We’ve heard all the tropes about nutrition, when I was a kid it was very easily summed up with “ you are what you eat”. Unless you’ve been asleep for the last 20 years there’s been an explosion in the health supplement market.

Generally I try and have a healthy outlook, I’m fortunate to have space to grow my own veggies and fruit which fulfil my craving to pickle, jam, jar, freeze and ferment till my cupboards are full, I think perhaps in another life I’d have made quite the frontier woman.

Eating well isn’t enough anymore for today’s casual athlete, we’ve all bought in to the idea that if it’s good for the pros that can it must be good for the spinners and grinders that try. I bought into Science in Sport who do make really lovely sports bars designed specifically to give you the carbs you need when you need it and paying this attention did allow me to improve, in fact the best gains on my times were made when I fuelled properly.

Last night I was reading the back of the packet of a SiS Go Energy powder which you simply top up with water in your bidon and shake for a tasty hit of something like homemade lemonade although due to the sweetness I mix it with twice as much water; listed at the bottom of the ingredients is aspartame.

Various food lobbies will point to numerous reports that say Aspartame is safe for human consumption; made of up of two simple amino acids held together with a methyl ester bond making up 10% of the molecule which is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

The two main parts of aspartame, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, are quite innocuous but the bonding agent breaks down in the body to small amounts of formaldehyde which isn’t something that you’d willingly ingest.

Studies show it’s safe but studies once said that about smoking and thalidomide were also safe and we know how those turned out.

I’m voting with my wallet and looking for another brand that uses a different formulation, I suppose it just goes to show that sports supplements need not necessarily be considered health foods.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. gemsiem says:

    Interesting thoughts! My insides don’t like the SiS powders very much…perhaps this is why!


    1. Eden Walker says:

      I avoid it Etixx do aspartme free products. It’s also n SiS GO Energy and GO Electrolyte powders but they use Acesulfame K in there Isotonic Energy gels.

      I don’t know about the bars because those are the first thing I chomp through on the bike.


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