Carbohydrate as a Fuel

Carbohydrate as a Fuel

The amount of carbohydrate in your energy drink can make a considerable difference to your cycling performance.

Energy Drinks_carbohydrate
An energy drink with mid-carbohydrate content is the best choice for cyclists.

Scottish researchers have discovered that an energy drink with mid-carbohydrate content is the best choice for cyclists. Tracking skilled cyclists over a 2 1⁄2-hour ride, the study found no notable difference in performance between those that consumed commercially available (but unnamed) energy drinks containing either 39g or 64g of carbohydrate per hour.

Similarly, there was no significant difference between riders who drank a drink containing 20g of carbs and those powered by water.

However, there was a big performance difference between energy drinks with high and low carb content. The cyclists fuelled by the 39g and 64g drinks outperformed the 20g and water groups by 6.1% and 6.5% respectively in a 30-minute time trial, following a two-hour ride.

The consumption of 39 or 64g an hour of carbs is equally effective at improving endurance performance in cyclists.

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Written by Jenny Nickelson

Jenny Nickelson has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. Because of her deep love to water, she started training swimming in early years. Today she swears on variety and does it all: from swimming, running and cycling to fitness, skiing, dancing and mountaineering.


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