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The Endurance Athlete's Sports Drink
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.
SustainElite takes the high road with no maltodextrin and a variety of carbohydrate sources to quickly replenish and sustain glucose levels without causing GI distress. 8 grams of sugars from cane sugar (glucose) and fructose address immediate needs, 5g of complex carbs as rice and potato starch pick up where the sugars leave off to extend the release of carbohydrates into the blood stream, and 17g of cyclic dextrin (CCD) speeds gastric emptying and trickles glucose into the blood stream over prolonged periods of time. To promote muscle recovery, SustainElite also features 3g of amino acids to facilitate muscle protein synthesis and gluconeogenesis, while the electrolyte blend prevents cramping. With 30g of carbohydrate per serving, a 10:1 carbohydrate to nitrogen ratio, electrolytes, amino acids, and natural ergogenic aids, SustainElite is the perfect sports drink for endurance performance.
Cane Sugar – Cane Sugar is a natural source of fructose and glucose, our body’s most utilized and abundant source of carbohydrates. The simple sugars have a molecular weight of ~180, and what this means is that they will draw in a little more water (higher osmolality) but enter the bloodstream quickly.
Fructose – Fructose is another simple sugar very similar to glucose. SustainElite contains a fixed, 4:1 ratio of glucose to fructose 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.
CCD – Cluster Cyclic Dextrin is 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.
Rice & Potato Starch – From two of the cleanest carbohydrate-heavy foods, rice and potato starch have a molecular weight of ~100,000. It is very easily digested and taken up by the blood stream over a moderately long duration.
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.
Alanine – Alanine plays a key role in the Cahill cycle, the creation of glucose from alanine. Much like the Cori cycle, the creation of glucose from lactate, alanine can be converted to pyruvate, which can then become glucose under conditions of intense exercise. The provision of supplemental alanine may help prevent the breakdown of existing muscle tissue, which normally houses alanine, reducing muscle damage and jumpstarting the recovery process.
Glutamine – Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. It can help with glycogen resynthesis, intestinal absorption, Kreb cycle function, and more. Under exhausting conditions, glutamine becomes a conditionally essential amino acid.
Glycine – Glycine is another amino acid that readily serves to refuel carbohydrate stores by conversion to pyruvate and also by NADH generation via its degradation. A recent area of research is supportive of glycine having anti-aging properties, such as with collagen synthesis, which helps in joint, bone, and skin health.
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.
B-vitamins – SustainElite contains the biologically active forms of B vitamins most crucial to carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. These include B6, B9, and B12 or pyridoxal 5’ phosphate, folate, and methylcobalamin, respectively.
What is the best way to take SustainElite?
1-3 servings of SustainElite should be mixed in 10-30oz of water and consumed gradually during exercise for each hour of exercise. Those exercising at higher intensities or have more muscle mass are those who might be interested in using a second serving per hour. Those participating in exercise for 5 hours at a time or longer may require a third scoop for each hour of exercise after 5 hours.
What makes SustainElite unique? Why should I use it?
You should use SustainElite if you’re someone who exercises for durations of an hour or more. SustainElite contains an ideal blend of high-quality quick, moderate, and extended release carbohydrates to maintain constant fuel delivery to active muscles without over- or under-shooting needs. What really makes SustainElite different from other sports drinks is going beyond carbohydrates to reduce and heal exercise-induced muscle damage, support high-powered metabolism, prevent cramping, and accelerate the recovery process.
What is the significance of a 10:1 ratio? I thought 4:1 was optimal for recovery.
A 4:1 carbohydrate to nitrogen ratio may be optimal post-training or at rest. However, SustainElite was designed to be consumed during exercise, and having too many amino acids or protein increases the osmotic pressure of the stomach, which may actually end up hampering performance, and we don’t want that!
My SustainElite isn't dissolving completely? Is this normal and what should I do?
Yes, this is completely normal. Do the following steps to get SustainElite to dissolve 95% (note: there will always be some that doesn’t dissolve due to some of the complex carbs).
You can also mix your SustainElite in hot water and shake for 20 seconds. This will make it 100% soluble. Just add ice and cold water after if needed.
What’s the catch here? The formula doesn’t mix up completely even with more water added to the ratio. The flavor and taste is 🤮. The only saving Grace for me is that I “think” I stayed hydrated. I was hoping to add some more carbs to my hydration fuel. This is most def not worth it. I would rather drink G1M sport or simply LMNT. Spend money elsewhere.
I havnt used the new container yet, but I have been using both SustainElite powder and SustainElite Carbshots for the last few years. They have both been game changers for my endurance events particularly the carbshot as I tend to have a hard time injesting calories during events. Please please say you are going to continue offering them.
Product is great, it truly works
No stomach issues with this product. Works wonders
The ingredients definitely work to sustain your long workout. I even take some beforehand as well. It mixes easily and doesn't cause any GI issues. My only recommended improve is the flavor. The only one available was the Outlast Orange and it's not my favorite. Other than that, this really works!