In animals and humans the primary source of storage carbohydrate is glycogen. Glycogen is also the preferred energy source for exercise, necessary for fueling muscles, supplying glucose to the brain as well as being required for burning fat. Unfortunately, humans can only store limited amounts of glycogen. During exercise lasting longer than 90 minutes, the body can become glycogen depleted. When glycogen stores run out, exercise cannot be maintained at the same intensity and often the athlete is forced to stop. This is referred to as “bonking” of “hitting the wall”. For a more in-depth analysis of glycogen please visit the Carbohydrate Crash Course.
To prevent glycogen depletion, ingestion of at least 1.0 to 1.2 grams/minute of carbohydrate is needed after the first hour of endurance activity. This provides the body with the necessary energy for exercise without tapping into glycogen reserves. For many athletes, especially in the heat, ingesting food that contains this many carbohydrates is not an easy task. e load FLY allows the athlete to customize the amount of carbohydrate needed to maintain energy and boost performance.
During prolonged exercise the mechanism behind this performance improvement is likely to be related to maintenance of high rates of carbohydrate oxidation and the prevention of hypoglycemia. (1)
To avoid glycogen depletion, the rapid removal of glucose from the GI tract into the bloodstream resulting in increased blood glucose must occur; thereby, sparing glycogen stores. (1) The Glycemic Index (GI) of food can provide a tool to measure the effect that various carbohydrate sources have on blood glucose. The scale ranges from 0 to 100+, and the higher the GI, the faster the absorption of carbohydrate into the blood. For this reason, a high GI carbohydrate is the preferred fuel during exercise. For a polysaccharide to be used as a primary substrate for exercise it is of paramount importance that it can deliver a rapidly absorbable carbohydrate and also demonstrate excellent gastric emptying capabilities. Fortunately there is a readily available polysaccharide that satisfies all of the above criteria, that being maltodextrin. The high GI value of the maltodextrin used in e load FLY means rapid absorption of all carbohydrate to permit glycogen sparing, essential for preventing “bonking”.
While several other gels on the market use an amylose derived maltodextrin, e load FLY uses a maltodextrin derived only from amylopectin. Maltodextrin made from amylose can produce an indigestible product known as resistant starch which can remain in the gut and cause gastrointestinal upset, especially when exercising in the heat. Our maltodextrin, derived from a non-GMO ‘waxy maize’ corn starch, ensures that using e load FLY will not produce any resistant starch. For more information on waxy maize and amylopectin, please refer to Resistant Starch.
e load FLY also provides an effective energy source by supplying only carbohydrates as a fuel for the body. The body doesn’t need protein or fat during any exercise under 24 hours, so why use a product that contains these extra nutrients? Protein and fat absorb more slowly and require more energy for the body to digest, energy that could be saved for enhancing performance. By providing only carbohydrate e load FLY allows you to boost the concentration of this vital nutrient without worrying about adding extra fat or protein, which could result in gastrointestinal discomfort, especially in the heat.
While sweetness is something we usually think of as beneficial for our taste buds, during exercise, and particularly exercise in the heat, sweet flavors become intensified and are often overbearing. For some individuals flavors normally well tolerated can even become nauseating (3,4). As a result these products are often difficult to tolerate during exercise in the heat when delivery of carbohydrates is essential for sustained performance.
There is measure of sweetness used to classify carbohydrates that is similar to the GI scale. Called ‘Dextrose Equivalent’ (DE), a DE value of 100 is given to pure dextrose (glucose) and other carbohydrates are ranked in comparison to dextrose. The maltodextrin used in e load FLY has a DE of 10, indicating that it has a very low relative sweetness. By using a waxy maize derived, low DE maltodextrin, e load FLY is a virtually flavorless addition to any liquid. And there is no use of any colors, flavors or preservatives, so it provides the perfect compliment to any sports drink.
Maintaining proper balance of electrolytes is essential for performance in the heat, so providing a product that wouldn’t interfere with that was an important consideration to us when designing e load FLY. It contains no electrolytes, meaning that you can add it to any drink or supplement without having to worry about counting electrolytes. This reduces the need for calculations and makes using e load FLY fast and simple.
Allowing electrolyte concentrations to fall below normal through the process of sweating can contribute to the many problems discussed in the Heat Related Illnesses section. To learn more about replacing vital electrolytes lost in sweat and the importance of using sports nutrition products with the proper electrolyte balance, visit Electrolytes.
e load FLY allows you to satisfy all your carbohydrate needs with your liquid supplement. The powder dissolves easily in water or a sports drink, so you can cut down on the number of extra products that have to be carried along the way.
In addition, by fueling with liquids in place of solid food you reduce your risk of gastrointestinal distress, especially in the heat. Digestion of solid food requires more time and energy from the body than liquid nutrition. This extra effort may result in food particles occupying space in the gut for a longer duration which can lead to bloating, cramping and/or nausea. More calories are also wasted in the process of digesting solid foods, so more of the energy provided by solid foods goes back into the digestive process instead of into your hard working muscles. Since e load FLY is already in a form readily and quickly absorbed by the body, using e load FLY in place of solid food results in less energy wasted during digestion. This translates into more efficient absorption and faster transport of fuel to your working muscles, where it’s really needed to enhance performance.
Dear Dr. Stoddard:
As defending Rowing World Champions, my teammates and I are training hard to win again this summer in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Training more than thirty hours per week means that fluid intake and electrolyte replacement is key to maintaining our intensity on the water. E load has been a big part of our winter training, and will be a real asset when we go into the heat of the Beijing Olympics this summer.
Kyle Hamilton 2002, 2003, 2007 Rowing World Champion, Men's Eight, 2008 Olympic Men's Eight Gold Medallists.
Congratulations to the Canadian Men's 8 Rowing 2008 Olympic Gold Champions fueled by e load!
Derek Zanstra - Mountain Bike
Ingrid Cluzeau - Duathlon
Krista Duchene: National Marathon Champion