Need a little bit of oomph on your long bike ride? The outdoor recreation market is full of great snacks, gels and chews to power you through that slump when your legs feel like they weigh a thousand pounds. But as a bike rider in Vermont, I have a bit of a soft spot for a more local, and old fashioned, solution: maple syrup. It’s not just for pancakes, and you can eat it without having syrup covered hands on your bike, thanks to single-serve pouches made by Untapped.
While the company has a slew of maple syrup snacks and a number of different flavors, I like the original product best, Pure Vermont Maple Syrup. Like many sports nutrition fuels, it comes in an easy to carry packet that holds about an ounce and can easily be opened by tearing at the perforated top. It’s easy to do with your teeth, but you’ll have to be careful to not lose the torn off top to the wind. Inside, it is one simple ingredient: maple syrup.
If you haven’t ever had real maple syrup, let me go on my “I live in the Northeast” rant and say, you must. It has an unbelievably satisfying rich, sweet flavor that, once you allow yourself to eat it on its own, will have you eating it by the spoonful in your kitchen, not just on your ride.
Aside from being delicious, maple syrup has a slew of other benefits. It is is low glycemic. This means that it will raise your blood sugar more slowly than other sugars, like table sugar. And while it will give you a quick boost, it will also fuel you with a longer burn than other processed sugars. That means no spike and, more importantly, no sugar crash after.
You’ll also get performance-benefitting substances that are naturally occurring in syrup. Maple syrup naturally has electrolytes like manganese and riboflavin as well as antioxidants and amino acids.
And on top of all that, since it is simple and easy to digest, it wont leave your body feeling terrible, or your stomach turning over trying to figure out how to digest it.
The brand was started by pro cyclist Ted King in conjunction with the Cochrane family, which is full of professional skiers. The brand also has hydration mixes and snacks like maple waffles.
UnTapped Maple Syrup is a great way to fuel yourself, or to just give yourself another excuse to enjoy a bit of a sweet treat. I bring single-serve tubes on my longer rides, but am also sure to keep one in my commuter bag so that if I even feel myself slumping on a rougher or more congested ride, I have that extra little push. Plus, I just like the taste and any excuse to eat more syrup.
$10 (5 packets); untapped.cc