Many studies have suggested that oral rinsing of a sweet carbohydrate can positively affect exercise performance by stimulating reward centers in the brain. However, few studies have been performed which compared the effects of a sweet carbohydrate with a sweet artificial sweetener. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a sweet carbohydrate rinse, an artificial sweetener rinse, and a water rinse on exercise performance. Eight college students completed a ten-minute trial ride and were able to perform significantly more work when rinsing with the carbohydrate or artificial sweetener rinses (Total work= 116.63 (20.3) kJ p=0.003, 117.04 (22.83) kJ, p=0.021, respectively) than with the water rinse (Total work= 110.81 (19.54) kJ, p=1.0). The results suggest that the sensing of a “sweet” taste positively affects exercise performance by activating a pleasure center in the brain, altering perceived effort in the individual, which allows a larger quantity of work to be completed.
"Artificial Sweetener Sensing in the Human Mouth and Effect on Exercise Performance,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 2
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol2/iss3/6