Seifert, J. G., & McKenzie, R. (2007). A carbohydrate/protein energy gel improves swimming performance in collegiate swimmers. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number, 2061.

The purpose of this study was to investigate if ingestion of an energy gel with a 4:1 CHO/Protein ratio would confer performance benefits during high intensity swim training. Division II NCAA swimmers (M = 6; F = 6) participated. The testing protocol was: 15 minute warm-up, timed 200-yard swim, 3 sets of 8 x 100-yard sprints starting on two minute intervals, and then a timed 200-yard swim. Performance was assessed by timing the 1st, 4th, and 8th 100-yard interval of each set. Swimmers received either the gel (AccelGelŽ) + 120 mL water or a placebo condition of 120 mL of flavored water after the first 200-yard swim and then after each set of 100-yard sprints (total: 80 g CHO, 20 g protein). Venous blood samples were collected for the measurement of CK before training and 24 hours after training.

Every timed 100-yard sprint from the 4th to the 24th sprint was significantly faster for the gel condition compared to the flavored water condition. Ss maintained their times throughout 21 sprints while ingesting the gel, with the 24th sprint slower than baseline. Ss on placebo condition slowed significantly by the 4th sprint in the first set and continued slowing to the 24th sprint. Ss also demonstrated less CK change with the gel condition than in the placebo.

Implication. Swimmers improve performance during short duration (about 60 sec), high intensity training when ingesting a carbohydrate/protein gel. Swimming velocity decreased significantly from the 4th to the 24th sprint during a water-only condition, but not for the gel. Swimmers on the gel treatment completed the 24th sprint 2 seconds faster than when they were on the placebo. Ingesting a carbohydrate/protein gel may be beneficial for maintaining swimming intensity and minimizing muscular stress.

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