Carbohydrate ingestion rates during exercise: 90 vs 120 grams per hour – which is best?

I recently made a post on Instagram that got a lot of attention and questions, and it was one that compared the percentage efficiency of carbohydrate (CHO) ingestion when was taking 120 g of CHO per hour. There were a lot of questions, and of course it’s hard to explain in enough detail via an Instagram story (see below).

So, as such, in this blog, I am going to have a look at the emerging literature suggesting it may be possible to ingest carbohydrate at rates as high as 120 grams per hour during exercise (that’s ~5-6 gels!). Carbohydrate ingestion during training and racing has a long history in exercise physiology, sports nutrition, and endurance sport. Despite decades of research investigating the optimum dose, type, and form of carbohydrate to support performance, research is still emerging that challenges our practices. So, let’s get into it.

Why carbohydrate during exercise?

We have often discussed how whilst the body’s fat energy stores are vast and...

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