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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Aug;37(4):637-45. doi: 10.1139/h2012-028. Epub 2012 May 16.

A scientific nutrition strategy improves time trial performance by ≈6% when compared with a self-chosen nutrition strategy in trained cyclists: a randomized cross-over study.

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Department of Sport Science, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 2, 06120 Halle, Germany.


We investigated whether an athlete's self-chosen nutrition strategy (A), compared with a scientifically determined one (S), led to an improved endurance performance in a laboratory time trial after an endurance exercise. S consisted of about 1000 mL·h(-1) fluid, in portions of 250 mL every 15 min, 0.5 g sodium·L(-1), 60 g glucose·h(-1), 30 g fructose·h(-1), and 5 mg caffeine·kg body mass(-1). Eighteen endurance-trained cyclists (16 male; 2 female) were tested using a randomized crossover-design at intervals of 2 weeks, following either A or S. After a warm-up, a maximal oxygen uptake test was performed. Following a 30-min break, a 2.5-h endurance exercise on a bicycle ergometer was carried out at 70% maximal oxygen uptake. After 5 min of rest, a time trial of 64.37 km (40 miles) was completed. The ingested nutrition was recorded every 15 min. In S, the athletes completed the time trial faster (128 vs. 136 min; p ≤ 0.001) and with a significantly higher power output (212 vs. 184 W; p ≤ 0.001). The intake of fluid, energy (carbohydrate-, mono-, and disaccharide), and sodium was significantly higher in S compared with A (p ≤ 0.001) during the endurance exercise. In the time trial, only sodium intake was significantly higher in S (p ≤ 0.001). We concluded that a time trial performance after a 2.5-h endurance exercise in a laboratory setting was significantly improved following a scientific nutrition strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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