NZ Herald/NZPA: One taste, and full power ahead – researchers find instant carbo boost

Simply tasting carbohydrate has the ability to boost muscle strength, according to research conducted by University of Auckland scientists.

Their research found that a carbohydrate solution in the mouth was able to improve performance, without it needing to be swallowed and digested.  The scientists have suggested the effect could be due to neuronal circuits telling the body that energy is on the way.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Sixteen healthy young men, who had been doing biceps exercises for 11 minutes, were given a carbohydrate solution to drink or an energy-free placebo.

“Within one second of swallowing the drink, their neural activity increased by 30 per cent and muscle strength 2 per cent, with the effect lasting for around three minutes.

“”It might not sound like much, but a 2 per cent increase in muscle strength is enormous, especially at the elite level,” said co-author Cathy Stinear.

“”It’s the difference between winning an Olympic medal or not.””