To swish or swallow?

Same effect or myth?

This is an interesting topic (not that the others aren’t) on sweet tasting foods and drinks and their ability to refuel the body without actually consuming them, what? In this shortened chapter we’ll take a look through at what makes this possible or if it’s just a myth.

So by now we know that Carbohydrates in the form of Glucose is an important source of energy that allows are body to create ATP through breakdown in our liver and small intestines before being sent through our cells. These ATP help power us through the day and play a very important role as far as energy sources are concerned.

Something as simple as a sweet taste in our mouth may in fact be enough to give us energy without ever making its way into the Gastro Intestinal Tract (GI)!

Research and Studies (Yes we’ve questioned both of these in earlier chapters) have shown that athletes who swish a carbohydrate based substance around their mouth have actually shown improved endurance and quality during their training sessions. Their bodies act as though the substance has entered their system and therefore react the same way.

Does this mean we don’t need to actually drink a sports drink to get the same effect? How does this even work??

Well, scientists believe that the mouths receptors let the brain know that carbohydrates are now available in the body and that sweet tastes can actually activate parts of the brain that are associated with movement. This however is just speculation. In other studies where athletes have been injected with carbohydrates showed no increase in performance compared to those that consumed them orally.

It wouldn’t be right to leave without letting you know that there are in fact two sides to the story with other studies disputing the fact that swishing carbohydrates in the mouth has an effect on athletic performance. Nevertheless it’s an interesting read and just goes to show that taste may be more than just a pleasant side effect.


Justin Beard Pn1

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