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Sugar reduction in sports nutrition applications

The sports nutrition market continues to see steady growth. Athletes and mainstream users, including exercisers and those leading active lifestyles, are looking for products that support their recreational and lifestyle-driven performance. Both men and women seek sports nutrition products to help improve their nutritional intake, general health, well-being, performance, and muscle growth and recovery from exercise. The success of sports nutrition products requires meeting consumer demand with formulations they can trust and rely on, while also delivering on taste. Whether protein powders or bars, gummies, chews, ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, pre-workout enhancers or post-workout enhancers, flavor and sweetness must meet consumer expectations.

Clean label and free-from claims

Many active consumers are looking for clean label products, including those with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, and other “free-from” claims. There is a clear shift toward plant-based, natural, sugar-free and less-added-sugar products. Sugar reduction innovation is at an all-time high, and there is tremendous demand for sweeteners that allow for 100 percent sugar replacement—and are also natural and taste good. However, consumer preference for sweetness is still strong, too. Sports nutrition product manufacturers are actively seeking ways to successfully achieve low sugar content while delivering on good taste, texture and overall appeal.

Natural, plant-based sweeteners

The demand for sugar reduction and product purity has brought much attention to natural and plant-based sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit. Stevia has led the natural high-intensity sweetener market, and demand has grown exponentially since its approval and introduction. Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is quickly rising in popularity. Many sports nutrition brands are recognizing the benefits of incorporating monk fruit into products and formulations, and it is garnering attention as a sugar alternative. The sweetness of monk fruit comes from components called mogrosides found in the flesh of the fruit. Monk fruit is a no-calorie, natural sweetener with a glycemic index of zero that provides a well-rounded, fruity taste profile, and allows for an added “fruit-based” claim.

Finding the sweet spot

Formulating sports nutrition products that meet these needs may require manufacturers to address significant technical challenges. Reducing sugar content can impact not only sweetness, but also texture, color and the overall taste experience. While athletes and other sports nutrition consumers are looking for healthier alternatives and less sugar, they are also not willing to give up taste. Mintel reported taste is the most important product attribute to consumers. For this reason, reducing sugar in sports nutrition products cannot be done at the expense of flavor and familiarity.

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What Is Carb 10?

You may be familiar with many of the popular sources for carbohydrates used post workout or intra workout such as high branched cyclic dextrin, maltodextrin, oat starch powder, waxy maize starch, and dextrose. However a new form of carbohydrate breaking on to the scene that is fast acting and very easy to digest through the gut. While all of these carbohydrates do a great job of shuttling nutrients into the muscle cells and replenish glycogen stores the one side effect they do have is a massive spike in insulin. This is where carb 10 comes in. Carb 10 offers all of the great properties of the other carbohydrates such as shuttling nutrients and replenishing glycogen stores however there is no insulin spike.

Over the years the thought that you need to spike insulin to shuttle nutrients into the muscle cells during or post workout some research shows that this may not be the case after all. Two different studies examined the impact of using fast acting carbs during the post workout window (Anabolic Window) and both of them showed that it did not lead to increased protein synthesis or prevent muscle breakdown as some may have thought. When using a fast digesting carb source as your pre workout or intra workout fuel to assist with power during the workout a massive insulin spikes comes with that which can potentially leave some people feeling lethargic or give you an energy crash later on after the workout.

Carb 10 uses legume based startch that is derived from peas for its source of fast acting carbohydrates. While it is much like highly branched cyclic dextrin in the fact that both of them have low osmolality that helps speed up gastric emptying which helps prevent carbs from sitting around in your stomach which gives you that bloated feeling or a slower heavier feeling than you normally have. Carb 10 ensures that carbohydrate pass through your stomach and on to your intestines where they are then absorbed and shuttled into your muscles where they are needed to fuel. However while the two have many similarities the most glaring difference is that carb 10 does not cause a spike in insulin. When compared with other mainline sources of carbohydrates carb 10 had a 27 percent lower blood glucose response along with a 82 percent lower insulin response (insulin spike). Carb 10 is showing that it will give you the strength to push heavier weights, quicker recovery, and fuller muscles without the insulin spike.

Here at NutraCap Labs we carry Carb10 in our wide variety of high quality ingredients. Use Carb10 in your next supplement produced by us. Visit us online to get the process started at www.nutracapusa.com

Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin Explained

A big deal in carbohydrate supplementation involves the use of designer glucose polymers called highly branched cyclic dextrin’s (HBCDs). Many supplement companies and manufacturers are using HBCDs in their carbohydrate formulas and some companies even sell HBCDs as a standalone product as well. So what are HBCDs, how do they work, and how can we use them as a tool to take our training, nutrition, and performance to the next level?

Many of the companies that use carbohydrate supplementation involve taking natural starches like the amylopectin that is found in waxy maize and modifying their molecular structure to increase molecular weight as well as the extent of branching/crosslinking. Increased molecular weight reduces osmolality in solution, speeding up the gastric emptying process. When you do this you get the result of an ideal carb source; one which can pass through the stomach at a rapid pace providing a quick but also contain a sustained release of glucose into the blood stream. With this process as the mindset we have no seen highly branched cyclic dextrin’s (HBCDs) created for carbohydrate usage. Highly branched cyclic dextrin’s are a new type of glucose polymer that is produced by reacting waxy maize starch with a special branching enzyme, forming a cyclical structure. When you complete this process you get a carbohydrate source that rapidly passes through the digestive system but also keeps glucose levels sustained within the body.

Many studies have been done with highly branched cyclic dextrin’s by the way of mice. The mice who were given the HBCDs showed an increase in swimming rate while mice that were not given HBCDs were shown to show fatigue much quicker. There are many big advantages to using these high molecular weight glucose polymers in your intra-workout nutrition. First this form of carbohydrate provide a very rapid and sustained release of blood glucose. How rapid vs. how sustained depends not only on molecular weight but also on the overall molecular structure which determines how fast it can pass through the digestive system. The second advantage to using high molecular weight glucose polymers is that that they have a very low osmolality in solution. Unless you are an endurance athlete, you probably include some type of protein isolate or hydrolysate in your intra workout nutrition. The last thing you want to do is delay absorption of this “fast” protein by delaying gastric emptying with high osmolality carbs. Overall HBCDs have shown to be a superior carb to many others on the market just due to their molecule weight which gives a rapid but sustained release of glucose and passes through the digestive track at a high rate.

Here at NutraCap Labs we carry highly branched cyclic dextrin’s in our wide array of ingredients. Let us help you put together your next product for your line of products using this great ingredient. Visit us online at www.nutracapusa.com today to get the process started.

The Benefits of Carbohydrate Powder

Supplementation products have been available for years in every nutrition store across the globe. Products like protein, branch chain amino acids, creatine, and weight gainer products. Now there is a new product to add to this list that comes in the form of carbohydrate powder. This product is derived from new formulations that allow one to ingest carbohydrates at a rapid uptake pace for faster glycogen store and recovery in skeletal muscle tissue. So what do these carbohydrate powders do and how exactly do they work when applied into workout supplementation.

When an athlete is building muscle, a fast combination of a fast acting protein as well as a fast acting carbohydrate should be added to your post workout regimen. This period of time is referred to as the anabolic window. During this time period your body can drastically absorb nutrients like a sponge of water. By in taking a fast carbohydrate this leaves your muscle full and refueled for your next workout the following day. Carbohydrate powders are great because they can fuel the muscle and do it in a sugar free manner. These powders are made with the best formulations to give you a carbohydrate that will aid in muscle recovery without a minor response in insulin activity to help you get bigger and leaner from your workout regimen.

Another aspect that carbohydrate powders directly affect is endurance. Adding these powders during your workout can help to keep you training harder and for longer periods of time. Carbohydrates are mainly designed with complex carbohydrates that actually replenish energy stores faster than simple carbohydrates and give you no dizziness, no bloating, and no crash after the training session. These carbohydrates act fast and give much needed energy during your lowest point of your training session or athletic competition.

Carbohydrate powder can also be used in a variety of daily activities. When the body is craving a snack instead of having simple sugars you can implement a carbohydrate powder into your regiment which will aid in a low glycemic response, cure appetite cravings, and also help with managing weight. Carbohydrate powders can also be using in recipes as well. The tasteless powder can also be used in pancake, cereal, cake, oatmeal, and muffin mixes and makes a great addition to sports energy drinks to help provide hydration and recovery without bloat associated with other products.

Here at NutraCap Labs we offer carbohydrate powder blends. With these awesome blends we can leave them unflavored or flavor them with a wide variety of flavors available through our flavoring system. For more on the process please visit www.nutracapusa.com

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