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Review: Glyco-Durance

scottmares's picture

We Liked

So in the field of Sports nutrition building a better mouse trap is the name of the game. You want something that is quickly absorbed, starves off fatigue and does not upset your stomach. Enter PHD nutrition. This company was started in 2005 and currently is in over 20 countries world wide and offers a full range of nutritional products. For this review we are only looking atGlycodurancefrom the PHD product line.

So to find out more about GlycoDurance we stared a conversation with one of their representative Glenda. Her very first statement to us was this.

"GlycoDurance® is free from all artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives. All ingredients are in compliance for IOC, NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. Every single batch of GlycoDurance® is tested for banned substances by a world class sports doping control laboratory."

"GlycoDurance® has 100% pure Cluster Dextrin® which has the lowest serum osmoality in the industry."

Cluster Dextrin? Cluster Dextrin®, Is also known as Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin or HBCD. This form was developed in Japan by Ezaki Glico Co. Ltd. (Glico) and is distributed by Glico Nutrition Co. Ltd. It was formulated to provide the optimal benefit a carbohydrate-based supplement can provide in the performance of vigorous exercise. (Translation you can still uptake it into your system while you are going hard.) There are several articles if you want to dive into the science of this relativity new type of Carb. A quick search on the internet will yield several scientific research papers on how its made and what makes it so quickly absorbed. Here is a short video about how cluster dextrin works.

Upon inspecting of the label against other drinks labels are very similar. And when you read them they are almost identical in their ingredients. So I asked PHD what makes them different? Here is what Glenda had to say.

Glenda: "GlycoDurance is different than other carb fuels on the market for a few reasons. It is all natural, non GMO and gluten free, contains no artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives. We use a carb called Cluster Dextrin for our fuel not a sugar like maltodextrin, waxy maize, dextrose, glucose etc which most other race fuel brands use. It is all natural and sourced from brown rice and potato NOT corn. Cluster Dextrin has the fastest gut emptying time of any carb on the market and the smallest particle size, this translates into a fuel which is GI friendly, doesn’t cause a spike and subsequent crash in insulin that sugars would and therefore delivers a constant source of energy. "

When talking to Glenda she also mentioned that you can do custom nutrition with it and I asked her to explain what she meant by that..

Glenda: "Besides our 3 flavors Strawberry Kiwi, Mango and Green Apple, we also carry it in Unflavored. We carry unflavored for a couple of reasons, we know every athlete has their own unique flavor preference, some like stronger, sweeter flavorings, some like more subtle flavorings. With the unflavored GlycoDurance you can use it by itself and it tastes like slippery, heavy water or you can mix scoops with the flavored GlycoDurance thus dialing back the flavor but not compromising the nutritionals and electrolytes. So many athletes will just add more water to their product if they want to lighten the flavor but that changes the carb and electrolyte ratios. Unflavored GlycoDurance can also be used to make what we call Superbottles. Many of our athletes will mix 2 or 3 scoops of a flavored GlycoDurance and maybe 4 or 5 or more of unflavored GlycoDurance. This will give them their own personalized calorie count in their water bottle. In a 24 oz bike bottle we have some athletes making 1000 calorie bottles. The GlycoDurance definitely becomes thicker when made into a Superbottle but it doesn’t clump up. Athletes who use the Superbottles need to supplement with water. GlycoDurance can also be frozen, during long training rides/races, it is always nice to have something cold to drink and GlycoDurance will return to the same state once it has defrosted, just give it a good shake."

I also noticed that in the GlycoDurance had Glutamine in it. Glutamineis mainly used for recovery. So I asked what was their science for using it for recovery when this is clearly not a recovery drink.

Glenda : "The L Glutamine in the GlycoDurance is part of a natural amino acid compound Sustamine which is L Glutamine and L Alanine molecularly bound together. Glutamine in the GlycoDurance isn’t used for traditional recovery, it is used for hydration. The research we have done shows that Sustamine significantly improves hydration and electrolyte delivery to the muscles (clinical trials show a 25% increase in the rate of hydration). When you drink GlycoDurance the Cluster Dextrin carb is stripped away and used for fuel, what is left is the Sustamine (L Glutamine and L Alanine) bound to the water molecule and electrolytes. The Sustamine essentially pushes the water and electrolytes into the muscles. Our scientifically researched electrolyte blend contains the most absorbable electrolytes, sodium citrate, potassium citrate and a magnesium. We are one of the only brands in North America to use magnesium bisglycinate which absorbs about 400% better than magnesium chloride, without the GI distress. All of our electrolyte dosages are listed in the elemental format not input. As an example it takes over 1000mg of magnesium to yield the 100mg we claim in each serving. We worked hard to keep the particle size of the GlycoDurance small so it is easily digested and absorbed." Here is a little video about Sustamine.

We Didn't Like

So the only thing that we didn't like about this product was the price. At $60 a tub that can get expensive real quick. We did a quick calculation and came out to $2 a serving.

The Final Say

So what's the final verdict. I have been using Glyco-Durance for several months now and so far its my favorite of the drinks that I have tried because its a very light taste and I don't feel it sitting in my stomach. I also like the fact that you can get this in several flavors including unflavored. This allows you to custom mix it up for the desired effect that you want. If you want a recovery bottle then you can put in a scoop of flavored and then a scoop of unflavored. Doing this won't make it over sweet and easy for you to drink. If I was to do this with another drink I would just be making the drink sweeter and that leaves a filmy taste in my mouth and I don't like that. The Glyco-Durance drinks almost like water and has a very low Osmoality level that allows it to leave the stomach and go right into your intestine and then easily into your blood stream. Its one of the first ones that I know of that uses a single type of energy source to deliver sustained energy. Most if not all use several types (sizes) of carbohydrates to do this. In addition to this I can not find any that use Sustamine to drive water into your body. I have found plenty of scientific papers supporting the claim that this dipeptide does just that. The other interesting thing that I found that is this is commonly available in lots of supplement stores. Translation you can buy it at almost any nutritional store. With that said I found that you can also buy the cluster dextrin. Now, before you just drop everything and go to your local GNC. I would consider the source that you get it from and then you have to play chemist and mix all of it up and you might get it right. Which I would not recommend. Either way Glyco-Durance By PHD nutrition just may be the most advanced Energy AND Hydration drink on the market right now. Usually you only get one. You either a drink with a whole bunch of different types of carbohydrates and sugar for energy OR some kind of expensive vitamin water. I looked at 10 of the leading brands for cycling and NONE use this type of Carbohydrate and Di-peptide.

The Final say: Its dam good stuff but its not cheap. But this is a case of you get what you pay for..

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