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A new study has shown that a spoon full of sugar in a glass of water may have the same effect on people going for a long run as energy drinks.
The team of researchers from the University of Bath studied the impact of endurance exercise on liver glycogen levels and analysed results after several drinks to see how different sugars could slow the decline of liver glycogen levels that causes tiredness. In the experiment, the researchers included long-distance cyclists as participants and found that both glucose and sucrose can help maintain liver glycogen levels and thus avoid tiredness.
Researchers also found that combining the different sources of sugars like sucroseand glucose an increase the rate at which people can absorb them and get energy. They said that sucrose, which is in the form of table sugarand glucose are both important carbohydrates that can help provide energy to the body. Researchers warned that glucose-only drinks could produce stomach discomfort and recommended sucrose-based alternatives, which is just sugar in a glass of water.
Lead researcher Javier Gonzalez said that when the aim is to maximise carbohydrate availability, sucrose is probably a better source of carbohydrate than glucose. “However, while we have a relatively good understanding of the changes in our muscle carbohydrate stores with exercise and nutrition, we know very little about optimising liver carbohydrate stores during and after exercise,”
The findings were published in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology & Metabolism.