Will sports drinks made of maple be the next big thing?

Mis à jour : 23 nov. 2020


Scientists say yes to this question after testing maple drinks and their effects on athletes' resistance.

According to Jonathan Tremblay, associate professor of kinesiology and physical activity sciences at the University of Montreal, maple-based beverages easily compete with other sports drinks on the market.

The most recent research results on the benefits of these drinks on athletes were presented at the end of March, in Orlando (United States), during an international symposium on the theme: The chemistry and biological effects of maple products. These results demonstrate substantial intakes of sucrose, a natural sugar that has a direct impact on muscles during physical exertion. In addition, maple syrup enriched with polyphenols has anti-inflammatory properties, notes Jonathan Tremblay, the principal investigator of the clinical study aimed at demonstrating the effect of maple syrup and maple water on sports activity.

Mr. Tremblay took advantage of the symposium to share the results of his research with his colleagues. They came from several countries to take part in this symposium organized as part of the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

The work of Jonathan Tremblay and his team shows that maple products can be an excellent source of energy during prolonged exercise, compared to other sports drinks:

  • the carbohydrate content of maple water is equivalent to that of commercial sports drinks (60 g / l);

  • a 60 ml serving, i.e. 4 tablespoons, is a source of manganese (72% of its daily value), a source of calcium (6% of its daily value), thiamine (94% of its daily value), potassium (4 % of its daily value), and copper (17% of its daily value);

  • maple water and maple is less acidic and has a better taste according to consumers;

  • its natural ingredients allow to maintain the water balance of the sportsman.

Based on these positive observations, Mr. Tremblay believes that maple drinks can replace other energy drinks on the market, because they contain no gluten, no coloring, no additives, and they are suitable for the vegan diet.

Health benefits repeatedly affirmed, although some still need to be tested

Various works by his colleagues show that maple syrup enriched with polyphenols can have several benefits. In mice, it helps fight inflammation, strengthen the immune system and reduce insulin resistance and lower its level in the blood.

In addition, natural sweeteners in maple syrup help reduce metabolic disorders associated with obesity.

Ultimately, researchers are unanimous on the visible and still to be confirmed health benefits of maple syrup. This is why, in Canada, research work on this Quebec terroir product is supported by levels of government, as well as by the Producers and Maple Syrup Producers of Quebec (PPAQ).

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