More natural fuel

I drink a mix of water, maple syrup, a small amount of salt and lemon. Very simple, easy on the stomach.


Better buy your honey directly from the keeper. A study from a few years ago found that most “honey” sold in US stores was mostly just sweet goo and not actual honey. Might be different regulations in the EU.


So basically just really expensive sugar :rofl:

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Well it can definitely be an issue with Maple Syrup in the EU, with cheaper “Maple Syrup” bulked with sugar and water.

Fair enough if you prefer the taste of certain products that you’ve listed, but from a nutritional/health perspective, there’s basically zero difference between any of them.


There was actually a very good podcast about this on FastTalk:


interesting talk, thanks for posting this :+1:

My N=1 is a bit contrary to the one he’s describing here. I saw way better performance, recovery, and illness resistance when I switched to a vegan diet with plenty of grains.

As with other “alternative” sugars, you’re getting less that maximum carb content than straight up sugs:

sucrose is the most important component, between 73 and 90%, followed by reducing sugars (4 – 14%) and water. Reducing sugars are half glucose, half fructose.

According to the Organic Mountain brand of panela, it’s 78 per cent sucrose but with some 4 per cent glucose and 4 per cent fructose

100g table sugar: 100% sucrose; 50% glucose + 50% fructose = 100g carbs

100g panela: 43% glucose + 43% fructose = 86g carbs
(and no need to add extra fructose via agave syrup!)

14% less carbs/g may or may not make a difference to your rides, then again, the amount of claimed “good stuff”/g probably won’t effect your over-all health, either. In fact, additional fructose (a la agave) might be even worse for your health than just straight white sugar.

Lots to consider besides mere processing technique.


Oh yeah, quite hard to find a trustworthy maple syrup in Europe
At the other hand, at least in my country, regulations on the honey are really strict and we do not have problems with the quality…but still, I prefer to buy it from producer I know :slight_smile:

Yes, you are right, I actualy also found out that I made an error previously when I was searching for panela composition, I had in my mind that it was mainly glucose… so even better if I could leave agave behind :slight_smile:

At the other hand, the maths are not that hard, I just would need to use a bit more mass of panela to compensate.
Just to be clear, in this case, I am not that much attracted by other “good stuff” in panela, but rather have a MUCH more natural source of carbs. If there is that much benefit for my health, I can´t judge, but it would certainly be better for my mind :grin:


You are right, this is for on bike fuel, that potato/marshmallow realy was just a picture to illustrate that you can get the same final molecule (glucose in this case) from two very, very different sources. The final dissolved molecule is the same, but is food really just a composition of molecules in different amounts and combinations?
I know, this becomes a bit philosofical / esoterical, but again, I am not sure if there is some total TURBO-BURN-ANYTHING mode that comes inside the body during a workout that would annihilate the difference between a whole food source and a completely artificial chemical powder
Well, I will at least try to find a more natural alternative and give it a try… I already have it to replace gels, let´s see if I can also find a way for my bottles…

That’s fair enough - I do understand your preference for wanting to put less processed stuff into your body. IMO the more natural options available right now are less optimal and more expensive, so I think that’s the trade off.


but panela is so tasty

It get’s a bit arbitrary to talk about processed versus “natural”. Unless you eat something that is truly unprocessed, i.e. not altered in anyway, it is all processed. - One way or another. Just like panela is processed by evaporation, in a big factory somewhere…

Maltodextrin is every bit as natural, processed from rice, wheat, corn etc.

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Fair enough point, however I think the general idea is that processed is not a binary situation. You can have “more” or “less” processing. Evaporation is processing, but it seems to me to be slightly different than the addition of acids or enzymes which I understand to be required to break down grains for maltodextrin powder.

When I’m racing long events and there are feed stations, I fuel mainly with bananas. They just seem to work for me.
In training I have a few Naked and Cliff bars to hand and SIS in the bottle. The SIS tastes so synthetic though and I don’t particularly like it.
Used to make my own drink with malto, fructose and lemon juice. That was nice.

True, but there’s also the belief that “more” processed is a binary situation — unhealthy or healthy, with most filed under unhealthy.

Does the application of “acids and enzymes” automatically reduce a product to an unhealthy state? Or is the concern that a man-made variant of a natural process is automatically and inherently unhealthy (e.g. micro plastics, pesticides)?

Totally agree with you here.
I don’t think we have a very good grasp on what the term health actually means… the human body is just very complex.

I wouldn’t say “hard”, just that you need to get the 100% stuff (i.e. more expensive). A few years ago, one of the mainstream supermarkets got into trouble for doing price comparison advertising against the discounters - Maple Syrup was one of the ones they got into trouble for (amongst others) for comparing their “Value” product with the discounters 100% pure.

Good one…thanks for sharing!