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Sports ability improves with glucose from energy drinks

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Sports ability may be improved by simply rinsing the mouth with a glucose energy drink, new research has suggested.

Pleasure signals are sent to the brain when receptors in the mouth find the presence of sugar, according to experts from the University of Birmingham and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Sports drinks and sweets have been known to improve performance, but this study suggests sugar does not even need to be absorbed by the body’s muscles to have an effect.

Therefore even rinsing these drinks in the mouth and spitting them out will help performance, according to the study published in The Journal of Physiology.

The effects of two drinks, one containing saccharin and the other glucose given to a group of eight endurance-trained cyclists were compared with a second group who were given a drink with maltodextrin (a carbohydrate) and a drink with another sweetener, but all drinks were made to taste the same.

All participants rinsed their mouths with their drink and spat it out before completing a one-hour cycle challenge.

In both trials, it took them an average of 2% less time to complete the set workload and they displayed an increase in average power to help them cycle, even though they did not feel they were working any harder.

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