Ali, A., Williams, C., Nicholas, C. W., & Foskett, A. (2007). The influence of carbohydrate-electrolyte ingestion on soccer skill performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39, 1969-1976.

This study investigated the effect of ingesting a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution in Ss with reduced carbohydrate stores, during an intermittent shuttle running test on soccer passing and shooting performance. Male university soccer players (N = 16) ingested either a 6.4% carbohydrate-electrolyte solution or a placebo solution (5 ml/kg before and 2 ml/kg every 15 minutes of exercise)during 90 minutes of intermittent shuttle running, with the trials separated by at least seven days. On the evening before the main trial (17:00 h), Ss performed a glycogen-reducing cycling exercise (~80 minutes at 70% VO2max) and were then fed a low-carbohydrate evening meal and reported to be tested the following morning after a 10-hour fast. Blood was collected at rest and after every 30 minutes of exercise. Skill tests were performed before and after the intermittent shuttle running test.

Shooting performance was significantly better in the carbohydrate-electrolyte trial but passing was similar for both trials. Sprint performance during the shuttle-running test was quicker in the carbohydrate-electrolyte trial. Plasma glucose was higher in the carbohydrate-electrolyte trial after 90 minutes of exercise.

Implication. Ingestion of a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution during exercise enabled Ss with compromised glycogen stores to better maintain skill and sprint performance than when ingesting fluid alone.

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