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Is Carb Rinsing the Next Big Thing in Sport Nutrition?

Is Carb Rinsing the Next Big Thing in Sport Nutrition?

As the World Cup draws to a close, there are plenty of memories to hold onto for years to come. They don't include images of athletes rinsing their mouths and spitting. Yet the more we think about, the more it seems like the amount of rinsing and spitting has been way up this year.

It may not be just our imagination, according to a recent piece published by Business Insider. Apparently, something known as 'carb rinsing' is catching on among professional athletes. There are rumours that much of the rinsing and spitting observed during the 2018 World Cup matches was either directly or indirectly related to this new phenomenon.

That leads us to ask two questions: what is carb rinsing, and will it become the next big thing in sport nutrition? Let's look at the answers one at a time.

Carb Rinsing Defined

Rinsing and spitting are nothing new for athletes. Long before there were sports and energy drinks, athletes refrained from drinking large amounts of water during competition because of the tendency to feel bloated as a result. They would rinse out their mouths to address thirst, but then spit the water out and get back to playing.

Carb rinsing is similar but based on a different premise. Rather than addressing thirst with water, athletes are allegedly rinsing their mouths with energy drinks loaded with carbohydrates. Some of the carbs are absorbed by the gums, which tricks the brain into thinking the body just received a full carb load. This supposedly provides an instant boost in performance.

Business Insider claims that some scientists say it actually works. Apparently, there have been a number of studies that suggest carb rinsing can help athletes temporarily run faster, jump higher, etc. Not all scientists agree, though. There are others who claim carb rinsing doesn't help at all.

The interesting thing about the 2018 World Cup is that so many players seemed to be rinsing and spitting. The New York Times claims they were told by someone with knowledge of the England team that carb rinsing was standard practice among the players.

Carb Rinsing as the Next Big Thing

Whether or not carb rinsing becomes the next big thing in sport nutrition is anyone's guess. But we wouldn't be surprised to see it go that way. Sport nutrition is very much about fads and trends – like just about everything else in retail. If enough professionals get on board, you'll see retail customers latch onto carb rinsing in droves.

Assuming it does become the next big thing, that would dictate the need to include more energy drinks in our inventory of sport nutrition products. Even if your average gym or leisure centre guest wasn't rinsing and spitting, just buying energy drinks loaded with carbs will become important enough. Part-time athletes and weekend warriors alike will start seeing carb consumption during their workouts as critical to their performance. We won't mind at all.


Business insider –

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