Gastrointestinal function during exercise: comparison of water, sports drink, and sports drink with caffeine

M.A. van Nieuwenhoven*, R.J.M. Brummer, F.J.P.H. Brouns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Web of Science)


Caffeine is suspected to affect gastrointestinal function. We therefore investigated whether supplementation of a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution (CES) sports drink with 150 mg/l caffeine leads to alterations in gastrointestinal variables compared with a normal CES and water using a standardized rest-exercise-rest protocol. Ten well-trained subjects underwent a rest-cycling-rest protocol three times. Esophageal motility, gastroesophageal reflux, and intragastric pH were measured by use of a transnasal catheter. Orocecal transit time was measured using breath-H(2) measurements. A sugar absorption test was applied to determine intestinal permeability and glucose absorption. Gastric emptying was measured via the (13)C-acetate breath test. In the postexercise episode, midesophageal pressure was significantly lower in the CES + caffeine trial compared with the water trial (P = 0.017). There were no significant differences between the three drinks for gastric pH and reflux during the preexercise, the cycling, and the postexercise episode, respectively. Gastric emptying, orocecal transit time, and intestinal permeability showed no significant differences between the three trials. However, glucose absorption was significantly increased in the CES + caffeine trial compared with the CES trial (P = 0.017). No significant differences in gastroesophageal reflux, gastric pH, or gastrointestinal transit could be observed between the CES, the CES + caffeine, and the water trials. However, intestinal glucose uptake was increased in the CES + caffeine trial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1085
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

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