Episode 207 glucose/fructose ratios?

Really good pod about gut health and fueling.

I am interested in having a reasonable cost way to get 60-90 grams of fuel in my bottles. One approach would be to add maltodextrin to bulk Gatorade.

Dr Wilson referred to a paper from his thesis where they published some ratios for various foods. Here is the transcript about that (hoping that Gatorade was a “food” they analyzed).
“There’s this study did a part of my dissertation where we actually measured the glucose fructose ratio of maybe like 80 foods or something like that, that were used during a half Ironman. And we did publish those results. So some of those products, you could look up in that particular paper.”

I went to Dr Wilson’s website Dr. Wilson’s Research – The Athlete's Gut but I wasn’t sure if any of those papers were the right one.

Could you point us to that paper?

thanks Peter

I do exactly that. I have an 8lb tub of Now Sports maltodextrin and a tub of orange Gatorade powder.

On the label, the Gatorade is a combination of dextrose and sucrose (table sugar) so it contains some fructose.

Mostly I put in the Gatorade for taste. I just put a little - like a 1:5 ratio with the maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is light tasting. Full strength Gatorade is sickly sweet to me so I just use a little.

Hello Peter,

Unfortunately it appears that the references paper is pay-walled. I do not currently have access to it.

As you approach the higher limits of CHO ingestion, the consumption of multiple carbohydrates is going to be increasingly more important with a near 1:1 glucose / fructose ratio being potentially benefits.

Therefore, adding maltodextrin to Gatorade is unlikely to achieve the appropriate CHO ratio.

There are products made in this ratio (e.g. the new SIS Beta Fuel), however, these certainly do not meet your affordable criteria.

Plain Sucrose (50%), Honey (~40%), Agave Nectar (~85%) are all sources of higher Fructose concentrations that could be self-mixed.

That paper seems to be on sci hub.


Bulk fructose seems relatively cheap - $18 for 5 pounds on amazon.

What is your experience using Sucrose/table sugar? It being 50/50 it seems like a simple solution.
I have been experimenting with it for a couple of months now. It has been tolerated well with rides up to 2 hours. I haven’t tried on longer rides yet.

Thanks a lot. Super helpful replies.

@robpickels Thanks for the stats. I had heard that about honey. And my current bottles are 2-3 Tbps honey (34-51g) Celestial Seasonings Morning Thunder tea, and a sis electrolyte tablet). Now I can add maltodex to get the carbs up.

@AJS914 thanks for finding the paper - and it does say that gatorade mix is in the 2:1 to 2.99:1 range.

A local podcast (for me) describes hydration and nutrition in simple English, including some examples of the glucose and fructose.

45 minutes they start talking about the number of grams per hour of carbs, with the basic examples (the door and the window analogy).

pwmfl- try Skratch Labs Super fuel. It has 100g carbs and 400 calories per serving, most I have recommended to can handle it from a gut perspective.

it has been a while since my biochemistry days, but to me there are some things that one needs to take into consideration here. One is that sucrose needs a breakdown step before it is utilized as fructose and glucose, while pure glucose and fructose can be directly absorbed. So from a temporal point of view there is a lag from consuming sucrose until it is available for metabolism as fructose and glucose. The second thing is osmotic pressure, that relates to the number of molecules of a substance. That is why maltodextrin is utilized, one molecule of maltodextrin contains multiple molecules of glucose so 1 molecule of pure glucose has the same relative impact on how your stomach and gut reacts to it as 1 molecule of maltodextrin and therefore you get more energy per molecule from maltodextrin for the same amount of stomach impact (ie same stomach effect/ gut response). Some try to use starches, which again are glucose polymers similar to maltodextrin, the issue here is how they dissolve in water and their sensory attributes. Most starches are gritty (bad mouth feel) or do not dissolve well in water, even maltodextrin can be a challenge to get into solution but it does not have any bad sensory attributes. So other than fueling there are a lot of factors that come into play to make a good tasting, feeling and fueling drink. I like a mixture of maltodextrin, glucose and fructose. I add a bit of sea salt and then flavour with lemon and or lime juice and off I go. I can pack a lot of energy per 100 ml of drink this way and it tastes good and does not upset my stomach.