carbohydrate. Studies have shown that during exercise lasting approximately 1 h in duration, a mouth rinse or small amounts of carbohydrate can result in a performance benefit. A single carbohydrate source can be oxidized at rates up to approximately 60 g/h and this is the recommendation for exercise that is more prolonged (2-3 h). For ultra-endurance events, the recommendation is higher at approximately 90 g/h. Carbohydrate ingested at such high ingestion rates must be a multiple transportable carbohydrates to allow high oxidation rates and prevent the accumulation of carbohydrate in the intestine. The source of the carbohydrate may be a liquid, semisolid, or solid, and the recommendations may need to be adjusted downward when the absolute exercise intensity is low and thus carbohydrate oxidation rates are also low. Carbohydrate intake advice is independent of body weight as well as training status. Therefore, although these guidelines apply to most athletes, they are highly dependent on the type and duration of activity. These new guidelines may replace the generic existing guidelines for carbohydrate intake during endurance exercise.

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