European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 119, Issue 8, pp 1711–1723 | Cite as

The ergogenic potency of carbohydrate mouth rinse on endurance running performance of dehydrated athletes

  • Harris Kamal Kamaruddin
  • Cheong Hwa Ooi
  • Toby Mündel
  • Abdul Rashid Aziz
  • Ahmad Munir Che MuhamedEmail author
Original Article



To examine the effect of carbohydrate (CHO) mouth rinsing on endurance running responses and performance in dehydrated individuals.


In a double blind, randomised crossover design, 12 well-trained male runners completed 4 running time to exhaustion (TTE) trials at a speed equivalent to 70% of VO2peak in a thermoneutral condition. Throughout each run, participants mouth rinsed and expectorated every 15 min either 25 mL of 6% CHO or a placebo (PLA) solution for 10 s. The four TTEs consisted of two trials in the euhydrated (EU-CHO and EU-PLA) and two trials in the dehydrated (DY-CHO and DY-PLA) state. Prior to each TTE run, participants were dehydrated via exercise and allowed a passive rest period during which they were fed and either rehydrated equivalent to their body mass deficit (i.e., EU trials) or ingested only 50 mL of water (DY trials).


CHO mouth rinsing significantly improved TTE performance in the DY compared to the EU trials (78.2 ± 4.3 vs. 76.9 ± 3.8 min, P = 0.02). The arousal level of the runners was significantly higher in the DY compared to the EU trials (P = 0.02). There was no significant difference among trials in heart rate, plasma glucose and lactate, and psychological measures.


CHO mouth rinsing enhanced running performance significantly more when participants were dehydrated vs. euhydrated due to the greater sensitivity of oral receptors related to thirst and central mediated activation. These results show that level of dehydration alters the effect of brain perception with presence of CHO.


Hypohydration Exercise Treadmill Oral sensing 







Time to exhaustion






Maximal aerobic power


Volume of oxygen

\({{\rm VCO}_ 2}\)

Volume of carbon dioxide


Heart rate


Exercise induced dehydration


Urine specific gravity


Relative humidity


Visual analogue scale


Perceived activation scale


Feeling scale




Respiratory exchange ratio


Rating of perceived exertion


Skin temperature


Rectal temperature


Functional magnetic resonance imagery



Harris Kamal Kamaruddin is thankful to Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia and the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia for his Ph.D. scholarship. The authors thank all runners who took part in this study and all technical staff members of the Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Author contributions

HKK, OCH and AMCM conceived and designed research. HKK and AMCM conducted experiments. HKK and TM analyzed data. HKK and AMCM wrote the manuscript. All authors provided comments to the manuscript after proofreading and finally approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest. No financial support was received from any organization.

Ethical approval

All procedures were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Sports Science and RecreationUniversiti Teknologi MARAShah AlamMalaysia
  2. 2.Lifestyle Science ClusterAdvanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains MalaysiaKepala BatasMalaysia
  3. 3.School of Sport, Exercise and NutritionMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  4. 4.Sports Science and MedicineSingapore Sport InstituteSingaporeSingapore

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