- Fructose powder
- Natural sweetener
- Simple low GI carbohydrates
- Ideal to add to intra/post-workout sport drinks
- Perfect as a substitute of conventional table sugar
What is Fructose?
Fructose by HSN Raw Series, also know as fruit sugar or levulose, it is the main sugar that is naturally found in honey, fruit and in small amounts in some vegetables (like carrots). Likewise, fructose is linked to glucose in common sugar or table sugar (saccharose), which is made of one half (50%) of fructose and one (50%) of glucose.
Difference between glucose and fructose
Fructose is a monosaccharide, its chemical formula is the same as that of glucose (C6H12O6) but its molecular structure is different, because fructose has a keto group on carbon 2, whereas glucose has an aldehyde group on this carbon. One major difference will be the glycemic index.
Glycemic Index of Fructose
Compared to glucose, fructose has a smaller glycemic response, as it has a very low Glycemic Index (GI). Therefore, substituting the fructose in some products that usually contain saccharose or starch, could be beneficial because it produces less of an increase in blood glucose levels. A smaller glycemic response can be beneficial for people with glucose tolerance disorders (high levels of glucose) or people who seek to lose weight.
Calories in Fructose
Fructose provides 4kcal per gram and it has a very high sweetening power. It has lots of uses, but the most known is as a nutritive sweetener. Fructose has the capacity of enhancing the sweetness of the food when it is used in combination with other sweeteners.
Sweetening power of Fructose
Fructose may be a great sweetener provided that we carry out a responsible and controlled consumption. It does not increase the blood glucose levels as much as other simple carbohydrates, but, like glucose and saccharose, it is a simple sugar that provides 4Kcal per gram and only provides energy. For this reason, abusing of glucose, fructose or saccharose, has the same effect in the body: positive caloric balance, metabolic alterations and increase in body weight.
The advantages of fructose
- Fructose, being a carbohydrate, is an important source of energy for the human body.
- Fructose does not raise blood sugar levels as much as other simple sugars.
- Fructose is often used as a sugar substitute for diabetics.
- Fructose sweetens more than white or refined sugar and provides 4 kilocalories per gram.
- It is metabolized and stored, in part, by the liver in the form of glycogen, as a reserve for when we need to make an effort.
Fructose in sports
As we know, the intake of carbohydrates during training helps to delay fatigue and when they are consumed at the end of a workout session, they promote the recovery of glycogen stores in muscle and liver. The fatigue that is produced during prolonged exercise is due to, among other things, a carbohydrate deficit. When we take carbohydrates during physical exercise, the levels of glucose are kept constant, hypoglycemia is avoided and the required carbohydrate oxidation ratio is achieved to be able to provide energy during the physical activity.
The consumption of fructose along with other carbohydrates helps to improve the glucose oxidation rate. In addition, by supplying energy with a lower glycemic index, it provides a more sustained form of energy than the consumption of glucose alone. Some studies prove that taking sport drinks that mix glucose and fructose produces benefits in comparison to the same concentration of glucose alone.
This allows there to be an increase in the nutrient concentration, without the absorption in the intestine reducing because of the increase of the osmolarity of the drink (within limits). The greater osmolarity will delay the gastric emptying and therefore slow down the absorption. For example, it has been established that a sport drink that mixes 4% glucose with 4% fructose, has a better absorption rate than the equivalent drink with a 8% glucose.
It is thought that the synergistic effect of taking glucose and fructose during exercise is mainly due to the fact that these sugars do not compete for the same transporter and can be absorbed simultaneously. Once they have been absorbed, the plasma glucose is mainly collected by muscle cells to be used as a source of energy, while the fructose is mainly used by the liver to create glucose that will be stored in the glycogen reserves or that will be transported to the bloodstream to maintain glycemia.
Fructose also increases lactate in blood, but this lactate will be used rapidly and efficiently by muscle cells during exercise. Solutions containing glucose and fructose also seem to enhance sodium and fluid absorption better than those containing glucose or fructose alone.
Who can take Fructose?
Fructose will be beneficial especially for sportspeople, those cases that use it as a substitute of other high GI simple sugars (always in small amounts) or as a sweetener, as long as we control the amounts used.
If what we are looking for is a sugar substitute without calories and that does not raise blood sugar levels, a more advisable option is sucralose.
Therefore, before using fructose as a sugar substitute, we should know the recommended daily amount that we must take according to our needs.
Do not consume more than 25% of the total daily calories from fructose, to prevent possible lipid metabolism disorders and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Thus, Fructose would be recommended for:
- People looking for a conventional sugar substitute that has a lower glycemic index.
- People with impaired glucose metabolism, such as diabetics or people with metabolic syndrome.
- Athletes looking to improve their performance and recovery.
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