We have chosen to use organic brown rice syrup as the carbohydrate base for our ranges of energy bars, protein bars, fruit purees and Mulebar energy gels. The main role of carbohydrates in a sports nutrition product is to replenish glycogen stocks, the body’s primary source of energy and the main factor in sports performance. In this article, we will explain the importance of sugar and its dangers, as well as the benefits of brown rice syrup in sports nutrition, although it is decried and even demonised.
Importance of sugar for our bodies ?
Sugar is essential for the proper functioning of the body, but it is also its worst enemy if consumed in excess. Its main role is to provide energy for the body and the brain. Sugar is also used to store energy or to synthesise proteins.
There are two categories of sugar :
Complex carbohydrates which include fibre, starch and glycogen
Simple sugars that only give food a sweet tast
The former are important for the functioning of the human body, the latter are accessory foods.
The WHO recommends a maximum of 10% of our daily calorie intake from sugar. This means 25g per day. Ideally, we should aim for only 5%. Depending on the country, the daily amount of sugar consumed is between 100 and 140 grams. The threshold is therefore largely exceeded, especially in developed countries. In 2017, each French person consumed an average of 35kg of sugar.
Different types of sugars
Most sugars are composed of two molecules: glucose and fructose. Fructose can only be broken down in the liver, which converts it into fat. Glucose, on the other hand, can be broken down and used 100% by all cells in the human body.
One of the main reasons why sugar is harmful is its fructose content. Too much of it can be harmful to liver function, and it can make digestion difficult and cause acid reflux. Intuitively, fructose has a positive connotation for most people who think it comes from the fruit full of vitamins, fibre and nutrients. This is not the case. Although some fructose from fruit is good, too much of it can have disastrous effects on health. Sugar converted into fat clogs the arteries, making it easier to have a heart attack. White table sugar contains 50% fructose, so it should be avoided as much as possible.
Glucose is present in fruit, legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils) and starchy foods (flour, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.) and is not considered harmful to the body if consumed in reasonable quantities.
There are also fake sugars, usually synthetic, which are also called sweeteners. These are ultra-processed products used in diet products for weight loss. They are also cheaper and therefore convenient for saving money on the cost price. Most sweeteners contain large amounts of fructose and are known as ‘high fructose corn syrup’ combined with glucose.
Sugar is to be oncsumed in moderation
Sugar is the cause of many diseases. Diabetes, obesity, cirrhosis, risks of cardiovascular accidents. Liver, pancreas, brain, heart, the main organs of the human body are threatened by this excess.
Sugar is high in calories, which causes overweight. It can also become a real addiction. It is therefore essential to limit its consumption and to practise physical activity to burn it off.
What is brown rice syrup ?
Brown rice syrup is produced from the fermentation of whole (or malted) rice and barley grains. The rice starch is broken down by enzymes into three easily digestible sugars: maltotriose (52%), maltose (45%) and glucose (3%). It does not contain fructose, which is its main quality. The ratio between the different types of sugar will depend on the parameters of the fermentation (duration, temperature and type of enzyme). The mixture is filtered and concentrated by evaporation of the water to finally obtain an amber-coloured syrup with a honey-like consistency. Its sweet taste is reminiscent of caramel.
The different sugars are not assimilated at the same time: glucose is absorbed quickly, while maltose is digested in 30 to 90 minutes. Maltotriose takes 2 to 3 hours to be completely digested. These different absorption rates provide constant energy over a long period of time. This is why it is used in sports and bodybuilding nutrition products.
Brown rice protein is often used for muscle building
Nutritional values and Glycemic Index of brown rice syrup
The glycaemic index (GI) is a scale from 1 to 100 that allows us to classify carbohydrates according to their influence on blood glucose levels. At rest, our body constantly regulates blood sugar levels between 1 and 1.1 g/litre with the help of insulin (hypoglycaemic) and glucagon (hyperglycaemic). Brown rice syrup has a glycemic index of 98. It is much higher than sucrose, the table sugar with a GI of 60-70.
The benefits of brown rice syrup in sports nutrition
- High in calories
- Its sweetness is half that of honey
- Contains iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium
- It is a source of vitamin B but in modest quantities
- It is gluten-free
- It contains half of complex carbohydrates with progressive assimilation
- Does not contain fructose
Brown rice syrup is therefore an interesting sugar for sports nutrition products. Its mixture of fast and slow release sugars is perfectly suited for training and competition.
Try our Mulebar energy gels, our fruit compotes or our energy bars, you won’t be disappointed, they are among the best on the market since 2008. Since the creation of Mulebar, our DNA is to choose only premium ingredients, all natural, to offer quality products with a texture and flavors that will give you a boost during your sports activities.