Glycogen depletion during prolonged exercise: Influence of glucose, fructose, or placebo

V. A. Koivisto, M. Harkonen, S. L. Karonen, P. H. Groop, R. Elovainio, E. Ferrannini, L. Sacca, R. A. Defronzo

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58 Scopus citations


We examined the influence of various carbohydrates of fuel homeostasis and glycogen utilization during prolonged exercise. Seventy-five grams of glucose, fructose, or placebo were given orally to eight healthy males 45 min before ergometer exercise performed for 2 h at 55% of maximal aerobic power (V(O)2(max). After glucose ingestion, the rises in plasmaglucose (P < 0.01) and insulin (P < 0.001) were 2.4- and 5.8- fold greater than when fructose was consumed. After 30 min of exercise following glucose ingestion, the plasma glucose concentration had declined to a nadir of 3.9 ± 0.3 mmol/l, and plasma insulin had returned to basal levels. The fall in plasma glucose was closely related to the preexercise glucose (r = 0.98, P < 0.001) and insulin (r = 0.66, P < 0.05) levels. The rate of endogenous glucose production and utilization rose similarly by 2.8-fold during exercise in fructose group and were 10-15% higher than in placebo group (P < 0.05). Serum free fatty acid levels were 1.5- to 2-fold higher (P < 0.01) after placebo than carbohydrate ingestion. Muscle glycogen concentration in the quadriceps femoris fell in all three groups by 60-65% (P < 0.001) during exercise. These data indicate that fructose ingestion, though causing smaller perturbations in plasma glucose, insulin, and gastrointestinal polypeptide (GIP) levels than glucose ingestion, was no more effective than glucose or placebo in sparing glycogen during a long-term exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-737
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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