Exercise scientists have discovered an amazing new way for athletes to improve their performance. Exercisers can increase their athletic performance for up to an hour by rinsing their mouths with a carbohydrate solution. Just a rinse, they don’t even have to ingest it.
Scientists used a solution of water and a flavorless starch derivative called maltodextrin. Athletes reported improved performance during long distance races after swishing and spitting the solution.
Scientists claim that the brain can sense carbohydrates in the mouth, even if they are tasteless. The sensors prompt the brain to respond allowing the athlete to continue on.
Most athletes usually depend on sugary substances to keep them going, but the problem with this is when blood is shunted from the abdomen and redirected to the working muscles during exercise, these drinks, gels and foods cause stomach cramps. Carbohydrate solutions that are simply swished and spit can eliminate this issue.
In addition, artificial sweeteners were found to have no effect, which means artificially flavored carbohydrate solutions will probably be overwhelming the market soon as the next big thing.
“You can get an advantage from tricking your brain,” said a discoverer of the effect, Matt Bridge, a senior lecturer in coaching and sports science at the University of Birmingham in England. “Your brain tells your body, ‘Carbohydrates are on the way.’ ” And with that message, muscles and nerves are prompted to work harder and longer.”
The effect is said to be small, but for an endrance athlete, any leg up is a huge advantage.