Journal of Applied Physiology

Oxidation of combined ingestion of glucose and fructose during exercise

Roy L. P. G. Jentjens, Luke Moseley, Rosemary H. Waring, Leslie K. Harding, Asker E. Jeukendrup


The purpose of the present study was to examine whether combined ingestion of a large amount of fructose and glucose during cycling exercise would lead to exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rates >1 g/min. Eight trained cyclists (maximal O2 consumption: 62 ± 3 ml·kg-1·min-1) performed four exercise trials in random order. Each trial consisted of 120 min of cycling at 50% maximum power output (63 ± 2% maximal O2 consumption), while subjects received a solution providing either 1.2 g/min of glucose (Med-Glu), 1.8 g/min of glucose (High-Glu), 0.6 g/min of fructose + 1.2 g/min of glucose (Fruc+Glu), or water. The ingested fructose was labeled with [U-13C]fructose, and the ingested glucose was labeled with [U-14C]glucose. Peak exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rates were ∼55% higher (P < 0.001) in Fruc+Glu (1.26 ± 0.07 g/min) compared with Med-Glu and High-Glu (0.80 ± 0.04 and 0.83 ± 0.05 g/min, respectively). Furthermore, the average exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rates over the 60- to 120-min exercise period were higher (P < 0.001) in Fruc+Glu compared with Med-Glu and High-Glu (1.16 ± 0.06, 0.75 ± 0.04, and 0.75 ± 0.04 g/min, respectively). There was a trend toward a lower endogenous carbohydrate oxidation in Fruc+Glu compared with the other two carbohydrate trials, but this failed to reach statistical significance (P = 0.075). The present results demonstrate that, when fructose and glucose are ingested simultaneously at high rates during cycling exercise, exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rates can reach peak values of ∼1.3 g/min.

  • substrate utilization
  • carbohydrate absorption
  • isotopic tracers
  • metabolism
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