Int J Sports Med 1996; 17(1): 27-33
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-972804
Physiology and Biochemistry

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Pre-Exercise Glycerol Hydration Improves Cycling Endurance Time

P. Montner, D. M. Stark, M. L. Riedesel, G. Murata, R. Robergs, M. Timms, T. W. Chick
  • Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Albuquerque, NM 87108 Departments of Biology, Human Performanceand Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131
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Publication History

Publication Date:
09 March 2007 (online)

The effects of glycerol ingestion (GEH) on hydration and subsequent cycle ergometer submaximal load exercise were examined in well conditioned subjects. We hypothesized that GEH would reduce physiologic strain and increase endurance. The purpose of Study I (n = 11) was to determine if pre-exercise GEH (1.2 gm/kg glycerol in 26 ml/kg solution) compared to pre-exercise placebo hydration (PH) (26 ml/kg of aspartame flavored water) lowered heart rate (HR), lowered rectal temperature (Tc), and prolonged endurance time (ET) during submaximal load cycle er-gometry. The purpose of Study II (n = 7) was to determine if the same pre-exercise regimen followed by carbohydrate oral replacement solution (ORS) during exercise also lowered HR, Tc, and prolonged ET. Both studies were double-blind, randomized, crossover trials, performed at an ambient temperature of 23.5 -24.5 °C, and humidity of 25 - 27 %. Mean HR was lower by 2.8 ± 0.4 beats/min (p = 0.05) after GEH in Study I and by 4.4 ± 1.1 beats/min (p = 0.01) in Study II. Endurance time was prolonged after GEH in Study I (93.8 ± 14 min vs. 77.4 ± 9 min, p = 0.049) and in Study II (123.4 ± 17 min vs. 99.0 ± 11 min, p = 0.03). Rectal temperature did not differ between hydration regimens in both Study I and Study II. Thus, pre-exercise glycerol-enhanced hyper hydration lowers HR and prolongs ET even when combined with ORS during exercise. The regimens tested in this study could potentially be adapted for endurance activities.