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Glycerol Improves Endurance on Hot Days

A study from Australia shows that taking a type of fat called glycerol increases endurance in runners on hot days. Two hours before a competition, runners drank an ounce of a sugared solution (Gatorade) with added glycerol (1.2 g of glycerol per kilogram of weight). The runners who took glycerol ran the last few miles faster than those who had taken the same drink without the glycerol. They urinated less and had greater blood volume, but they sweat the same as those taking the placebo.

Loss of fluid during competition, particularly on a hot day, reduces endurance. Anything that helps an athlete to retain or take in more water during competition increases endurance. This study shows that taking glycerol before completion reduces urination and increases blood volume, to help an athlete run faster and longer in competitions lasting more than 45 minutes.

The effect of glycerol hyperhydration on Olympic distance triathlon performance in high ambient temperatures. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2002, Vol 12, Iss 1, pp 105-119. A Coutts, P Reaburn, K Mummery, M Holmes. Coutts A, Univ Cent Queensland, Sch Hlth & Human Performance, Rockhampton, Qld 4702, AUSTRALIA

Checked 8/31/08

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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