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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


Am j physiol endocrinol metab

Publication Date





E708 - E715


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