2. The ideal ratio between fast and slow carbohydrates
Not only the total volume of energy is important, but the composition also plays a significant role. For cyclists, it’s actually quite straightforward.
Not only the total amount of energy in the gel matters – the ratio between different energy sources is also crucial. Your body absorbs fast carbohydrates (fructose) first and then slow ones (glucose). The ideal ratio between these two depends on the type of effort you are going to exert. A ratio of two parts fructose to one part glucose proves to be ideal for endurance athletes. As an endurance athlete, you benefit most from a 2:1 ratio of fructose to glucose and a multi-stage absorption. With this ratio, you are assured of powerful and consistent support during prolonged exertions.
2:1 ratio of fructose to glucose: double power
Fun fact: our body can only absorb 65 grams of carbohydrates per hour, which is a limiting factor for endurance athletes. But… you can bypass this rule and absorb 30% more energy per hour! How? By combining 2 energy sources: fructose and glucose. Because your body processes these substances differently, you can absorb them simultaneously without limiting each other’s effects.
The secret weapon: Multi-stage absorption
At Neapharma, we work with 3 different carbohydrate sources in the energy gel. Unique in the world! That’s why, in addition to the 2:1 ratio, we also use a multi-stage absorption to take in extra carbohydrates.
Multi-stage, as the name suggests, means that you’ll be absorbing energy in different phases. First, your body will prioritize fructose and glucose. Afterward, energy absorption stops. Unless you use an additional dose of Maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a long-chain energy that can provide energy up to 45 minutes after intake. This ensures that after the fast 2:1 absorption, you don’t experience an energy dip and can perform for a longer duration. For endurance athletes, like cyclists, this is an absolute must. Otherwise, you would experience an energy dip 20-25 minutes after taking a gel, which is the opposite of what you want to achieve.