It’s billed as the world’s fastest sports fuel, but it could just be a waste of energy.
Research from the Australian Catholic University has found that popular hydrogel drinks offer very little benefit during moderate exercise.
The new high-carb drinks claim to deliver high amounts of carbohydrates to fuel athletes and improve their performance.
The drinks contain thickening agents which react with acid in the stomach to form a gel-like bubble packed with carbohydrates.
The bubble then races past gut sensors as it moves into the intestine and dissolves to theoretically deliver more energy to muscles.
The university’s Dr Andy King said six studies so far have failed to find the drinks have any benefits over standard sports drinks.
“In the end, there was no clear advantage for the hydrogel drink in terms of GI distress, carbohydrate delivery, or performance under the conditions which have been tested in the research so far,” he said.
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