Move over honey—there’s a new all natural energy source in town. Maple syrup. Perhaps looking at the success of Lance and his Honey Stinger endeavor, cyclist Ted King teamed up with Vermont’s Slopeside Syrup to package the liquid gold into sports friendly tear packets.
UnTapped is made from pure organic Vermont maple syrup in portable packaging. The maple syrup is produced simply by boiling maple sap directly from a maple tree. Because it’s unprocessed, it naturally delivers vital minerals such as potassium, manganese, iron, calcium, and zinc. It also has essential vitamins, a variety of critical amino acids, and is bursting with antioxidants that help with proper recovery.
UnTapped is pushing the fact that maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than honey and most other sugars or gels. The glycemic index is a scale from 0 to 100 that ranks how quickly certain foods cause a rise in blood glucose levels. The higher the number, the faster you digest that food, which causes a more rapid elevation of blood sugar levels.
In general, studies have shown that a low GI pre-workout meal may prolong endurance during strenuous exercise, while during exercise, you should eat or drink moderate to high GI food for rapid digestion (or a combination for both immediate as well as long term energy). However, some people (such as myself) are sensitive to high GI foods and actually produce more insulin than needed, leading to a major blood-sugar crash shortly thereafter. Maple syrup rather than something like GU may be a better option here.
The GI ratings of some common foods/supplements are as follows:
Maple syrup: 54
White rice: 77
Average Sports Drink: 95
Average energy gel: 90
Although Slopeside has been selling maple syrup for years, the UnTapped team turned to crowdfunding site Indiegogo in order to fund the portable gel-pack minimum production costs. You can pre-order your maple energy packs for $25 (10 packs) to $190 (100 packs). The company has already exceeded their $35,000 funding goal with close to a month yet to go on the campaign.
Eventually, UnTapped plans to create a range of athletic products fueled with pure maple syrup. Maple waffle anyone? In addition to workout energy, the small packets of maple syrup will also be great for backpacking/camping—add some to your oatmeal or on top of your griddle cakes.