This is gonna make people’s eyes bleed when reading it. Hang with me on it. It’s always just too much detail.
People usually think in general terms of “carbs” for glucose fueling when they are exercising. Most gels are rapid carbs - “simple sugars”. They break down and are absorbed quickly.
That’s great, that’s what we want when exercising and we are low. Fast carbs!
Simple sugars are fructose, glucose, and lactose. We don’t use lactose too much for fueling.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides, which means they contain one sugar molecule. Super easy for your body to use!
If you look at some of the gels, they are not using simple sugars. They are actually using man-made processed and complex sugars - polysaccharides - which are many monosaccharides that are bound together. But the bonds are so week, they break down easily and act like simple sugars. An example of this is maltodextrin.
I personally don’t like the fake sugars. I like glucose and fructose, and I will tell you why next (if you are still reading this… )
Your stomach uses different transports for different sugars. For glucose it uses GLUT2 and for fructose it uses GLUT5.
Why is that important? Because using different types of sugars that use different transports allows our digestive system to be more efficient in absorbing them. It’s like having 2 exit doors in the theater instead of only 1 door.
And while glucose is more focused on glycolysis and blood sugar, fructose not only helps raise our blood sugar but it also helps replenish the liver.
All that is the background for the simple answer that maybe you were wanting.
I use Transcend gels for quick BG help. Those gels are 100% glucose.
I use Huma gels for slightly slower BG help, and they are 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose.
And I use Untapped energy gels for a little bit slower than Huma. Those are made from maple syrup, and are roughly 1:1 ratio of glucose to fructose.
If anyone read all of this, let me know. I will send you a prize.