This study was designed to determine metabolic and physical performance responses to ingestion of pre-exercise meals with different macronutrient and fiber profiles. Twelve physically active subjects (6 males and 6 females) were used to investigate the metabolic and physical performance consequences of consuming pre-exercise meals consisting of oat, corn, or wheat cereals. Resting carbohydrate oxidation rates and plasma insulin concentrations after oat ingestion were less than after wheat, and corn and wheat ingestion, respectively (P < 0.05). During exercise, the change in plasma glucose from pre-exercise was greater after consuming wheat and corn compared with oat (P < 0.05), and it was inversely related to pre-exercise plasma insulin concentration (r = -0.55, P = 0.0001). Plasma free fatty acid concentrations were inversely related to plasma lactate concentrations (r = -0.58, P = 0.0001). Free fatty acid concentrations and fat oxidation were greater in fasting trials than all others, but performance ride times did not differ among treatments. Plasma branched-chain amino acid concentrations resembled their respective meal profiles throughout exercise, the performance ride, and recovery. These results indicate that pre-exercise meal composition can influence glucose homeostasis during early exercise and plasma branched-chain amino acid concentrations over a substantial range of metabolic demands.
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