Three Carbs Are Better Than One
Ever had a stomachache after sipping a sports drink during competition? Or felt like your drink didn’t perform like it should? Check the label and you might discover why.
There are a number of sugars and starches commonly used in sports nutrition products. Some really deliver. While others can work directly against your best performance.
Sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) and maltodextrin (technically a starch though it is quickly used by working muscles) are common. Cyclic dextrin, however, is a relatively new carbohydrate in the market with big performance benefits.
What is Cyclic Dextrin And What Can It Do For You?
A starch made from corn, cyclic dextrin is digested quickly and easily so athletes have a lower risk of stomach distress. It’s a fast carbohydrate that rapidly raises blood sugar if a person isn’t exercising and quickly delivers sugar to working muscles during exercise.
A study in swimmers found they could swim 1.5 times longer when they consumed a sports drink made with cyclic dextrin compared to one made with glucose, another common sugar.
Why Your Sports Drink Should Contain Multiple Types of Carbohydrate
Different types of sugars and starches have different transport systems within the body. If a drink contains just one type of carbohydrate, the transporter for that carbohydrate will become full and delay digestion. It is better to use a sports drink that contains more than one type of carbohydrate.
Think of these transport systems like cars. If 20 of your friends want a ride to a 10K race, you can transport all of them at one time if you have multiple cars. When multiple types of carbohydrate such as cyclic dextrin, sucrose and fructose are used, carbohydrates are transported faster, absorption increases and carbohydrate is quickly delivered to hard-working muscles for use.
Amino VITAL products contain cyclic dextrin as well as sucrose and fructose. Studies show combining different types of carbohydrate can improve endurance performance, particularly speed toward the end of a race — when you’ll need to out-perform your competition.
The next time you pick up a sports drink or product check the label for the types of sugars and starches it contains. Choose one with three different types of carbohydrate, including cyclic dextrin. Also, be sure to practice consuming it during training before trying it in competition.