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HEED: The NO-added-sugar sports drink for superior endurance


Take a look at the main portion of the Nutrition Facts for HEED, and you’ll notice a few very important things:

1. There are 27 grams of total carbohydrates in one serving. We use maltodextrin, a complex carbohydrate.

2. Embedded within those 27 grams, there is 1 gram of carbohydrate that is classified as sugar, meaning a one- or two-chain saccharide molecule.

3. There are ZERO (0) grams of added sugars.

With respect to item number 1, the use of maltodextrin is undeniably important because:

  • Your body can digest more calories with greater efficiency from maltodextrin than it can from short-chain (aka “simple”) sugars.
  • Maltodextrin is a high glycemic index carbohydrate (GI = 100), so it goes to work rapidly. However, because it is hundreds of saccharide molecules weakly linked together, the energy maltodextrin supplies is smoother and more consistent (no wild energy fluctuations) and lasts significantly longer than the energy supplied by sugar.

Items number 2 and 3 are tied in together. They are important because they distinguish whether the sugar is “part of the whole,” like the fructose that naturally occurs in a piece of fruit, or if it has simply been added to the product as a separate ingredient.

The maltodextrin we use in HEED and our other carbohydrate-containing fuels is a starch-like carbohydrate that contains various chains of saccharide molecules, primarily pentasaccharides, defined as “a five-sided complex carbohydrate that has unique properties that allow for maximal conversion to energy.” As part of the entire matrix of maltodextrin, there will always be a small amount of one- or two-chain sugars (monosaccharides, disaccharides). However, because they naturally occur as part of the entire complex carbohydrate structure and are not added separately, the body is able to use maltodextrin more efficiently as a fuel source.

Bottom line: The body responds much more favorably to a short-chain sugar when it is part of the entire matrix of the carbohydrate source versus when it’s added as a separate entity to a product.

Take a look at the Nutrition Facts for other sports drinks. Chances are, they’re either comprised entirely of sugar or they’re loaded with added sugars. Either way, that glucose, sucrose (including cane and coconut sugar), dextrose, fructose, and “anything else that ends in ose” sugary drink cannot possibly supply the quality of energy that HEED can. And all that sugar is just flat-out bad for your body.

Sweetened only with healthy sweeteners (stevia and xylitol), devoid of artificial ingredients and tooth enamel-decaying citric acid, and complemented with a balanced, full-spectrum electrolyte profile (not loaded with salt like most of the rest), HEED is the undisputed king of sports drinks.

When we first introduced HEED, we stated with supreme confidence, “It’s no great stretch at all for us to say that we believe HEED will literally blow the doors off any other sports drink currently available.” Sixteen years later, this statement is still 100% true. While other sports drink companies have half-heartedly attempted to up their game, they still can’t match HEED, and they never will.

Years ago, when countless athletes and active people cried out, “Enough is enough! We want a better sports drink, one that works and actually tastes good!” we listened and delivered. Since that day, HEED has been, and continues to be, the deliciously healthy and highly effective alternative to the syrupy swill disguised as sports drinks. Containing only beneficial ingredients (in effective amounts!), and devoid of added sugars and the rest of the earlier-mentioned junk, HEED is exactly what you want and need!

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