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The present study investigated potential sex-related differences in the metabolic response to carbohydrate (CHO) ingestion during exercise. Moderately endurance-trained men and women (n = 8 for each sex) performed 2 h of cycling at approximately 67% Vo(2 max) with water (WAT) or CHO ingestion (1.5 g of glucose/min). Substrate oxidation and kinetics were quantified during exercise using indirect calorimetry and stable isotope techniques ([(13)C]glucose ingestion, [6,6-(2)H(2)]glucose, and [(2)H(5)]glycerol infusion). In both sexes, CHO ingestion significantly increased the rates of appearance (R(a)) and disappearance (R(d)) of glucose during exercise compared with WAT ingestion [males: WAT, approximately 28-29 micromol x kg lean body mass (LBM)(-1) x min(-1); CHO, approximately 53 micromol x kg LBM(-1) x min(-1); females: WAT, approximately 28-29 micromol x kg LBM(-1) x min(-1); CHO, approximately 61 micromol x kg LBM(-1) x min(-1); main effect of trial, P < 0.05]. The contribution of plasma glucose oxidation to the energy yield was significantly increased with CHO ingestion in both sexes (from approximately 10% to approximately 20% of energy expenditure; main effect of trial, P < 0.05). Liver-derived glucose oxidation was reduced, although the rate of muscle glycogen oxidation was unaffected with CHO ingestion (males: WAT, 108 +/- 12 micromol x kg LBM(-1) x min(-1); CHO, 108 +/- 11 micromol x kg LBM(-1) x min(-1); females: WAT, 89 +/- 10 micromol x kg LBM(-1) x min(-1); CHO, 93 +/- 11 micromol x kg LBM(-1) x min(-1)). CHO ingestion reduced fat oxidation and lipolytic rate (R(a) glycerol) to a similar extent in both sexes. Finally, ingested CHO was oxidized at similar rates in men and women during exercise (peak rates of 0.70 +/- 0.08 and 0.65 +/- 0.06 g/min, respectively). The present investigation suggests that the metabolic response to CHO ingestion during exercise is largely similar in men and women.

Original publication




Journal article


American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism

Publication Date





E708 - E715


School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK.


Humans, Glycerol, Lactic Acid, Insulin, Dietary Carbohydrates, Glucose, Blood Glucose, Fatty Acids, Nonesterified, Exercise, Calorimetry, Indirect, Sex Factors, Adult, Female, Male