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Carbohydrate (CHO) supplements such as bars, gels, drinks and powders have become ubiquitous as effective evidence-based CHO sources that improve endurance exercise performance. However, athletes are increasingly turning to more cost-effective ‘food-first’ approaches for CHO ingestion to improve exercise performance. Mixed CHO foods including cooked lentils, oats, honey, raisins, rice, and potatoes are all effective pre-exercise CHO food sources. Caution is advised when selecting some of these foods as a primary CHO source, as some athletes may be prone to gastrointestinal discomfort—especially regarding those foods where the quantities required for recommended CHO intake may be voluminous (e.g., potatoes). Palatability may be another barrier to the ingestion of some of these CHO-rich foods. Although most of these CHO-rich foods appear effective for exercise performance or recovery when consumed pre- and post-exercise, not all are viable to ingest during exercise due to difficulties in the quantities required, transport, and/or gastrointestinal discomfort. Raisins, bananas and honey may be particularly useful CHO foods for consumption during exercise, as they are easily transportable. Athletes should trial CHO food sources before, during and/or following training before implementation during competition.

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Nutrients, 15, 2023, 1367.

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Kinesiology Commons



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