Superior Plant Carbs for higher endurance capacity

They'll optimise your
performance and health

Plant-based foods contain a variety of unrefined carbohydrates (different types of natural sugars, starches and fibre), which trigger a series of biological responses in our bodies, to improve exercise performance.
And to a higher degree than just taking in ultra processed sugars, like glucose syrup contained in traditional sports drinks. Or synthetic man-made carbohydrates like maltodextrin, contained in most energy powders and gels today.
A broad array of plant carbs will improve your endurance capacity, because (i) our bodies process the varied types differently for steady energy release, without causing stomach problems; and they are (ii) optimised for good management of lean body mass.

We discuss this in more detail below.

More Steady Energy Release

Different types of carbs in plants are digested, absorbed and metabolised, by our bodies at different rates. It means that you will enjoy a more steady release of energy, which is essential for your muscles to keep working hard during prolonged exercise.
By contrast, the energy derived from ultra processed and synthetic food supplements can be short-lived. They can spike blood-sugar levels, and give only short bursts of energy. You’ll be familiar with the feeling of ‘crashing’ not too long after you’ve ingested a glucose or maltodextrin-based energy gel. They’d be considered as high on the Glycemic Index (‘GI’), whereas a multi-carb food source would likely be moderate in GI terms.

To demonstrate this, Jon Kirwan and his colleagues conducted a controlled trial, comparing High and Moderate GI meals, to understand their effects on exercise performance. They concluded that Moderate GI foods enhanced performance times far better than High GI foods did. You can read the research in the Journal of Metabolism <here>.

Overcoming Stomach Problems

The other problem with supplements that contain High-GI simple sugars and maltodextrin, is that we can inadvertently consume too much of them, in order to try and overcome the energy crashes.
Doing so could lead to gastrointestinal distress or undesired increases in body fat percentage.
The relevance of increased body fat, is that it correlates with poorer fitness, reduced VO2 max and lower endurance capacity. The following independent peer-reviewed scientific research studies are conclusive in this regard. Please click the links below if you’d like to read more.
<Body Fat Limits Endurance, published by Karen Charlton and colleagues, in the Journal of Nutrients>

<Effect of BMI, Body Fat Percentage and Fat Free Mass on Maximal Oxygen Consumption, published by H. Mondai and S Mishra, in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research>

Then, here is how the varied plant carbs in BACX products, can help you to overcome stomach problems and potential body fat issues.

The reason we can get upset stomachs by ingesting a single carbohydrate alone, is that we take in more than the body’s intestines can absorb, within an hour. Yet, Asker Jeukendrup’s research revealed that multiple carbs call upon different intestinal transporters to increase absorption rates, without overloading the stomach. In his research, published in the European Journal of Sports Science <here>, he asserts favourable combinations of Glucose and Fructose, or Maltodextrin and Fructose.
Interestingly, our BACX products hit the ‘magic combinations’ of Glucose and Fructose, asserted by Jeukendrup. Not by manipulation however, as they are naturally occurring in the plant-based ingredients we use. While only two different intestinal carbohydrate transporters have been identified to improve absorption, we question whether there might be others yet to discover. To coincide with additional carb types such as those found in BACX – the complete plant carb profile being Glucose, Fructose, Galactose, Sucrose, Maltose, Starch and Fibre.

It is also worthwhile pointing out that we do not use maltodextrin as a primary carbohydrate in our products. Albeit a popular ingredient of choice by many other sports nutrition producers. Maltodextrin was originally created as a food thickener, and has good use in small quantities in certain food processing technologies.

However, there is substantive evidence on its contribution to several intestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Moreover, it’s higher on the Glycemic Index than glucose, which can give cause to sugar spikes and energy crashes. The following research links assert the adverse health impacts, from the repeated use of maltodextrin supplements. 

<Maltodextrin, Modern Stressor of the Intestinal Environment, published by Amanda Arnold. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology>

<Crohn's Disease-Associated Adherent-Invasive Escherichia coli Adhesion Is Enhanced by Exposure to the Ubiquitous Dietary Polysaccharide Maltodextrin>

<The Food Additive Maltodextrin Promotes Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress–Driven Mucus Depletion and Exacerbates Intestinal Inflammation. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology>

<Nutrition, Health, and Regulatory Aspects of Digestible Maltodextrins. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition>

Good Management of Lean Body Mass

Natural complex carbs found in plant-based foods, like starch and fibres, also help to improve fat oxidation. Moreover, they are important for satiation (i.e. feeling of fullness), to mitigate the risk of our consuming too much. Helping us to manage our lean body mass well.

Then, at this point you might be thinking…why not simply consume whole-plant foods when you’re out on your adventures? For one thing, it’s quite tough to consume whole-plant solids when you’re out on a marathon run. They have too much fibre that can promote satiety too early. This could mean that you don’t take in enough carbs for sustained energy.

Further, too much of these fibres and starches make them difficult to digest and absorb. This together with taking in too many lectins (found in beans, lentils and nuts) can cause gastrointestinal distress.

What’s more is that liquid foods are easier to absorb than solids. But, this doesn’t mean that you can drink a fruit juice during prolonged exercise. They are too high in fructose, which can also cause stomach problems.

BACX products address all of these issues by first selecting whole foods of the right nutrient profile and then we sensitively process them. To remove the performance inhibitors, but being careful to retain all the beneficial plant nutrients, delivered in the right proportions. All with the aim of keeping your muscles working harder for longer.

If you would like to learn more about macronutrient effects on satiation, then we’ve inserted a few links below.

<Macronutrient effects on satiation, published by Dana Gerstein, in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association>
<Carbohydrate bioavailability, published by Klaus and Hans Englyst, in the British Journal of Nutrition>

Then, to summarise this section, we assert that plant-based carbs are far superior in their ability to help you improve endurance capacity. It’s the primary reason we decided to deliver BACX scientific formulations using All Plant ingredients. We are the only ones to do so, in the category of sports nutrition to be used during activities.

The plant carbs in BACX will give you staged absorption for constant energy, improved management of lean body mass, and no undesired side effects or health issues.

You will simply feel and perform better.