24 May 2018 --- Athletes who consumed a drink containing the functional carbohydrate, Palatinose, before exercise exhibited improved cycling performance, a study at the University of Freiburg has found. This was in comparison with participants who were given maltodextrin, a high glycemic carbohydrate, before exercising. The study's findings could hold potential for the use of Palatinose as a sports nutrition ingredient.
Beneo’s Palatinose is naturally-sourced from sugar beet and is said to deliver full carbohydrate energy (4kcal/g) in a more balanced way, due to a slower and more sustained uptake.
“The results of this study show that Beneo's Palatinose improves fat oxidation during endurance exercise, in line with the specific properties of Palatinose in delivering slower and sustained release, full carbohydrate energy and a lower rise in blood glucose levels,” says Anke Sentko, Vice President Regulatory Affairs and Nutrition Communication at Beneo.
The study used a randomized, double-blind cross-over design to compare the effects of Palatinose and maltodextrin on fuel flexibility. Meaning, the switch between fat and carbohydrates as an energy source and the subsequent effect on performance.
Twenty experienced cyclists participated, with each consuming 750ml of a ten percent carbohydrate drink before undertaking 90 minutes of exercise.
The results highlighted that when the athletes consumed the drink containing Palatinose they showed higher fat oxidation rates during the 90-minute endurance trial. They also performed better in the subsequent sprint test.
The researchers further explain that on average, the athletes finished the time trial an entire minute faster with the drink containing Palatinose and were able to pedal more powerfully in the final five minutes of the time trial, compared to the maltodextrin control.
Furthermore, the results suggest that Palatinose stabilized the blood glucose profile of the participants. Meaning, there was a lower blood glucose rise before exercise which was maintained throughout the endurance exercise. As a result, a higher fat burning rate and lowered carbohydrate oxidation in energy metabolism were promoted.
Potential for sports nutrition applications
The findings could hold potential for the use of Palatinose in sports nutrition applications. Sports drinks and pouches traditionally contain high glycaemic carbohydrates, such as maltodextrin or glucose. However, researchers state that if high-fat oxidation rates are wanted or required, for example for basic endurance training, or for key phases in competitive endurance activity, then Beneo’s Palatinose delivers clear advantages with its steady and sustained carbohydrate energy supply.
“Palatinose is an innovative carbohydrate choice in sports nutrition. Athletes and sports people who have tried it out in their daily practice report that they feel the difference from its steady and sustained energy release. There is market demand for such sports nutrition products and the findings of this study offer food and drink manufacturers a way that they can develop products that help people achieve their sporting goals,” adds Sentko.
NutritionInsight has previously reported on Palatinose regarding its approval for use in Argentina and the mainstreaming of sports nutrition, as seen at Vitafoods Europe 2018.
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