The benefit of glucose polymer ingestion in addition to 2.5 per cent glucose before and during a prolonged orienteering competition was studied. The final time in the competition in the group ingesting 2.5 per cent glucose (group G, n = 10) was 113 min 37 s +/- 8 min 11 s, and in the group which had additionally ingested glucose polymer (group G + GP, n = 8) 107 min 18s +/- 4 min 41 s (NS). One fifth (21 per cent) of the time difference between the two groups was due to difference in orienteering errors. Group G + GP orienteered the last third of the competition faster than group G (p less than 0.05). The time ratio between the last third of the competition and the first third of the competition was lower in group G + GP than in group G (p less than 0.05). After the competition, there was statistically insignificant tendency to higher serum glucose and lower serum free fatty acid concentrations in group G + GP, and serum insulin concentration was higher in group G + GP than in group G (p less than 0.05). Three subjects reported that they exhausted during the competition. These same three subjects had the lowest serum glucose concentrations after the competition (2.9 mmol.1(-1), 2.9 mmol.1(-1), 3.5 mmol.1(-1] and all of them were from group G. It is concluded that glucose polymer syrup ingestion is beneficial for prolonged psychophysical performance.
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