Aspartame in conjunction with carbohydrate reduces insulin levels during endurance exercise

J. Siegler, K. Howell, R. Vince, J. Bray, C. Towlson, D. Peart, D. Mellor, S. Atkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As most sport drinks contain some form of non-nutritive sweetener (e.g. aspartame), and with the variation in blood glucose regulation and insulin secretion reportedly associated with aspartame, a further understanding of the effects on insulin and blood glucose regulation during exercise is warranted. Therefore, the aim of this preliminary study was to profile the insulin and blood glucose responses in healthy individuals after aspartame and carbohydrate ingestion during rest and exercise.

Each participant completed four trials under the same conditions (45 min rest + 60 min self-paced intense exercise) differing only in their fluid intake: 1) carbohydrate (2% maltodextrin and 5% sucrose (C)); 2) 0.04% aspartame with 2% maltodextrin and 5% sucrose (CA)); 3) water (W); and 4) aspartame (0.04% aspartame with 2% maltodextrin (A)). Insulin levels dropped significantly for CA versus C alone (43%) between pre-exercise and 30 min, while W and A insulin levels did not differ between these time points.

Aspartame with carbohydrate significantly lowered insulin levels during exercise versus carbohydrate alone.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Journal Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012

Bibliographical note

© 2012 Siegler et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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