|CHO Mouth rinsing? Cyclist do it, but they do a lot of things ;-)|
The former is also the main reason I did not address this topic in any previous articles in detail. A couple of days ago, I hit on a study that made me reconsider my previous decision that the contemporary evidence would suggest it's not really worth talking or rather writing about carbohydrate mouth rinses.
The study is about to be published in the renowned pee-reviews scientific journal "Appetite" and it is the first study to replace the performance measures (physical or cognitive ones) with neuroimaging... with intriguing results, as I may say.
The good old mantra is that you ingest carbs, they are absorbed, your blood glucose levels increases and all sorts of good an bad things happen. In the course of the whole diabesity debate, here at the SuppVersity, you have already learned that this is not just an oversimplification - if it's not seen in perspective, it's simply false. Still, before the publication of the study at hand, we had only little experimental evidence of the impressive downstream effects of sweet taste receptors in the mouth.
The data Turner et al. present in their latest paper, appear to confirm that there is in fact a hitherto mostly overlooked energy signalling pathway capable of improving human performance that's triggered by the presence of carbohydrates in the mouth.
|Figure 1: Performance increases (power output) observed in response to serial carbohydrate mouth rinsing during a cycle sprint - data from one of the most recent studies (Phillip. 2014)|
Table 1: Overview of the study results Jeukendrup et al. reviewed in their most recent overview of the literature (Jeukendrup. 2010)
The protocol of the study at hand is complex, but in essence, it should suffice to know that the subjects, 10 healthy volunteers, had "mouth-rinse" with either carbohydrate (CHO) or - this is important! - a taste-matched placebo (PLA) solution in a double- blind, counterbalanced study. As the scientists point out, "[t]his protocol eliminates post-oral factors and controls for the perceptual qualities of solutions", and guarantees that the functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain identifies only those cortical areas which are actually responsive to oral carbohydrate during rest and activity phases of a hand -grip motor task.
|Figure 2: Effect of carbohydrate on brain activity. Group level contrast images displaying areas of activation from the contrast CHO > PLA (Turner. 2014)|
In fact, another region that was heavily involved in the CHO mouth-rinse response was the area of the brain that's usually responsible to process visual perception, as well as regions deep down in the the limbic system that have been previously associated with reward.
- Gant, Nicholas, Cathy M. Stinear, and Winston D. Byblow. "Carbohydrate in the mouth immediately facilitates motor output." Brain research 1350 (2010): 151-158.
- Jeukendrup, Asker E., and Edward S. Chambers. "Oral carbohydrate sensing and exercise performance." Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care 13.4 (2010): 447-451.
- Phillips, Shaun M., et al. "The Influence of Serial Carbohydrate Mouth Rinsing on Power Output during a Cycle Sprint." Journal of sports science & medicine 13.2 (2014): 252.
- Pottier, Andries, et al. "Mouth rinse but not ingestion of a carbohydrate solution improves 1‐h cycle time trial performance." Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports 20.1 (2010): 105-111.
- Sclafani, Anthony. "The sixth taste?." Appetite 43.1 (2004): 1-3.
- Turner, Clare E., et al. "Carbohydrate in the mouth enhances activation of brain circuitry involved in motor performance and sensory perception." Appetite (2014).