The Science Behind 32Gi Endure
Going against the grain of legacy sports science where high spiking carbs are often advocated for sports performance 32Gi Endure has a different focus where a balance of health and performance are met.
The base carbohydrate of 32Gi™ is isomaltulose, which is a natural extract found in honey, cane sugar or beet. Like sucrose, isomaltulose consists of glucose and fructose. Only the linkage is different (isomaltulose has an alpha-1,6 linkage also known from starch, sucrose as an alpha 1,2 linkage), which gives isomaltulose physiological benefits, such as being noncariogenic (meaning no tooth decay) but more importantly a steady effect on blood sugar levels, thereby providing energy in a far more balanced and stable manner over a prolonged period. Isomaltulose is fully digestible, providing the full 4 calories of carbs. Scientific research has been done around isomaltulose and the results have proven it to be a formidable carbohydrate for use in endurance sports.
The Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre at Swansea University in the United Kingdom conducted research to test the effects of carbohydrate consumption and relative hypoglycaemia effect, during and after exercise. The research was conducted utilising isomaltulose and dextrose. The results clearly showed that the isomaltulose significantly reduced post exercise glycaemia. This has not just been shown in the lab, but in the sports arena, where many endurance athletes around the globe have positively reported the stabilising effect of the carbohydrate during and post exercise.
Another area of the market which has been of concern are the athletes who suffer from diabetes. Many athletes who suffer from diabetes who have tested isomaltulose as a base carbohydrate drink have also reported encouraging levels of stability. During a 2008 study at the Freiburg University Clinic & Sports Medicine Institute in Germany, a comparative test was conducted between two groups of experienced cyclists utilising two different carbohydrates. The cyclists cycled for 90 minutes at sub maximal steady state, followed by a time trial. One group was given a sports drink containing isomaltulose and the other was given a liquid meal containing maltodextrin. During the time trial, the athletes that were given isomaltulose performed better, showing a very clear tendency to finish one minute (3%) faster than the maltodextrin group. In sports performance, it is a difference of this magnitude that can decide a race winner.
Furthermore, the isomaltulose group also had more sustained energy, with a power increase in the last five minutes of the test, a significantly higher fat oxidation rate and better maintenance of blood glucose levels until the end of the exercise. The higher fat oxidation rate is a focus area of scientific research that has been conducted around isomaltulose, and this is one of the main reasons that it’s such an advantageous carbohydrate for endurance sport. Most endurance athletes are extremely efficient at utilising their fat stores as a source of energy. Did you know that 1 gram of fat provides more than double the amount of energy than a single gram of carbohydrate? The problem is that it’s very difficult to utilise our fat stores for energy under certain conditions. Firstly, the intensity of the exercise we are doing.
When performing at a very high intensity during exercise, it becomes extremely difficult to convert fat to energy, as the process requires a fair amount of oxygen, which is not efficiently supplied during this time (and takes time to convert). The second condition is when there is a fair amount of readily available glucose in our bloodstream. Under this condition, the body will go for the easier route which is to utilise the readily available glucose first. Isomaltulose breaks down into fructose and glucose in the system and actually starts to provide an immediate glucose release, but in a smaller amount over a longer period. This keeps the insulin response of the body low enough for it to look for fat as the alternative energy source. A more stable carbohydrate intake has way more benefit in pace controlled exercise where breathing is regulated and sufficient oxygen is coming into the system to allow for a higher rate of fat oxidation as a source of fuel thereby also sparing glycogen at a more efficient rate.
In another study carried out at the Freiburg University, isomaltulose was compared against maltodextrin in a 90 minute cycling test to check fat oxidation and performance rate. Twenty-one endurance athletes (triathletes) were used for this test. They cycled at 70% of VO2max for the 90minute duration and consumed the beverages both before and during the exercise period. The results clearly showed that for the 90 min exercise period where isomaltulose was consumed resulted in an increase in fat oxidation (approximately 400 kcal). No performance difference was observed between the two using an anaerobic Wingate test. This demonstrated that isomaltulose forming part of a sports drink will allow an athlete to maximise the usage of his fat stores as a source of fuel and still perform at a high rate, keeping his energy levels stable.
An athlete that uses a higher GI drink risks rebound hypoglycaemia, which is the sudden drop in glucose levels shortly after consuming the drink, meaning frequent top-ups are required to maintain stability. Endurance sports are not only about physical energy but mental energy too, and glucose is not just used to fuel the muscles. A high percentage is also used to fuel the brain. Nutrition consumption can often cause an up and down rollercoaster effect of feel-good feel bad, specifically during long events. Providing a more stable energy feed to your mental wellbeing during an event is another advantage of a balanced energy supply.
HOW BEST TO USE 32Gi ENDURE
Getting into a little bit more detail about where 32Gi™ best fits an athlete’s needs:
- To assist in the build-up of glycogen levels a few days before an event (carbo-loading)
- Pre-event loading just before a race or training session
- Exercise rehydration and energy stabilisation (on its own or with higher GI products, 32Gi™ will still stabilise you due to its slow digesting nature, and change in glycaemic load when combined)