Sugar _ When is it enough

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Sugar _ When is it enough

Postby brad » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:39 am

There so much discussion on how much sugar should be consumed either at an: Anabolic level or growth level. I'm confused is how much to ingest in order to maintain and substance a high level of insulin for maximum endurances or is it for repairing tissues and muscle. I notice with Hammer its typically 4 grams as a supplement in Heed vs. 20 grams in other supplements i.e. Accelerate. How much does this affect you and your insulin level during and after a work outs? Is there a need for higher levels?

Thanks Brad
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Re: Sugar _ When is it enough

Postby steve-born » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:53 am

Hello Brad -

First, a correction: Each scoop of HEED contains 26 grams of carbohydrate, primarily in the form of maltodextrin (and a small amount of xylitol), with 2 grams of that 26-gram total coming in the form of simple sugars. So what you are getting with each scoop of HEED is 26 grams of "complex sugars" (in the form of maltodextrin, a 5-chain carbohydrate), with 2 grams of the 5 chains of carbohydrates naturally occurring in the form of 1- or 2-chain sugars (aka "simple sugars").

Note that this is completely different than when companies add simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc) to the product... the body responds much more favorably to the simple sugar content when it is "part of the whole," as it is in maltodextrin (complex carbs), rather than when it is added as a separate entity, which is what many sports drinks do (they use a blend of carbohydrates).

It's similar to the sugar in fruit. When you consume whole fruit you are consuming fruit sugars; however, the body responds much more favorably to the fruit sugar when it's still "encased" in the whole fruit - with the enzymes, fiber, etc - rather than when the fruit sugar is extracted from the fruit, then oftentimes refined, and added as a separate entity to a sports drink or gel.

We advise limiting-to-eliminating simple sugar intake in general, not just during exercise. During exercise, the use of complex carbohydrates presents a distinct advantage over simple sugars. This is discussed in more detail in the article "Caloric Intake - Proper amounts during endurance exercise" at

During exercise, the average size athlete (approximately 160 - 165 lb) can return to the energy cycle (via the liver) a maximum of roughly 4.0 - 4.6 calories per minute, or 240 to about 280 calories per hour. Lighter weight athletes will certainly be able to get by on fewer calories than that, and larger athletes may need slightly more than that. The idea that one can replace calories out with equal to near-equal calories back in is simply not true; the body is not equipped to replace "X" out with "X" or "near-X" back in. The calories from body fat stores will very easily bridge the gap between what you're burning/losing calorie-wise and what your body can comfortably accept from you/your fuel donation.

As far as carbohydrate intake for recovery is concerned, primarily for the restoration/increase of glycogen stores, how much one should consume - not just after exercise, but throughout the day - is oftentimes based on body weight and duration of exercise. Dr. Michael Colgan wrote about this and his suggested intake - again, based on body weight and duration of exercise - can be found in Dr. Bill Misner's article "Carbohydrates 101- The Why's, When's, & What's..." at

About 3/4 or slightly more down on the lengthy article you will find a chart entitled "RECOMMENDATIONS CARBOHYDRATE REPLACEMENT FOR ENDURANCE PRE, DURING & AFTER EXERCISE". Above that chart, the following text is written:

Following exhaustive exercise Colgan advises limiting glucose polymers intake to 225 grams after 2-4 hours post-exercise. Much more than that will only add body fat weight. Other research reports an average of 650 total grams carbohydrate is all the carb-calorie volume that the body can restore to glycogen stores daily. This calculates between 1.0-1.5 grams carbohydrate per hour exercise per pound of body weight. Ivy likewise reported that the maximum human carbohydrate synthesis is 225 grams of glucose polymers 4-hours following exercise. Above 225 grams the body begins to convert excess carbohydrates to dead weight fat.

Colgan also suggests that a relationship between body size and the amount of carbohydrate required replacing exercise-induced expense:

(You'll find the chart after this text)

I hope you will find this information - both here and in the articles listed - to help answer your question.

Sincerely -

Steve Born
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