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Apple puree as a natural fructose source provides an effective alternative carbohydrate source for fuelling half-marathon running performance.pdf (1.23 MB)

Apple puree as a natural fructose source provides an effective alternative carbohydrate source for fuelling half-marathon running performance

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-27, 13:10 authored by Kirsty ReynoldsKirsty Reynolds, Loris A Juett, Mark FunnellMark Funnell, Joshua B Schofield, Claire Grundig, George Melidis, Alexander Brown, Will Hubbard, Yuxuan Luo, Ibrahim Almahaireh, Lewis JamesLewis James, Stephen MearsStephen Mears

Carbohydrate supplementation during endurance exercise is known to improve performance, but the effects of food-based approaches in running exercise are understudied. Therefore, this study investigated the performance and gastrointestinal (GI) effects of a carbohydrate supplement containing a natural fructose source compared with a highly processed fructose source in a combined glucose-fructose supplement, during a half-marathon. Eleven trained runners (9 males, 2 females; age 32 ± 8 y, 89:53 ± 13:28 min half-marathon personal record) completed a familiarisation (8 miles) and two experimental trials (13.1 miles) on an outdoor running course, with blood and urine samples collected before and after the run. Subjective GI measures were made throughout the run. Carbohydrate was provided as a natural fructose source in the form of apple puree (AP) or highly processed crystalline fructose (GF) in a 2:1 glucose-to-fructose ratio (additional required glucose was provided through maltodextrin). Half-marathon performance was not different between carbohydrate sources (AP 89:52 ± 09:33 min, GF 88:44 ± 10:09 min; P = 0.684). There were no interaction effects for GI comfort (P = 0.305) or other GI symptoms (P ≥ 0.211). There were no differences between carbohydrate sources in ad libitum fluid intake (AP 409 ± 206 mL; GF 294 ± 149 mL; P = 0.094) or any other urinary (P ≥ 0.724), blood-based (P ≥ 0.215) or subjective (P ≥ 0.421) measures. Apple puree as a natural fructose source was equivalent to crystalline fructose in supporting half-marathon running performance without increasing GI symptoms. 

Highlights: Research examining food-first and food-based approaches to carbohydrate supplementation and endurance running performance are limited. Therefore, this study aimed to compare carbohydrate supplements either containing a natural or highly processed fructose source as part of a glucose-fructose supplement on half-marathon running performance and gastrointestinal comfort in trained runners. Running performance (apple puree 89:52 ± 09:33 min vs. crystalline fructose 88:44 ± 10:09 min), gastrointestinal comfort and symptoms were not different between the two fructose sources. Apple puree can be effectively used as a carbohydrate source to fuel half-marathon running performance.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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European Journal of Sport Science








Taylor & Francis


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© The Authors

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Taylor & Francis under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC-ND). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Dr Stephen Mears. Deposit date: 27 June 2023

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