Background


• It is widely accepted that carbohydrate (CHO) fuelling during endurance exercise is required to maintain performance

 

• The guidelines for endurance exercise > 2.5 h is up to 90 grams of CHO per hour, from dual source CHO, in a 2:1 ratio

 

• This ingested CHO must pass through the gut to be delivered to the working muscle, presenting challenges in digestion and absorption

 

• Sodium alginate is a seaweed extract, promoted by some brands to aid in the conversion of a CHO sports drink to a hydrogel in the stomach. Potentially increasing CHO delivery to the small intestine and enhancing exercise performance


Study Aims and Location

• To test the hypothesis that the inclusion of sodium alginate in a dual source CHO sports drink improves performance further than a dual source isotonic CHO sports drink

 

• This trial was completed externally at the Porsche Human Performance Laboratory


Methods


• 14 amateur endurance trained participants completed 3 exercise trials

 

• Each trial was a 2 h steady state ride followed by a time-trial effort (TT)

 

• The 3 trial conditions were 83 g CHO per hour from Maurten Drink Mix 320, 80 g CHO per hour from SiS Beta Fuel and a non-caloric placebo


Results


• No differences between Maurten, Beta Fuel and placebo, in heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, CHO and fat oxidation or GI discomfort during the 2 h steady state ride

 

• No significant differences in time to complete the TT between conditions

 

• At the end of the TT, blood glucose was significantly higher in the Beta Fuel trial when compared to Maurten Drink Mix 320 and placebo

 

Conclusions


1. The addition of sodium alginate to a dual source CHO sports drink offers no performance benefit

 

2. The inclusion of sodium alginate does not enhance blood glucose availability or total carbohydrate oxidation

 

3. The inclusion of sodium alginate may compromise digestion and absorption of a dual source CHO sports drink during high-intensity exercise