Can Glycerol Support Better Hydration for Athletes

Glycerol has long been considered a candidate for supplementation during endurance events. One reason is based upon glycerol's potential to be converted to glucose in the liver. The glucose could then circulate to muscle and support muscle operations during exercise. Theoretically, this could decrease the rate of breakdown of glycogen stores. However, it seems that the torpid rate of converting glycerol to glucose seriously decreases its candidacy.

Alternatively, glycerol supplementation in conjunction with water consumption may be of benefit to endurance athletes preparing to perform in warmer environments. It is proposed that glycerol can enhance water retention prior to an event and thus may allow more sweat to be lost prior to any reductions in performance due to dehydration. Scientists have also reported that glycerol supplementation prior to an event increases heat tolerance during competition in warmer environments. This could potentially aid athletes training or competing in warmer environments without ample opportunity to drink fluids. One example of this type of competition is soccer. However, glycerol may lead to digestive tract discomfort so athletes will have to experiment here as well.

Soccer Fitness 101

Soccer Fitness 101

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