Running a marathon is something a lot of people choose to do nowadays. Marathons in different cities around the world are very popular and work very well encouraging people to exercise more. However, a lot of people do not manage to run the entire marathon because of simple fatigue. Now scientists from The University of Bath say there is a simple solution – a spoonful of sugar.
Scientists say that this spoon of sugar may be what determines if the big physical event will be a success or a failure. Such simple solution to fatigue issue came after quite a bit of research. Scientists tested a variety of sucrose- and glucose-based drinks to see how different carbohydrates could help. Speaking scientifically, consuming carbohydrates in the form of either glucose or sucrose can prevent the glycogen carbohydrate levels in the liver from declining, which in turn can avert tiredness. However, although both ‘simple sugars’ are regarded as important carbohydrates, there is a slight difference between sucrose and glucose.
Each molecule of sucrose (table sugar) is made up of one glucose and one fructose molecule linked together. This is rather significant, because it appears that such combination improves the rate we can absorb this sugar in our gut. There is a variety of drinks specifically designed for sports. However, a lot of them rely on glucose alone. Scientists say that such drinks may cause gut discomfort, and suggest even such simple alternative as sugar in water may help with exercising.
Dr Javier Gonzalez, lead author of the study, explained: “The carbohydrate stores in our liver are vitally important when it comes to endurance exercise as they help us to maintain a stable blood sugar level. However, whilst we have a relatively good understanding of the changes in our muscle carbohydrate stores with exercise and nutrition, we know very little about optimising liver carbohydrate stores during and after exercise.”
Scientists say that during an exercise that lasts over two and half hours up to 90g of sugar per hour should be consumed in order to prevent fatigue. But it has to be diluted to 8g sugar per 100ml. This means that simple table sugar may become a useful exercising drink and may help finish marathon. However, healthy lifestyle and constant exercising is still the key to good results and healthy body.