Just like the dog in the picture above, you may think sucralose is sweet. But it’s a disguise, this dog bites.
The chemical that makes splenda sweet without the calories is sucralose. You would be shocked at how many sports products contain sucralose! Even products that claim they are natural and healthy. It’s deceiving because sucralose resembles the word sucrose, and sucrose is the technical name for table sugar. But make no mistake, sucralose is not sugar, it is a man made chemical that mimics the structure of sugar and is an artificial sweetener.
To synthetically make sucralose, chemists take a glucose molecule and replace 3 hydrogen and oxygen groups (hydroxyl) with 3 chlorine molecules. Trust me, the oxygen in sugar will come in WAY more handy when you are exercising than the chlorine in sucralose. Plus the chlorine comes in the form of a chlorocarbon. Chlorocarbons, by their chemical nature, are effective pesticides and preservatives because they deliver toxic doses of chlorine directly into the cell killing anything living1. I think Dr. James Bowen states it best,
“Chlorine is nature’s Doberman attack dog, a highly excitable, ferocious atomic element employed as a biocide in bleach, disinfectants, insecticide, WWI poison gas and hydrochloric acid.”
Remember, chlorine is a doberman attack dog that bites, not a cute scruffy dog wearing a mustache disguise.
It is true that chlorine, as chloride, is necessary for bodily functions such as electrolyte balance and stomach acid production, but there is a much safer way to get chlorine/chloride than from chlorocarbons, and that way is by eating and drinking sea salt.
Why do companies do this?
To keep their calories and sugar content low. They can boast low calorie products while still keeping their product tasting good n’ sweet.
Why is this a bad thing?
Research shows that sucralose can negatively alter how you handle blood sugar and can even cause you to gain more weight compared to those who don’t consume it2. Sucralose also wipes out all the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Worse yet, even when you discontinue consuming sucralose, it can take up to 3 months to get the good bacteria to come back3.
Why is this bad for my sport?
The hormones that handle your blood sugar is what helps you utilize your carbohydrates for energy. The good bacteria in your gut is what keeps you immune system healthy and helps you maintain a healthy weight. If the good bugs are gone, then you will get sick more often and have a harder time staying lean.
What should you look for?
Organic Dextrose and Luo Han Guo fruit: Remember you are working out, a little sugar before a workout is not a bad thing! It provides some quick energy, which will help you burn carbohydrates and fats. Think of sugar or complex carbohydrates (which are long chains of sugar) as being the kindling for a fire. You can’t just start a fire, you need to kindle it first. Sugar and carbohydrates do this, they kindle your metabolism into a carbohydrate and fat burning machine. That being said, the type of carbohydrates and sugar is important. You want it to be healthy sources. The sugar found in Pixie Sticks is not the way to go ;)
One of our favorite forms to lightly sweeten our products is organic tapioca dextrose. We like sourcing it from tapioca because it is not as allergenic as corn, which dextrose is usually sourced from. Also, we know that 88% of corn is genetically modified, especially when it is in packaged products. We also like using dextrose because it is pure glucose that is quickly absorbed by the cell. It can be used for quick energy or can be stored as glycogen for you next workout. It is even used in hospitals in IV’s for low blood sugar and dehydration.
So make sure to read your labels!! Sucralose is not the best option for you body, and if you are eating or drinking it on a daily basis, it can slowly deplete you.
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