Most of us who have taken high school biology understand glucose to be a simple sugar and carbohydrate used by cells as an energy source. Glucose polymers are simply extended chains of glucose otherwise known as starch and cellulose.
In terms of dietary supplements, one of the best aspects of glucose polymers is the fact that they have been scientifically proven to provide certain benefits. So much so, that they have been used in infant formula products for generations.
According to the Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine, glucose polymers are used quite frequently in sports energy drinks because they provide a significant energy boost. In addition, glucose polymers are not as sweet as standard glucose and they don't remain in the system as long. The fact that they are used more rapidly by the body means less likelihood of gastrointestinal distress during exercise.
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Glucose Polymers in the Supplements Given the fact that glucose polymers are simple sugars, you won't find them used as a stand-alone supplement. Rather, they are included in other products as one of the ingredients. Sports energy drinks are a primary vehicle for glucose polymers, but they... more
Given the fact that glucose polymers are simple sugars, you won't find them used as a stand-alone supplement. Rather, they are included in other products as one of the ingredients. Sports energy drinks are a primary vehicle for glucose polymers, but they are not limited simply to that use.
Glucose polymers are sometimes included in bodybuilding formulas and energy boosting powders. You can even find them in some multivitamin formulas and supplements promoting overall good health.
Because of the proven effectiveness of these simple sugars as energy boosters, they are one of the mainstay ingredients for supplements aimed at bodybuilders and athletes. The primary reason for this is the fact that glucose polymers delay the onset of fatigue, thereby allowing for greater endurance during exercise.
Throw in the added energy boost and you have a supplement that is perfectly targeted toward athletes.
Glucose polymers have long been used as an energy booster in infant formulas. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of using formula over breast milk is the lack of some of the essential nutrients normally transferred to breast milk from the mother.
Glucose polymers are one such nutrient that helps provide a natural energy source that would be otherwise lacking in infant formulas. Just as they do for athletes, glucose polymers help to relieve fatigue in infants.
Furthermore, glucose polymers have been shown to encourage calcium absorption in individuals where this process is normally inhibited. Studies have shown that individuals taking supplements containing glucose polymers are much more likely to absorb calcium from natural food sources than those not using the substance.
With that in mind, glucose polymers are sometimes used as an ingredient in medicines aimed at individuals with calcium deficiencies.
Glucose polymers have been studied extensively for both medicinal and supplementation purposes and no safety issues have ever been raised. However, there is one known side effect commonly known as a sugar crash.
This side effect is known scientifically as the insulin effect. It is caused by a sudden drop in blood glucose levels which can cause dizziness, fatigue, mental confusion, and headaches. Although this side effect is rare it can still occur nonetheless.
In order to prevent sugar crash, some supplement makers who specialize in sports drinks will combine glucose polymers with cornstarch and/or fructose. Fructose polymers are similar to glucose polymers yet they are absorbed and metabolized at a much slower rate.
This slower process helps to regulate blood glucose levels and can be of some assistance in preventing sugar crash. The use of cornstarch effectively accomplishes the same purpose. Those with a tendency to suffer from gastrointestinal distress should stick to glucose polymers when possible.
To date there have been no studies to suggest that using sports energy drinks with glucose polymers in them is dangerous. Quite to the contrary, is believed throughout the bodybuilding and sports training industries that these types of energy drinks could be the best among all options.
They provide the needed energy boost and fatigue prevention properties, thus allowing users to stack other supplements for other purposes. When supplements are stacked properly they provide the maximum benefits.
Finding a sports drink which utilizes glucose polymers is not difficult at all. Glucose polymers are such a commonly used ingredient that just about any sports drink off the shelf contains them.
All you need to do if you want to know for sure is read the product label. You can find sports drinks with glucose polymers at your local grocery store, health and fitness store, gym, or sports supplement retailer. To compare products, use the supplement finder now!
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