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Fructose in Sports Drinks: Why it works


Posted by Cags R under Nutrition on 19 May 2012 at 7:00 AM

There is always debate here on Tribesports as to what's the best diet to supplement your training and it all really comes down to what you wish to achieve: whether it's weightloss, muscle-gain or to be the best you can be in a specific sport, diet can make or break success.

Sugar and carbs are always one of our hot topics on the site; discussions in groups such as the New Dieter Tribe have amazing information about sugar! Fructose has become a well debated topic as it is a cause of metabolic syndrome due to the way it is digested, so why is it in sports drinks?


  1. Sports drinks are designed for sport to be consumed by those who are exercising, not something to wash your lunch down
  2. They are an easy way to get extra calories for sport without having the discomfort of a full stomach

  3. In terms of speed of digestion, drinks including fructose will provide your body energy faster than those with straight glucose
  4. Studies have shown that a combination of glucose and fructose ingested before exercise will increase recovery and performance compared with straight glucose

  5. This is because fructose increases the absorption rates in the small intestine for fluid and solutes meaning that your body can transport the sugars and water faster to your active cells

There are natural alternatives to sports drinks; coconut water is becoming ever more popular, endorsed by companies such as Hot Bikram Yoga as an excellent means to maintain and replemish hydration as it contains potassium and other minerals. You can often find organic alternatives which provide the different solutes provided by sports drinks.

So which energy drinks and gels do you use? Have you experimented with natural alternatives? Join the discussion in the Sports Nutrition Tribe now!

  • Encourage

    encouraged this.



    Coconut water is great, a good quality honey in a squeezie tube is great instead of awful gels, real fruit, real food for ultras. I think we should boycott the market of the energy drinks selling sweet water with a few electolytes.

    Cags R encouraged this.


    @cags Nice article ! Sugar drinks immediately after or before the high energy demanding activity prevent complete glycogen depletion...particularly for marathoner, triathletes and cyclist

    Cags R encouraged this.


    BioSteel HPSD is the best in my opinion. It is safe, natural and effective. It's just a bonus that it tastes good. Recently released for consumer pruchase, this stuff has been used for years by Olympic athletes and NHL players. It is now the official supplement of Athletics Canada. Try it.

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