Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrate Syrup Helps Sports Drinks Go The Extra Mile

Betsy Jones
Research Food Scientist

When it comes to sports drinks, consumers want great taste, hydration and energy in one convenient product. They want the kind of fuel that will stick with them throughout athletic events or exercise—especially during the hot summer months.

Xtend® sucromalt can help formulators create sports drinks to answer that demand. Xtend is a slowly-digested low glycemic index carbohydrate syrup that helps to provide steadier energy delivery. Its functional properties are similar to other sweetener syrups.  Half of the sweetener is made up of both leucrose and fructose, and the rest is comprised of complex carbohydrates which have less impact on blood glucose compared to simple sugars because they are digested and absorbed at a slower rate.

With 30% of consumers most likely to reach for a beverage for an energy fix*, Xtend is a natural fit in sports drinks. Seventy percent as sweet as sugar, Xtend offers an opportunity for a reduced-sugar formulation to help beverage manufacturers create on-trend fluid-replacement beverages with the power to both hydrate and energize. For example, we’ve created a couple of prototypes that would appeal to athletes at all levels who are looking for some extra fuel:

> A reduced calorie lemon-lime sports drink sweetened with sugar, Xtend and Truvia® stevia leaf extract, (a natural zero-calorie sweetener),  contains 7 grams sugar per 8-ounce serving, but has all the great taste of a typical full sugar sweetened product**.
> A black raspberry sports drink enhanced with Xtend and protein.
> A vanilla-flavored energy gel featuring Xtend enriched with B vitamins that help to support energy metabolism, as well as antioxidant vitamins C and E.

A major perk of Xtend sucromalt is that it's a simple drop-in 1:1 replacement for traditional syrups and sweeteners. It behaves very similarly to other carbohydrate syrups and is highly soluble, making reformulation simple in many beverages.

Not just for sports drinks, Xtend is ideal for any application that calls for a balanced release of energy. If you're looking for a steadier source of carbohydrates for your beverage or food application, Xtend sucromalt is a strong starter that knows how to pace itself all the way to the finish line.

Betsy Jones, a Research Food Scientist, has been with Cargill for 1.5 of her 24 years in the industry.

Reference Notes:

**One serving (8 fl oz) of this drink contains 7g sugar compared to14g sugar a typical in 8-oz lemon-lime sports drink.