Stefan Schlegel, Beneo, carbohydrateFunctional ingredients supplier BENEO announced that endurance athlete Stefan Schlegel successfully finished the 2014 Race Across America (RAAM). The 37-year old personal trainer from Germany utilized BENEO’s Palatinose™ as his main carbohydrate energy source during the race. 

Schlegel finished fifth (Solo, Male Under 50) and completed the race in 10 days, 14 hours and 32 minutes, besting his 2012 finish by an impressive 15 hours. His accomplishment is all the more admirable, considering that he suffered from a bad injury on the race’s first day (due to a punctured tire). 

Billed as “the world’s toughest bicycle race,” RAAM is a grueling 3,000-mile, cross-country competition from Oceanside, Calif., to Annapolis, Md.  The race is 30% longer than the Tour de France and racers must complete the distance in a maximum of 12 days. 

Nutrition is a key factor for the racers. Prepared with the assistance of a nutritionist, Schlegel’s diet consisted of 12,000 to 14,000 calories per day consumed via 3.9 to 6.6 gallons of liquids.  These liquid meals contained 20% protein, 20% fat and 60% carbohydrates.  Schlegel consumed two pounds daily of Palatinose, a natural carbohydrate that provides full carbohydrate energy in the form of glucose in a balanced and sustained way.

By this method, Palatinose helps endurance athletes keeping their energy level consistent over an extended period of time, says Beneo. Moreover, the functional carbohydrate promotes enhanced fat oxidation during physical activity, thus saving carbohydrate reserves for longer endurance.  Palatinose has a mild sugar-like sweetness and can easily be incorporated into all kinds of liquid foods, not only in sweet isotonic sports drinks but also in savory soups.  It is well tolerated even at high daily consumption rates.

Schlegel credits much of his performance to his personalized diet.

“With Palatinose, I did not experience a single hunger pang during the race, never felt a lack of energy and my blood glucose level remained constant, which is crucial for endurance races,” he said.  “In addition the versatility of Palatinose, used as powder, gave us various possibilities to incorporate it into all kinds of liquids. The mild, sweet taste and the fact that it does not promote tooth decay were huge benefits during the race.” 

BENEO offers functional ingredients derived from chicory roots, beet sugar, rice and wheat. Its ingredients support products targeted to energy management, digestive health, bone and dental health. Through a unique chain of expertise, including the BENEO-Institute that provides decisive insights into nutrition science and legislation, and the BENEO-Technology Center that consults in application technology, BENEO actively supports customers in the development of more balanced and healthy food products.