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BENEO’s Palatinose™ helps athlete train for one of the toughest races on earth

April 2012 - Billed as the ‘World's Toughest Bicycle Race’, Race Across America (RAAM) is not for the faint-hearted.  Thanks to the next generation carbohydrate Palatinose™ (isomaltulose) a German amateur competitor, Stefan Schlegel (35) is ahead of his training schedule and fighting fit for this year’s race of a lifetime.
As one the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world, RAAM is almost 30% longer than the Tour de France, at 3,000 miles, and racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time allowed for the Tour.  Open to both professional and amateur athletes alike, nutrition plays a key role in ensuring they perform to their maximum potential.
Stefan Schlegel, a personal trainer, has competed in the Hawaii Ironman and many other sporting competitions. Working with a dedicated team, including Katja Reichenbach, a member of the BENEO-Technology Center, he began to test a variety of ingredients for liquid and solid food to find the optimum delivery of balanced energy.  Having been recommended Palatinose™, a fully digestible but low glyceamic and toothfriendly sugar, by a friend, Stefan began adding the functional carbohydrate as a powder to water and protein shakes.  After two weeks of use, Stefan began to notice positive results: “I realised that my energy levels stayed constant over a longer period of time which is very important for the RAAM, where I will have to cycle for at least 20 hours a day, 12 days straight.  I have been using it for the past year, since my training for the RAAM started and especially in heavy training periods, when I train up to 60 hours a week, it helps me a lot getting the necessary energy in form of glucose to keep me going on constant level during this time.”
Stefan continues: “My team is responsible for giving me all the food, drinks, minerals, and vitamins that are necessary for me to keep my performance as high as possible.  With this in mind, we found that Palatinose™ is a great help regarding the nutrition aspect.  The powder is easy to handle, either for drinks or in liquid food like soups.  In addition the fact that Palatinose™ is toothfriendly as well as fully digestible and well tolerated is an added benefit for me, as whilst cycling the RAAM, I will be drinking at least 20 litres per day of liquid, including soups, waters or other foods!”  Stefan’s passion for attempting the RAAM began a few years ago, when he created what he calls his ‘bucket list’ (i.e. the top ten things he wanted to do before he ‘kicked the bucket’!)  He wrote down a list of places he wanted to visit and then combined this with his passion for taking part in competitive sports.  Since writing the list, Stefan has been one of the first 500 participants to reach the finishing line in the Ironman in Hawaii and now has his sights set on achieving the goal of becoming ‘rookie of the year’, the best newcomer, at this year’s RAAM.
Palatinose™ is the only fully digestible, low GI carbohydrate (GI 32) that provides prolonged energy release in the form of glucose while being completely toothfriendly.  Its low glycaemic and toothfriendly benefits have been approved by EFSA.  Derived from sugar beet, Palatinose™ is a disaccharide, providing the full carbohydrate energy (4 kcal/g); the white, crystalline powder however is low hygroscopic and has a milder sweetness than sugar.
More information on Stefan's nutrition with Palatinose™ can be found here

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