Document Detail

Glycaemic index, glycaemic load and exercise performance.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20020785     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The concept of the glycaemic index (GI) was first introduced in the early 1980s as a method of functionally ranking carbohydrate foods based on their actual postprandial blood glucose response compared with a reference food (either glucose or white bread). Although the GI is a debatable topic among many exercise and health professionals, nutritional recommendations to improve exercise performance and enhance exercise capacity are regularly based on information related to the GI. Studies focusing on the consumption of a pre-exercise GI meal have provided evidence that a benefit exists in relation to endurance performance and substrate utilization when a low GI meal is compared with a high GI meal. However, other investigations have shown that when nutritional strategies incorporating GI are applied to multiple meals, there is no clear advantage to the athlete in terms of exercise performance and capacity. It has been suggested that carbohydrate ingestion during endurance exercise negates the effect of the consumption of pre-exercise GI meals. The glycaemic load (GL) is a relatively novel concept in the area of sports nutrition, and has not been widely investigated. Its premise is that the effect, if any, on exercise performance is determined by the overall glycaemic effect of a diet and not by the amount of carbohydrate alone. The claims for GL have been disputed by a number of sports nutrition specialists, and have gone largely unrecognized by professional and scientific bodies. Research on the effect of the GL on exercise performance and capacity is still at an early stage, but recent studies have shown that the concept may have some merit as far as sports nutrition is concerned. It has been suggested that the GL may be a better predictor of glycaemic responses than the GI alone.
John O'Reilly; Stephen H S Wong; Yajun Chen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)     Volume:  40     ISSN:  1179-2035     ISO Abbreviation:  Sports Med     Publication Date:  2010 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-12-21     Completed Date:  2010-03-30     Revised Date:  2013-05-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8412297     Medline TA:  Sports Med     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  27-39     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong, China.
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MeSH Terms
Blood Glucose / metabolism*
Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
Exercise / physiology*
Glycemic Index / physiology*
Physical Endurance / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Blood Glucose; 0/Dietary Carbohydrates

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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