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Effects of short-term graded dietary carbohydrate intake on intramuscular and whole body metabolism during moderate-intensity exercise


Altering dietary carbohydrate (CHO) intake modulates fuel utilization during exercise. However, there has been no systematic evaluation of metabolic responses to graded changes in short-term (< 1 wk) dietary CHO intake. Thirteen active men performed interval running exercise combined with isocaloric diets over 3 days before evaluation of metabolic responses to 60-min running at 65% VO2max on three occasions. Diets contained lower [LOW, 2.40 +/- 0.66 g, 21.3 +/- 0.5% of energy intake (EI)], moderate (MOD, 4.98 +/- 1.31 g, 46.3 +/- 0.7% EI), or higher (HIGH, 6.48 +/- 1.56 g, 60.5 +/- 1.6% EI) CHO. Preexercise muscle glycogen content was lower in LOW [54.3 +/- 26.4 wet weight (ww)] compared with MOD (82.6 +/- 18.8 -1) ww) and HIGH (80.4 +/- 26.0 ww, P < 0.001; MOD vs. HIGH, P = 0.85). Whole body substrate oxidation, systemic responses, and muscle substrate utilization during exercise indicated increased fat and decreased CHO metabolism in LOW [respiratory exchange ratio (RER): 0.81 +/- 0.01] compared with MOD (RER 0.86 +/- 0.01, P = 0.0005) and HIGH (RER: 0.88 +/- 0.01, P < 0.0001; MOD vs. HIGH, P = 0.14). Higher basal muscle expression of genes encoding proteins implicated in fat utilization was observed in LOW. In conclusion, muscle glycogen availability and subsequent metabolic responses to exercise were resistant to increases in dietary CHO intake from approximately 5.0 to approximately 6.5 g (46% to 61% EI), while muscle glycogen, gene expression, and metabolic responses were sensitive to more marked reductions in CHO intake ( approximately 2.4 g, approximately 21% EI).NEW & NOTEWORTHY The data presented here suggest that metabolic responses to steady-state aerobic exercise are somewhat resistant to short-term changes in dietary carbohydrate (CHO) intake within the 5-6.5 g [46-61% energy intake (EI)] range. In contrast, reduction in short-term dietary CHO intake to approximately 2.4 g (21% EI) evoked clear changes indicative of increased fat and decreased CHO metabolism during exercise.

Type Journal
ISBN 1522-1601 (Electronic) 0161-7567 (Linking)
Authors Maunder, E.; Bradley, H. E.; Deane, C. S.; Hodgson, A. B.; Jones, M.; Joanisse, S.; Turner, A. M.; Breen, L.; Philp, A.; Wallis, G. A.
Published Date 2021-07-31
Published Volume 131
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 376-387
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1152/japplphysiol.00811.2020
URL link to publisher's version