Let’s talk a few minutes about flavor. Technically, we don’t REALLY need flavor in any of our sports nutrition products. Flavor won’t make you go faster or farther or longer. But flavor does play a big role in providing motivation to continue fueling when your body needs it. And judging by how many flavors some companies offer of their products – athletes really like their flavors! But have you ever investigated what is actually making something taste “like that?”
There is a catch-all term that the FDA allows companies to use in their ingredients list of “Natural Flavors”. Here is the definition as provided by FDA.gov:
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
The natural flavors in your favorite product could come from any number of sources! Would you just like to know what is really in your food? We are guilty of using this term, but we are also able to tell you exactly what we use to flavor our products. We stick to simple flavors for 2 reasons – 1. They are tolerable tasting over many hours of ingestion (ie: not as susceptible to flavor fatigue) and 2. We like to use simple ingredients.
All of GLUKOS Energy products (gels, gummies, tablets and energy drink mix) use fruit oil for our flavoring. Simple, easy to understand and bright tasting to your taste buds. For us, it is that simple. It should be pretty easy when it comes to fruit or veggie flavors to figure out where your flavor is coming from. But perhaps those more complex flavors merit a bit more questioning before you decide you want to eat some egg or dairy product as flavoring during your next workout?