diets · health · sports nutrition · training

Gatorade as pre race mouth wash?

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So I’m doing Precision Nutrition’s Lean Eating program. It’s a habit based program I really like. We’re fans of habits here at this blog.! (See Habits versus Goals, and Making a Habit of It.)

I’ve blogged a bit about my motives here:  Fat, fit, and why I want to be leaner anyway and Nutrition is the foundation of health and fitness. You simply cannot out train a poor diet.”

The latest habit–drink only beverages with zero calories–has mostly been pretty easy. I drink water, black coffee, and green tea and not much of anything else really. I quit drinking alcohol a few years ago and so while most others find that hard, it’s a breeze for me.

I have one exception. I do drink sports drink while cycling. Not on rides under 80 km but on hot days, after a 100 km, I need something more than water on my bike. I keep two bottles with me on the bike, one with plain water and the other filled with a water/sports drink combo. And I’m experimenting with other options. We’ll see. I’m a lousy intuitive eater on the bike. When I ride hard my appetite disappears and I can crash for lack of fuel. After long slower rides, I’m hungry for days and keep eating long after fuel is needed.

But this post is about another use for sports drinks, race performance.  They make a difference and that’s well documented.

But what’s surprising is that it turns out they make a difference even if you just taste them and don’t swallow.

Really, swish and spit works. Sports drinks improve performance even if you don’t actually consume them.

But what’s puzzling is why. It’s not new news but Precision Nutrition recently reminded me by sharing this link to recent research: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?linkname=pubmed_pubmed&from_uid=23438223

Here’s the conclusion of one of the studies: “The results demonstrate that carbohydrate mouth rinse has a positive effect on 1-h time trial performance. The mechanism responsible for the improvement in high-intensity exercise performance with exogenous carbohydrate appears to involve an increase in central drive or motivation rather than having any metabolic cause. The nature and role of putative CHO receptors in the mouth warrants further investigation.”

Kind of intriguing.

Interested? Read more here:

Sports Science Update: Spit Out Your Sports Drink

High energy sports drinks boost performance even if you spit them out

Research Review: Can gargling glucose make you faster?

2 thoughts on “Gatorade as pre race mouth wash?

  1. I’m not really interested in getting my body hooked to sports drinks and I’ve been cycling for last 22 years. (I’m car-free.) And have gone on loaded touring bike rides for several wks.

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