Energy drinks work in a funny way

According to Science Daily Journal, Ed Chambers et al. show that energy drinks (glucose or maltodextrin) can significantly boost performance in an endurance event, even if the drink is only rinsed in your mouth and not swallowed. Performance gains of 2 – 3% were measured.

Apparently, there is direct signaling from receptors in the mouth to the brain, reducing the athletes’ perception of their workload, and hence enables them to sustain a higher average output. “Much of the benefit from carbohydrate in sports drinks is provided by signalling directly from mouth to brain rather than providing energy for the working muscles,” explained Dr Chambers.

I wonder if just sucking on a peppermint hard candy would have the same effect? I suppose it’s possible since UC Davis did a study showing that sports formulated jelly beans (Jelly Bellys, of course) also increased performance. Maybe I’ll try some Jelly Bellys on my next long bike ride.

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