How a Spoonful of Sugar Before Physical Activities Makes a Difference

Dec 02, 2015 10:25 AM EST | By Pao Uychiat


Many people who are conscious with their diet are mostly the ones who join activities that test their agility and physical endurance. For most of them, they would consider less salt and no sugar diet to make sure that their bodies are prepared and fit enough to run the race.

However, in an article written on The Indian Express, a new research suggested that adding a tablespoon of sugar into a bottle of water before any big physical event could help make a difference between success and failure.

For long-distance runners and triathletes, they would usually have a "marathon fatigue", the researchers suggested trying a spoonful of sugar first and hitting the ground running like never before. According to the team in University of Bath in Britain, this helps reduce the feeling of being tired that are usually experienced by the marathon runners. The sucrose and glucose are important carbohydrates often known as the simple sugars.

It shows that when these two different forms of sugar are combined, there is an improved rate of absorption. Many sports drinks are created to provide energy during these activities use sucrose or sometimes a mixture of glucose and fructose as well. However, glucose alone can still be relied upon as something a stand-alone source of energy.

However, they warned that drinks that contain glucose only could produce discomfort and suggest that they should look at sucrose-based drinks as alternatives or simply just sugar in water can help exercise or other physical activities easier. The carbohydrates that are consumed gets stored in the liver which is vitally important for endurance exercise because they help maintain a stable blood sugar. Javier Gonzalez, the lead researcher said that people are aware of the changes in muscle carbohydrates with exercise and nutrition, but not all are aware on how to optimize liver carbohydrates during and after exercise.

To check the theory, they tested numerous number of sucrose and glucose based drinks and see how the carbohydrates help. They asked long-distance cyclists to ingest carbohydrates in either glucose or sucrose and found that these drinks prevent the decline in liver glycogen and can reduce tiredness.

So, if your goal is optimal performance during exercise lasting over two and half hours, consume up to 90g of sugar per hour - diluted to 8g sugar per 100ml.

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