You may have heard the term ‘carb rinsing’ used a lot recently, and wonder what is it, and why is it used?
Carb rinsing is where you wash your mouth out deliberately with a carbohydrate drink, then spit it out rather than swallowing it. This, in theory, tricks your body into pushing your body further.
Receptors in the mouth sense the carbs which in turn sends signals to the brain, telling it energy is being consumed. Carb rinsing tricks the brain into thinking more fuel is heading towards the muscles, convincing them to work harder or in some circumstances more efficiently.
It is also suggested this technique would have the benefits of consuming carbohydrate drinks without the negative effects of stomach heaviness and cramps.
However, there is debate whether this is a sensible approach and if it benefits those athletes who compete in the long forms of triathlon.
A 2016 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise concluded that this technique is more potent during high-intensity sessions lasting around 60mins, with optimum results deriving after eating a high-carb meal around 2-3hrs before your exercise. If you are going longer in your racing or training, it is advisable to fuel sensibly ensuring you have adequate nutrition. Nobody wants to hit the wall or bonk.
However, carb-rinsing may be useful in some circumstances for endurance athletes. Let’s say you have developed stomach cramps during a race, carb rinsing could be a solution when you can’t digest carbs from gels, food or solutions.
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