Cost-effectiveness of pre-exercise carbohydrate meals and their impact on endurance performance

Douglas J. Paddon-Jones, David R. Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of ingesting 4 isocaloric carbohydrate (CHO) meals 2 hrs prior to a 60-min bout of endurance cycling. Each meal represented a different combination of type, form, or mode of delivery of CHO: (a) semi-liquid, oat based CHO/fat/protein combination (Combo); (b) semi-liquid, oat based CHO (Oat); (c) semi-liquid, wheat based CHO (Wheat); (d) dense solid, fructose based CHO/protein/vitamin combination (Bar). Cost of the meals ranged from $0.50 to $2.60 each. Trials were conducted in random order over a 4-week period. Exercise and diet was standardized prior to each trial. Feedings were ingested 2 hrs before each 60-min self-paced cycle ergometry trial. Dependent variables were assessed every 15 min during each trial. Regardless of which meal was ingested, no significant group differences were found for blood glucose concentration, distance traveled, heart rate, oxygen consumption, or respiratory exchange ratio. It is suggested that some endurance athletes may save money yet suffer no performance disadvantage with CHO-based cereal instead of the more costly commercial sports bars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-94
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood glucose
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Cycling
  • Diet
  • Sports bars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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