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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011 Sep;111(9):2381-6. doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-1865-8. Epub 2011 Feb 19.

The effect of carbohydrate mouth rinse on maximal strength and strength endurance.

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  • 1Laboratory of Applied Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Biodynamics of Human Movement, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


It has been previously reported that carbohydrate (CHO) mouth rinse can improve exercise performance. The proposed mechanism involves increased activation of brain regions believed to be responsible for reward/motivation and motor control. Since strength-related performance is affected by central drive to the muscles, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that the positive CNS response to oral CHO sensing may counteract the inhibitory input from the muscle afferent pathways minimizing the drop in the central drive. The purpose of the current study was to test if CHO mouth rinse affects maximum strength and strength endurance performance. Twelve recreationally strength-trained healthy males (age 24.08 ± 2.99 years; height 178.09 ± 6.70 cm; weight 78.67 ± 8.17 kg) took part in the study. All of the tests were performed in the morning, after an 8 h overnight fasting. Subjects were submitted to a maximum strength test (1-RM) and a strength endurance test (six sets until failure at 70% of 1-RM), in separate days under three different experimental conditions (CHO mouth rinse, placebo-PLA mouth rinse and control-CON) in a randomized crossover design. The CHO mouth rinse (25 ml) occurred before every attempt in the 1-RM test, and before every set in the endurance strength test. Blood glucose and lactate were measured immediately before and 5 min post-tests. There were no significant differences in 1-RM between experimental conditions (CHO 101 ± 7.2 kg; PLA 101 ± 7.4 kg; CON 101 ± 7.2 kg; p = 0.98). Furthermore, there were no significance between trial differences in the number of repetitions performed in each set (p = 0.99) or the total exercise volume (number of repetitions × load lifted [kg]) (p = 0.98). A main effect for time (p < 0.0001) in blood lactate concentration was observed in both tests (1-RM and strength endurance). Blood glucose concentration did not differ between conditions. In conclusion, CHO mouth rinse does not affect maximum strength or strength endurance performance.

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