The ultimate goal in the pursuit of athletic excellence is to perform optimally on a nominated day at major championship events including World Championships and Olympic Games. To compete to their full potential, endurance athletes undertake years of training to facilitate physiological adaptations that increase their ability to sustain the highest possible average power output or speed of movement for a given distance or time.  Apart from an athlete's genetic make-up and optimised training programme, perhaps the largest single determinant of ensuring an optimal performance during an endurance event is through the intake of carbohydrate and fluid on race-day. However, the potential advantages associated with a strategic intake of carbohydrate and fluid during exercise  need to be balanced with the possibility of gastrointestinal upset associated with their intake.  This brief commentary will describe recommendations for carbohydrate and fluid intakes during endurance exercise. Recommendations for carbohydrate and fluid need to be integrated as athletes typically consume carbohydrate during exercise by way of consuming sports drinks which simultaneously provide both carbohydrate and fluid. In fact, a study investigating race-day intakes of elite Olympic distance triathletes, found that carbohydrate intakes were increased during hot races as triathletes consumed more sports drink.  Conversely, in cooler weather conditions triathletes consumed less carbohydrate as a direct result of consuming less sports drink. The findings of this study highlight the importance of developing a race nutrition plan which integrates carbohydrate and fluid intake strategies so that carbohydrate and fluid intake goals are independently met.
|Title of host publication||Science of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity in the Tropics|
|Editors||Andrew Edwards, Anthony Leicht|
|Place of Publication||Townsville|
|Publisher||James Cook University|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2014|