The ingestion of exogenous carbohydrates (CHO) during prolonged endurance exercise, such as long-distance triathlon, is considered beneficial with regards to performance. However, little is known about whether this performance benefit differs among the various forms of CHO administration.
A new study published in the April edition of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism looked at the impact of CHO ingestion from a semisolid source (GEL) on measures of performance.
The study found that although gel does not alter long-distance triathlon performance when compared with liquid forms, it does, however, confirm that the use of GEL is associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal distress.
Consequently, the report recommends that athletes and supporting staff should carefully consider the potential advantages and disadvantages of different forms of CHO administration during a long-distance triathlon.