Are you providing your body the fuel it needs for optimal workouts?
Probably one of the most widely used, and popular supplement is the energy drink that's used in practically every sport imaginable - be it football, baseball, hockey, soccer, cycling, track & field, or bodybuilding. Energy drinks are available in almost a limitless number of brands, varieties, sizes, flavors, and nutritional contents. It gets mind numbing just trying to figure out which energy drinks fit your needs, and which energy drinks are simply a waste of money.
Our reviews on various energy drinks published on the site here are used and tested according to our personal usage, and we chose these energy drinks based on their merit. One of my personal favorites is the BSN Endorush. It is an entirely different beast compared to the carbohydrate based energy drinks, and you can read our review of Endorush here. This review, however, is on the ABB Carbo Force energy drink.
ABB Carbo Force Nutrition Facts
First, let's get the ingredient list of Carboforce:
INGREDIENTS: TRIPLE FILTERED WATER, MALTODEXTRIN, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, NATURAL GRAPE, ORANGE, CHERRY, RASPBERRY AND STRAWBERRY JUICE CONCENTRATES WITH OTHER NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, DEXTROSE, CITRIC ACID, MALIC ACID, TARTARIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE AND POTASSIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVATIVES), GRAPE SKIN EXTRACT (COLOR), POTASSIUM GLUCONATE, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, STEVIA EXTRACT, ASCORBIC ACID AND CHROMIUM PICOLINATE.
The key ingredient in Carbo Force energy drink is, well, carbohydrates - a mix of maltodextrin, fructose, and dextrose. Dextrose is a high glycemic index carbohydrate (ability of digested carbs to raise blood glucose levels), and it has a GI of 100. It is a monosaccharide, which is a basic unit of carbohydrates.
Maltodextrin is a sweet carbohydrate made from corn starch, which is made up of several dextrose molecules held together by weak hydrogen bonds. It is this weak bonds in maltodextrin that cause it to be digested a bit slower than dextrose.
There is a precise science behind consuming carbohydrates before, during, and after workouts, and there is a massive body of clinical studies and scientific literature written on this subject. You may wonder what's the significance of carbohydrates and workout - the fact is, carbs are the fuel for our body, much like cars run on gas or diesel. Without it, we wouldn't function properly, which brings me to ask, why did low carb and zero carb diets ever get popular in the first place? Oh wait... atkins filed for bankruptcy in 2005, gee, I wonder why...
Carbo Force - The Carbohydrates Science
During exercise, the uptake of carbohydrates by skeletal muscles greatly increases (as you already know, carbs are the fuel for your body), as this increase in demand for carbs takes place, your body produces carbohydrates from stored sources to meet the demands exerted by exercise. As exercise prolongs and your body's store of carbohydrates depletes, your body becomes unable to keep up the supply for carbohydrates, and fatigue sets in.
This is where carbohydrate based energy drinks like ABB Carbo Force comes in handy. It supplies your body with rapidly absorbed dextrose, glucose polymers, and maltodextrin. By drinking Carbo Force, before, during, and after workout, you provide your body a constant supply of readily absorbed carbohydrates. There are many studies documenting the fact that "carbohydrate feeding during exercise can supply sufficient carbohydrate to restore euglycemia (normal concentration of glucose in the blood) and increase carbohydrate oxidation, thereby delaying fatigue.1
Studies involving carbohydrate ingestion and exercise have also found that consuming 30g of carbohydrates pre-workout results in less drop off in power output during 1 hour of high intensity exercise performance. 2 Another study done by Bird et al. demonstrated in a resistance training study that consuming carbohydrates with amino acids during exercise suppressed exercise induced cortisol and also reduced protein breakdown, which the researchers called the "anticatabolic effect". 3
Studies have also been done on the frequency and timings of carbohydrate intakes.
One study by Fielding et al. tested the consumption of carbohydrate at intervals vs. single larger doses vs. placebo. The study found that blood glucose was significantly elevated in large dose trials 20 minutes after ingestion, but returned to normal levels by 50minutes. They found that the interval consumption of carbs maintained blood glucose levels through the entire 4 hour trial, whereas the placebo group blood glucose decline steadily during the entire 4 hour trial. In sprinting trials to exhaustion, the group fed with carbs on an consistent interval basis performed significantly longer than the placebo group. 4 This is clear evidence for us that in practical application of consuming carbs for optimal workout performance, it's best to consume some carbs prior to workout, and continue to consume carbs throughout your workout to maintain your blood glucose levels. As shown in the study above, maintaining your blood glucose levels allows for significant improved performance compared to not consuming any carbohydrates.
This can be easily achieved with many of the sports energy drinks on the market today such as the ABB Carbo Force. Each bottle contains 110g of carbohydrates which you consume before, during, and after workout. It is optimal to consume about 1/3 bottle about 20 to 30 minutes before workout, and continue to drink it throughout your workout. Then finish the remaining after your workout, and don't forget to get your post workout whey protein shake.
ABB Carboforce comes in 4 flavors including orange, grape, fruit punch, and lemon lime. I've tried the orange and grape flavors, and they both taste great, but they are a little on the sweet side. I highly recommend refrigerating them before drinking, and shake well before drinking. It tastes much better cold than at room temperature.
1. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1989 Feb;21(1):59-65.
Metabolism and performance following carbohydrate ingestion late in exercise.Coggan AR, Coyle EF.
Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas, Austin 78712.
2. Int J Sports Med. 1995 Oct;16(7):461-5.
Effects of carbohydrate supplementation on performance during 1 hour of high-intensity exercise.Anantaraman R, Carmines AA, Gaesser GA, Weltman A.
Department of Human Services, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.
3. Metabolism. 2006 May;55(5):570-7.
Liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion during a short-term bout of resistance exercise suppresses myofibrillar protein degradation.Bird SP, Tarpenning KM, Marino FE.
School of Human Movement Studies, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW 2795, Australia. email@example.com
4. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1985 Aug;17(4):472-6.
Effect of carbohydrate feeding frequencies and dosage on muscle glycogen use during exercise.Fielding RA, Costill DL, Fink WJ, King DS, Hargreaves M, Kovaleski JE.