In the endurance world, we know we need to replace carbohydrates burned during exercise, but all carbohydrates are not the same, and carbs are not all that we need to consider. Simple sugars are necessary to quickly elevate blood glucose, but they can leave an energy deficit shortly thereafter and cause GI distress. On the other hand, very slow digesting carbohydrates may take too long to make an impact. Most companies have settled on maltodextrin as the “carbohydrate king.” It’s a polysaccharide typically made from GMO corn that mixes well, and it’s cheap (very cheap). What these sports drinks do not disclose is that maltodextrin is a major gut irritant, and in terms of its digestion kinetics, it is not all that different from glucose despite having the structure of a polysaccharide. For example, the glycemic index of maltodextrin has been reported to be as high as 130. That is higher than pure sugar! Beyond replenishing fuel, we need to maintain muscle health and electrolyte balance to maintain performance. A full tank of gas doesn’t do you much good if you have a flat tire.
FuelElite takes the high road with no maltodextrin and a variety of carbohydrate sources to quickly replenish and sustain glucose levels without causing GI distress. 5.3 grams of dextrose address immediate needs, 5.3 grams of fructose picks up where dextrose leaves off to extend the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, and 15g of highly branched cyclic dextrin (HBCD) speeds gastric emptying and trickles glucose into the bloodstream over prolonged periods of time. To promote muscle recovery, FuelElite also features BCAAs to facilitate muscle protein synthesis and gluconeogenesis, while the electrolyte blend prevents cramping. With 25g of carbohydrate per serving, a 10:1 carbohydrate to nitrogen ratio, electrolytes, amino acids, and natural ergogenic aids, FuelElite is the perfect sports drink for endurance performance.
Dextrose (Glucose) – Our body’s most utilized and abundant source of carbohydrates, dextrose has a molecular weight of ~180. This means it will draw in a little more water (higher osmolality) but enter the bloodstream quickly.
Fructose – Fructose is another simple sugar very similar to glucose. FuelElite contains a fixed, 1:1 ratio of fructose to dextrose to match intestinal receptors that are specific to each type of sugar. By utilizing multiple intestinal transporters absorption is maximized and much greater than if consuming glucose or glucose polymers (maltodextrin) alone.
Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD) - A specialized carbohydrate with a demonstrated benefit over the common carbohydrate, maltodextrin. Unlike maltodextrin, CCD does not inhibit lipolysis all while maintaining an equally high molecular weight (~55,000) and fast gastric emptying time, which is important to avoid stomach cramps. When put to the test, CCD improves time until exhaustion vs. an equal amount of glucose.
BCAAs – Branched Chain Amino Acids are the parts of proteins that signal for the recovery process to begin. Including supplemental BCAAs in sports nutrition has been demonstrated to reduce soreness, blunt fatigue, and improve endurance performance.
Electrolytes – The major electrolyte minerals include sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. In addition to the prevention of cramping, each has their own unique function. Sodium is the primary intracellular mineral, while potassium is the primary extracellular mineral - both promote hydration. Calcium has numerous roles, but the most relevant to exercise is its responsibility for initiating muscle contractions. Chloride is the most abundant negatively charged ion with several roles in gut function and cell homeostasis. Last but not least, magnesium is a co-factor for hundreds of reactions, most of which are related to nutrient metabolism, muscle and vascular tone, and antioxidant synthesis.