Nutritional Articles

Effects of feeding meals with various soluble-carbohydrate content on muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise in horses

Published: 2004-08-30

Brief content of the article
The objective of this experiment was to determine effects of feeding diets with various soluble-carbohydrate (CHO) content on rates of muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise in horses. In a 3-way crossover study, 7 fit horses received each of 3 isocaloric diets (a high soluble CHO [HC] diet, a low soluble CHO [LC] diet, or a mixed soluble CHO [MC] diet). For each diet, horses were subjected to glycogen-depleting exercise, followed by feeding of the HC, LC, or MC diet at 8-hour intervals for 72 hours. The main conclusions of this study were that muscle glycogen synthesis was slower after glycogen-depleting exercise in horses, compared with synthesis in humans. Feeding HC meals after strenuous exercise hastened replenishment of muscle glycogen content, compared with results for feeding of LC and MC diets, by increasing availability of blood glucose to skeletal muscles. The authors suggest that horses performing endurance events or horses undertaking several events on successive days could benefit from high soluble carbohydrate diets after exercise to hasten muscle glycogen synthesis.
However, because horses fed large amounts of soluble carbohydrate may be predisponed to gastrointestinal disorders the authors suggest that optimal nutritional strategies should be developed and careful feeding management ensured.

Reference
Lacombe, V.A., Hinchcliff K.W., Kohn, C.W., Devor, S.T. and Taylor, L.E.. 2004. Effects of feeding meals with various soluble-carbohydrate content on muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise in horses.

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