Alternative Carb Opens Up New Sports Nutrition Opportunities

The health and fitness trend continues to expand its influence and many more consumers now realise the importance of staying fit and following a balanced diet. This has led to a booming global fitness industry and an increased interest in sports nutrition products globally with the market for sports nutrition growing on an average by a healthy 8.5 per cent between 2012 and 2017. However, with casual and fitness users on the rise, do today’s mainstream sports products fulfil their specific physiological needs? Klaudia Volmer, product manager for functional carbohydrates at BENEO, discusses the importance of blood sugar management during exercise and highlights the potential of alternative carbohydrates for novel target groups in the sports nutrition market.

Shifting the focus from carb utilisation to fat burning

Most popular sports nutrition drinks, gels and bars on the market today have been designed to increase energy during exercise, yet these products traditionally contain high glycaemic carbohydrates like maltodextrin, glucose syrup and sucrose. Such carbohydrates release glucose into the bloodstream at a fast rate. This is fine for those in need of instant energy for intensive athletic training, such as sprinting. However, for casual fitness users looking to tone their bodies and reduce fat, high glycaemic products can trigger large peaks and troughs in both blood glucose and insulin levels during physical training, minimising not maximising their fat burning potential.

With this in mind, today’s high glycaemic sports nutrition products are not suited to the needs of casual fitness users, or those beginning to exercise. The ideal sports nutrition product for those looking to burn fat and tone whilst exercising needs to be one which contains a low glycaemic carbohydrate and has a lower impact on blood sugar levels.

This article is available in full in the Summer 2018 issue of Nutraceuticals Now

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