Sword 101: Carbohydrates

/ Sword Performance


Diet preferences come and go. They reflect our changing understanding of how the body works. Which is the right diet for athletes? Ketogenic Diet? Fat Adaptation? Paleo? Carbohydrate Loading?

The simple answer is that there is no single diet that is right for every athlete in every situation. Diets are as specific to athlete and event as training is. Your diet should follow your physiology and the specifics of your goal event.

There are some misunderstandings about the role of carbohydrate in exercise. Carbohydrate is a fuel used by your muscles to perform work. It is also used by many other organs in your body and is the preferred fuel for your brain.  It is stored in relatively limited amounts in the body.  

During increasingly hard work, your muscles consume progressively more carbohydrate to the point that at higher intensities, carbs become the primary fuel for working muscle. At the same time, your brain continues to consume carbohydrate setting up a tug of war between the muscle and brain for your body’s limited supply of sugar. This can contribute to fatigue, particularly in longer events, and there are literally hundreds of well-performed experiments which demonstrate carbohydrate’s ability to delay fatigue and improve performance. That is why we have carbohydrate in Sword.

In order for consumed carbohydrate to be of any benefit, it must get out of your stomach and into your blood. The dual source of carbohydrates in Sword is designed to do that by using two different transport mechanisms from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream. We have specifically chosen the combination of maltodextrin and fructose in Sword to: take advantage of these carbohydrate transporters; avoid the excessive sweetness of too much simple sugar; and keep the osmolality of the drink below that of blood.

The amount of carbohydrate in Sword was also carefully considered. Too much and the drink becomes too sweet and difficult to absorb, leading to increased GI distress. Too little and you’re not delivering enough carbohydrate to provide a significant benefit. We believe that we have hit the "sweet spot."  

Our 6% carbohydrate solution delivers about 60 grams of carbohydrate in every liter of Sword consumed. That is enough to make Sword the only carbohydrate source you need to consume during a race – or it can be used in smaller quantities and combined with other sources (food, gels, etc…) if you prefer.

Carbohydrate is an important fuel source to support hard work. Numerous studies have demonstrated its ability to improve performance and delay fatigue.

Get out there and work hard. Sword will help you.   

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