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Maple Syrup: Nature's Power Bar

There is a very understandable movement amongst athletes and those who go beyond just sporting athleisure wear to fuel their strengthening and endurance training bodies with natural, whole foods. After decades of commercialized, plastic wrapped energy bars and drinks composed of false promises and high fructose corn syrup, the embracing of simpler foods, simpler sugars, and simpler diets makes sense. 

Ted King, pro-cyclist and owner of Untapped Maple Waffles

You might already be familiar with some of maple syrups’ health benefits which include a variety of natural antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, we learned from Runner’s World that a ¼ cup serving of pure maple syrup, in addition to offering you 216 low glycemic calories, also provides upwards of 100 percent of your daily value for manganese, a mineral known to play key roles in how cells react to oxidative stress, in carbohydrate metabolism, and also bone health.

Maple syrups, like our wildcrafted harvests, also boast a pure energy in the form of sucrose, a naturally occurring blend of glucose and fructose. This cocktail is a runner’s delight as research has found that when athletes consume this natural blend during exercise, they absorb and use more grams of glycogen-restoring fuel per hour, without the threat of GI distress.


“During races and other super high-intensity workouts that rapidly deplete our energy stores (glycogen), our body responds best to easily-absorbable calories, preferably in the form of carbohydrates,” says registered dietitian Sidney Fry. “It’s one of the few times your body actually needs sugar more than it needs fiber- or protein-packed foods for energy and sustenance...Maple syrup has a glycemic index of 55 — that’s 11 points lower than table sugar — meaning it takes just a wee bit longer to break down (but it’s still rapid enough to refuel muscles during races), prolonging the available fuel-time it has to offer hard-at-work muscles. The lower the GI of a food, the less impact it has on overall blood sugar,” explains Fry. “Maintaining steady levels of blood sugar keeps our bodies more regulated than when sugars spike and plummet — another important factor during an important race.”

Former pro-cyclist Ted King recognized the benefits of a maple fueled energy and cooked up a delicious pre-workout treat reminiscent of Dutch stroopwafels, Untapped Maple Waffles. “Sports foods with 12 ingredients to digest compared to one simple ingredient should be a no-brainer,” says King. “Maple syrup is a superfood, with all the benefits and antioxidants that counteract free radicals...I consume fewer calories because it provides longer distribution of energy. Hunger is staved off by eating real food. Also when you take so much sugar, you suffer from gut rot. Maple syrup will not do it. It’s water soluble.” 


And of course, we can’t forget about maple water! As well as providing rehydration and refreshment, maple water like Vermont based producer Sap!, restores electrolytes and contains 161 mg of potassium (3% of your daily requirement). 


So what do we recommend for all you active natural foodies? 

Maple Syrup! 

Pre-Workout : Fuel up with a protein packed energy ball like these 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites and boost your anti-inflammatory responses and protect your cells from oxidative damage, which exercise can cause. Or try Ted King’s Untapped Maple Waffles

During Workout: Put the Gatorade down and restore electrolytes naturally with Sap! or Drink Simple maple water!

Post-Workout: High-intensity workouts deplete our body of manganese and zinc, two abundant minerals found in maple syrup. Look to a lean protein, nourishing recipe like Goop’s Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad or a hearty cup of Maple Baked Beans as a replenishing post-workout finale.

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