Rinse your mouth to boost performance

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Recently I have come across some really cool science that I wanted to share with you.  There has been a new research paper about carbohydrate mouth rinses used in sport to boost performance. This area of science has been developing over the past year or two and seems to be extremely topical at sports nutrition professional events.

It is well known that carbohydrate 30min prior to exercise can boost performance. Having carbohydrates in 30-45min intervals during long distance events can also boost performance. Knowing that you can get the similar benefits without actually ingesting carbohydrates is really useful.In this study they get a bunch of well-trained athletes and make them fast over night.

All the athletes pile into the research lab and are put through the paces. The researchers induce a fatigued exercise state by training the athletes on the leg extension. This is meant to mimic competition state where an athlete is depleted and running off and almost running out of glycogen stores. Before going into the real testing protocol doing maximal lifts.

The athletes, then wash a flavoured carbohydrate liquid in their mouth and spit it out. The researchers then get them to perform maximal lifts and measure their performance.The outcome of this testing may surprise you. Even though the athletes do not swallow the liquid their performance still improves. Which is super strange, but it works! Why it works are still unknown, however knowing this gives sports dietitian’s so much more to play with now.

A lot of athletes get bowel upset from eating and drinking during competition. We know though that they get better performance gains when they do eat and drink. Using carbohydrate mouth rinses means these athletes can now take advantage of this protocol get the performance results they want, without bowel upsets. Bonus!

I have heard of some sports dietitian’s using this information to do really awesome stuff with their clients. For example using mouth rises during strength training for a body-sculpting athlete preparing for comp. Were the athletes objective is to get as lean as possible and carbohydrate deplete before a competition. This allowed the athletes to still train hard right up until comp day, but get the body composition goals desired.

Another example was a dietitian using mouth rises with a client who was doing a marathon. As the client had fructose intolerance they were unable to use gels and sports drinks. In the first half of the race he used potato mash mixed with maltodextrin to get him through the first 30km, and in the last 10km used mouth rises to boost performance and carry him over the finish line. Both examples the athletes did extremely well, more than expected. Hopefully we will hear of some more amazing story’s come out of this, it’s all too very exciting!

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