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

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