Special sports people: Carbohydrates and glucose, health and performance
By Annie Harrison-Dunn
- Last updated on
The European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) said within the sports nutrition sector the key achievement had been the authorisation of the claim “carbohydrates contribute to the maintenance of normal brain function”.
ESSNA's Chair, Dr Adam Carey, said this gave hope for a related claim “Glycaemic carbohydrates and contribution to recovery of normal muscle function after strenuous exercise”, and said sources had indicated that discussions around this had so far been promising.
On claims around the effects of carbohydrates and glucose on health and performance, he said: "While regulators across Europe are rightly concerned about the overconsumption of sugar (i.e. encouraging sugar consumption) by the general population – they continuously struggle to recognise the additional and very different nutritional needs of sportspeople.”
“Problematically however, regulators still seem concerned by five claims relating to glucose and energy-yielding metabolism that are equally important for our sector. Despite the fact that these claims have been under scrutiny for quite some time now – over a year and a half – sportspeople have still not been factored into the equation.”
He said these claims, together with that still on hold for caffeine, would be challenges for 2015.
Dr Luca Bucchini, managing director for Hylobates Consulting, said this discussion provided further evidence that the Commission would say no to science-based health claims if it felt there was a public health interest at stake.
He added: “The positive outcome at EC level on glycaemic carbohydrates and recovery, which seems to be restricted to products for sportsmen, points to the de facto resurrection of foods for sports people, even if they are to be formally abolished in 2016.”