The form of carbohydrates ingested before exercise may have different effects on both metabolism and performance. Moreover, the ingestion of solid foods slows gastric empty, digestion and absorption rates compared with liquid foods and this has a different impact on glycemia.
For these reasons, several studies have investigated the effects of the form of carbohydrates on glycemic responses, oxidation rates and performance.
- Studies comparing solid versus liquid carbohydrates and solid versus gel carbohydrates have found no difference in glycemic responses between groups.
- Studies that have investigated difference in performance effects have found no differences.
- Furthermore, no differences are found in carbohydrate oxidation rates between the carbohydrate ingestion in the three forms during exercise.
Therefore, it seems not to be the form of ingested carbohydrates that can enhance or reduce performance (in addition, even glycogen synthesis doesn’t vary; study conducted with liquid or solid carbohydrates).
It is advisable that athlete ingests whichever form of carbohydrates best suits, based on his experience and cost-effectiveness of the product.