3 Benefits of Palatinose for Endurance Athletes
Isomaltulose, also known by the trademarked name of Palatinose™, is a unique carbohydrate derived from beet sugar that is receiving some attention in the endurance world. Deservedly so, Palatinose has some distinctive characteristics that could benefit endurance performance, namely during long-duration endurance exercise.
This blog will highlight 3 of the potential benefits of Palatinose for Endurance Athletes.
1. Palatinose Improves Fat Oxidation
Studies show that Palatinose leads to improved fat oxidation during endurance exercise compared to traditional carbohydrate sources like maltodextrin, fructose, and glucose (dextrose).
Any endurance athlete knowledgeable about basic energy metabolism realizes the importance of improved fat utilization. We can’t replace ALL of the carbohydrates we expend during exercise without gastrointestinal issues, so being able to efficiently burn fat WHILE taking in carbs is a big deal.
One reason Palatinose allows for improved fat oxidation during endurance exercise is because of its low glycemic index. Palatinose has a glycemic index of 32.
Compare that to the most commonly used carbohydrate sources in endurance fuels, maltodextrin (around 100), glucose (100), and sucrose (67).
High glycemic carbs aren’t necessarily a bad thing when fueling endurance efforts. This is especially true when fueling traditional endurance bouts of 1-4 hours. A high glycemic index typically means that usable energy will be available faster than when using low glycemic sources.
Palatinose results in a slow release of energy. This might seem problematic for high-intensity endurance athletes who want quick, immediately usable energy. However, combining Palatinose with other “quicker” carbs should lead to a nice balance between the two.
Additionally, by incorporating some Palatinose in the mix, fat oxidation will be improved compared to when an athlete solely uses high glycemic carbohydrate sources. A good mixture of quick and slow-releasing carbohydrates provides endurance athletes the best of both worlds in endurance fueling.
2. Palatinose is slow-digesting and leads to more stable and consistent energy.
Supplementing in some slow-digesting carbohydrates like Palatinose leads to cleaner, more sustained energy with fewer fluctuations. Consuming entirely high glycemic index carbs (like the ones mentioned previously) will cause some energy spikes and crashes due to rapid increases (and drops) in blood glucose.
Studies confirm that Palatinose leads to slower, more stable blood sugar levels when compared to high glycemic carbohydrates.
Check out the graph below comparing the blood glucose response of Palatinose vs. Sucrose. You can imagine what the difference would be when compared to higher glycemic carbs like maltodextrin or glucose.
3. Palatinose is tooth-friendly.
A tooth-friendly sugar?
Without going into significant detail, this is because, unlike other sugars, Palatinose is not fermented in the mouth. This fermentation harms dental health. Various scientific tests have confirmed that Palatinose is tooth-friendly.
During the Moab 240 during day 3, I started getting BAD tooth pain on one side of my mouth. This was likely a result of taking in so many simple sugars during the race up to that point. The pain lingered for 1-2 days after the race was over.
Palatinose is a tooth-friendly carbohydrate that won’t harm dental health, something that traditional endurance fuels and simple sugars cannot claim.
Palatinose for Endurance Athletes – Additional Considerations
Palatinose is Best When Combined with other Carbohydrate Sources
When used in high amounts (as the sole source of fuel), Palatinose can cause gastrointestinal issues. This is likely due to the slow digestion of Palatinose. Therefore, Palatinose is at its best when used as a “supporting” role to other quicker digesting carbohydrates.
I wouldn’t recommend more than 1/3 of the total calories from Palatinose to err on the side of caution. But when used appropriately, Palatinose should not cause GI issues and can be a fantastic addition to your endurance fueling regimen.
Palatinose is Especially Beneficial for Long Duration Endurance Activities
Because of the slow-digesting nature of Palatinose and its ability to positively impact fat oxidation, athletes that take place in long endurance events stand to benefit the most from adding Palatinose to their endurance fuel regimen.
A 5k, 10k, half marathoner, and even a marathoner have less to gain from Palatinose than ultra-endurance athletes like ironman triathletes and ultra-runners. Check out this blog for more information on why Palatinose is a GREAT fuel for ultra-runners – Palatinose for Ultra-Running; A Super Fuel for the Long Haul
Proxima C Endurance Fuel is a no expense spared carbohydrate/electrolyte blend that utilizes 4 different carbohydrates, including Palatinose. Proxima C includes a perfect, gut-friendly balance of slow and fast-digesting carbohydrates to keep athletes fueled for the long haul.
To find out more about Proxima C, check out the product page. Click through all the dropdowns to learn why Proxima C is your BEST choice for endurance fueling.
Proxima C was explicitly designed for ultra-distance endurance efforts like ultra-running, ironman triathlons, FKT attempts, cross-country skiing, and other extended duration endurance activities. That being said, Proxima C would be great for all endurance efforts.
For more information on Palatinose, check out the Beneo website.