What is in Trail Brew?

1. Dextrose - Why Dextrose?

Have you heard of Glycemic Index? It is a measure of the blood glucose raising potential of the carbohydrate of a food compared to a reference food (glucose). Pure glucose is given "100". So, if the number is higher, then it raises blood glucose FASTER than glucose.

Dextrose has a recorded GI (compared to Glucose) of 85-96 (1). Now, some companies will want to tell you to avoid all sugars in your racing because of a peak and 'crash' that occurs in blood glucose levels, then tell you that their product doesn't do that - well, look at the following fact - study number 2 demonstrated that Glucose, Dextrose, Maltodextrin and Vitargo(TM) all had the same blood glucose peaks and very similar drops after 90 minutes! (2). Waxy maize didn't, but there is question over whether you will get enough glucose released to support peak performance.

So what does this mean? In the end, nearly all carbohydrates used in endurance products will have the same peak and crash IF you don't keep ingesting them. If you take small amounts of these regularly, will that cause a crash? Of course not! It has been common knowledge for a very long time that taking anywhere between 15-60 grams per hour of glucose during the activity has a significant impact on peak performance (for example, read study #3 on cyclists)

So, don't be scared of dextrose... it's not a scary sugar for athletes.

Finally; with all these studies, the truth is in the trying (the study of one!). I have personally run my best on dextrose based products and wouldn't be using my own product if I didn't believe in it.

See you on the Trail!


(1) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/1/5.full.pdf

(2) http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4476&context=etd

(2) http://jap.physiology.org/content/jap/108/6/1520.full.pdf

Why sucrose? 

Sucrose is a disaccharide (double sugar) that digests into glucose and fructose. Fructose has a different metabolic pathway than glucose and also passes through into the intestines in a different way, so it is important to maximise your uptake of energy when the body shuts down and performs at less than 30% digestive efficiency.

How much should I drink? 

Because Trail Brew is a nutrition and hydration source in one, we make recommendations based on calories/kilojoules rather than volume of liquid. Some athletes make Trail Brew more concentrated and use it like a 'gel' or make up Trail Brew Jelly Cups. Others water it down and sip on it all day while eating slices and bars. That's the beauty of Trail Brew.

Most importantly, however, is the notion of 'Drinking to Thirst'. If you are running a hotter race and are exceeding recommended amounts, it may be important to mix in some plain water rather than exceeding these.

Do we need to replace electrolytes? 

Currently, there is no strong evidence to show that consumption of a carbohydrate-electrolyte before and during exercise will delay exercise induced muscle cramping. That said, water and electrolyte balance are critical for the function of all organs and, indeed, for maintaining health in general. Water provides the medium for biochemical reactions within cell tissues and is essential for maintaining an adequate blood volume and thus the integrity of the cardiovascular system. The ability of the body to redistribute water within its fluid compartments provides a reservoir to minimize the effects of water deficit. Each body water compartment contains electrolytes, the concentration and composition of which are critical for moving fluid between intracellular and extracellular compartments and for maintaining membrane electrochemical potentials. Physical exercise and heat stress cause both fluid and electrolyte imbalances that need to be corrected. Generally, persons dehydrate during exercise in the heat because of the unavailability of fluids or a mismatch between thirst and water requirements