Comprehensive dietary macronutrient recommendations for endurance athletics is highly variable, often subjective, and largely lacking any scientific basis. Emerging evidence overwhelmingly suggests that pre-workout or pre-race dietary strategies offer only minor changes in performance (high carbohydrate vs. high fat +/- protein) assuming adequate recovery times and caloric intake prior to exercise. Conversely, nutritional supplementation during aerobic/endurance performance can provide significant advantages and this is nearly singularly attributed to carbohydrate consumption.
Our definition of “advantage” is that supplementation provides measurable performance benefits in scientifically controlled peer-reviewed published endurance sports related trials. Fat and/or protein consumption during performance show either no benefit, or possible detrimental effects due to gastrointestinal disturbance or inhibition of nutrient absorption. Therefore, our primary focus is on providing optimal carbohydrate balance and delivery as well as peripheral nutritional supplementation. The challenge is delivering this using natural ingredients compared to the majority of commercially available products which use synthetic sugars.
While synthetic carbohydrates such as maltodextrin do have strong scientific support for effectiveness, we are getting overwhelming feedback that consumers would prefer to avoid these substances if possible. This is the niche that we believe our products fill.
Research in the last few years is clearly showing that the advantages of maltodextrin (the primary supplement carbohydrate- synthetic) are equivalent and are therefore interchangeable with naturally occurring glucose and that the optimal ratio of sugars for optimal performance is somewhere right around 1:1 fructose : glucose. This ratio seems to optimize absorption, oxidation rate (metabolism), minimizes gastrointestinal upset, and most importantly optimizes performance. There are clear trends in each of these parameters as the fructose : glucose increases from 0.5:1 to 1:1 and the advantages plateau at 1:1 and may decline beyond. As future studies continue to advance our understanding of sports nutrition, the ideal strategies will undoubtedly evolve.
However, our products use ingredients with naturally occurring fructose and glucose, and our ingredient mixtures are for the purpose of achieving the current ideal carbohydrate ratios. If you look more closely into our ingredient lists, the other represented sugar is sucrose, which is fructose bonded to glucose, and although it requires a single enzymatic glycosylation step, it seems to help maintain the 1:1 ratio. Although we are able to achieve this ratio, guidance to athletes concerning total carbohydrate consumption and rate is difficult as it is dependent on effort, time, individual metabolic rate, etc. We are currently working on coming up with recommendations.
Looking at controlled or retrospective trials, we should be able to do this for running, cycling, and triathlon in men. In short, our goal is to design products in reverse, adapting the formulations to match the ideal nutritional ratios rather than creating a product and making unbiased or unfounded claims which unfortunately plague the performance supplement market.