Our bodies need carbohydrates during intense physical activity; unfortunately, our bodies cannot store all the carbs we need for endurance training or events. That’s where carb supplementation comes in! Athletes, particularly endurance athletes, have been working to find the best way to fuel their bodies for decades. Drink mixes containing sugar, salt, and lemonade were introduced in the ‘60s, but they weren’t well tolerated by athletes because of the high sugar concentrations. This early sports drink frequently caused gastrointestinal distress as well as slower gastric emptying (when the stomach sends its contents to the small intestine at a slower rate than normal, delaying digestion and absorption of nutrients).
Fast forward to 2015 when Swedish company Maurten developed a way to encapsulate high concentrations of carbohydrates in hydrogels, allowing the body to better tolerate and absorb them. This new hydrogel formulation allowed Maurten to include significantly more carbs into their products than what was on the market, giving endurance athletes the energy they need to truly reach their potential during training and events.