Jonathan Tremblay, Associate Professor

Université de Montréal

Exploring the benefits of maple syrup as an unprocessed alternative to commercial sports drinks for recreational and elite athletes

Maple syrup, a natural sweetener derived from the sap of maple trees, is being explored as a potential alternative to commercial sports drinks among recreational and elite athletes. This presentation will examine the scientific evidence supporting the use of maple syrup as a sports drink alternative. Maple syrup is a rich source of carbohydrates, which are essential for providing energy to the body during exercise. It mainly contains sucrose, which is rapidly absorbed by the gut and can provide an immediate source of energy. Some athletes also appreciate the natural and unprocessed nature of maple syrup, which is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives commonly found in commercial sports drinks. This can be particularly important for individuals who have sensitivities to these additives or prefer a more natural approach to their nutrition. Research from our lab has suggested that consuming maple syrup during exercise may improve endurance performance. Overall, the scientific evidence supports the use of maple syrup as a potential alternative to commercial sports drinks for athletes. While there is currently no commercial maple syrup sports drink available, its unique taste and natural qualities make it a promising option for athletes seeking a more natural and unprocessed alternative. As more research is needed to fully explore the potential benefits of maple syrup as a sports drink alternative, it remains an intriguing possibility for those looking to optimize their athletic performance.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Since 2009, Dr. Tremblay has been an Associate Professor at the School of Kinesiology and Exercise Science within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal. His research focuses on understanding physiological mechanisms that can improve physical performance, with a particular interest in bioenergetics and sports nutrition. To this end, he employs a variety of methodologies in his lab, including: indirect respiratory calorimetry combined with stable isotope substrate labelling to assess fuel selection during prolonged exercise and the various factors that can influence it; causal inference to model continuous and intermittent exercise performance in order to improve exercise prescription and performance predictions; laboratory and field measurements to perform longitudinal monitoring of athletes in various settings to better understand how interventions can improve performance. For example, current research from his lab explores how chronic eccentric cycling can improve endurance performance in elite cyclists and runners. He frequently collaborates with many sport organizations such as the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club, Tennis Canada and the Institut national du sport du Québec, to name only a few.