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Different Digestion Rates

Posted by Gale Bernhardt on Mar 14, 2008 2:29:08 PM

Working on the last pieces of the book "Bicycling for Women" this week. Thought you might find this intersesting....


Some athletes are ravenous throughout a training ride or race, while others can't make themselves eat because they always feel full. One study looked at the differences in gastric emptying rates of solid meals between 16 men and 14 women. In the study, men had faster emptying rates than women. The men's half-empty time averaged 47 minutes faster than the women's.


A second study utilizing newly developed radiological techniques looked at 83 subjects, 43 were women, to examine gastric emptying, small intestine transit and colonic transit. For all measures, the average values for women were significantly slower than for males at 30 minutes; 1 hour and 12 minutes; and 4 hours and 48 minutes respectively. While a few studies were inconclusive or found little difference, more studies found a statistically significant difference.


In one study on gastric empty times, when athletes consumed the same fuels, the time varied from 1.6 to 4.9 hours for the women. Times varied from 0.7 to 3.7 hours for the men. It is easy to see with these values why there is such variation in the optimal fuel and fueling technique among individuals.



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