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Improved recovery from prolonged exercise following the consumption of low glycemic index carbohydrate meals

Human Kinetics
Publication Date
  • C600 Sports Science
  • Design


The present study examined the effects of the glycemic index (GI) of post-exercise carbohydrate (CHO) intake on endurance capacity and the metabolic responses during exercise the following day. Nine active males participated in two trials in a randomised crossover design. The experimental protocol was completed over two days. On day 1, subjects completed a 90 min treadmill run at 70% VO2 max (R1). Thereafter, they were supplied with a diet consisting of either high glycemic index (HGI) or low glycemic index (LGI) CHO and provided 8g CHOkg body mass (BM)-1.On day 2, after an overnight fast, subjects ran to exhaustion at 70% VO2 max (R2). Eight subjects completed both performance runs (R2). Run time to exhaustion during R2 was longer in the LGI trial (108.9 7.4 min) than in the HGI trial (96.9 4.8 min) (p<0.05). Average RER values were higher in the HGI trial compared to the LGI trial (p<0.05). Fat oxidation rates and free fatty acid concentrations were higher in the LGI trial than the HGI trial (p<0.05). The results of the study suggest that the increased endurance capacity during R2 was largely a consequence of the greater fat oxidation following the consumption of the LGI meals.

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