It has been proven that carbohydrates help to boost athletic performance and maximize endurance, which is why there are so many energy bars and drinks readily available at gyms and sports shops. But, what about plain and simple sugar water? We’re about to reveal the surprising effects that sugar water has on our bodies.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, we often get our daily sugar fix from soft drinks and fruit drinks, but these sources are not always the best choice for our bodies.
Below we’ll explain what happens to our bodies when we consume sugar water and how it benefits us.
Research has shown that the relatively simple components of sugar water could be a better energy source than store-bought sweetened drinks.
What is Sugar Water Made of?
Sugar water can be easily made by stirring table sugar into a glass of water. However, the sugar that we use at home is different from the sugars used in other sweetened drinks.
• Sugar water contains sucrose, while other sweetened beverages contain glucose in combination with other sugars (corn starch syrup and fructose, to name but a couple).
• Sucrose is a disaccharide which is made up of 2 sugar molecules, glucose, and fructose.
A recent UK study shows that the way our bodies use sucrose is better and more efficient than other sugar molecules.
Why Athletes Choose Sugar Water
While sugar water is good for everyone, there are many additional benefits for those who work our regularly or train professionally:
• While all carbohydrates help to restore energy levels during exercise, it’s the rate at which energy is restored that truly makes a difference during an intense workout.
• Most sports drinks contain combinations of glucose that can cause a lot of discomfort as they are absorbed by the intestines.
• Scientists have found that athletes who consumed sugar water experienced a faster and smoother recovery than those who consumed energy drinks.
Therefore, if you’re running a marathon or simply need to feel at your best, it’s actually much better to substitute store-bought sugary drinks with a simple homemade sugar water.
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Recommended Sugar Water Intake
Sugar water, just like all sweet treats, is supposed to be consumed in moderation.
• For endurance-based workouts such as cycling, it’s best to consume 7 tablespoons of sugar per hour. It’s recommended to mix roughly 1.5 tablespoons with a cup of water.
• For less intense workouts, it might be wise to reduce the amount by half.
• If you’re not doing any exercise and just need a quick pick me up throughout the day, it’s recommended to consume no more than 2 teaspoons of sugar per cup of water.