Extract from the scientific study:
Dr V. Höltke, Dr M. Steuer, Dr E. Jacob
A great many experiments have demonstrated that regular carbohydrate (CH) intake ensures sustained performance (e.g. strength, stamina and speed) when the body is under pressure through sport for an extended period of time, and also increases the amount of time for which the body can be kept under this pressure (10). Increasingly, however, the influence of this nutrient on people’s “mental performance” has been under the scientific spotlight. The brain is very sensitive to changes in diet; it is reliant upon a continuous supply of nutrients from the blood.
99% of the brain’s energy requirement is supplied by blood glucose (13). Although the brain makes up just 2% of body weight, it can use between 20 and 30% of the organism’s entire energy supply, but saves only a tiny amount of glucose or energy itself (8).
Certain “sweet” foodstuffs like honey, cakes, sweets and also certain drinks with high levels of refined sugar already contain high doses of glucose, which is quickly absorbed, leading to a sudden increase in blood sugar levels.
This process leads to a short-term “glucose high” with a subsequent reduction in the availability of glucose, which also affects the brain (this is known as hypoglycaemia, or a lack of sugar), with symptoms such as feelings of dizziness, reduced alertness and/or nervousness and a lack of concentration (9).
At the same time, it is important to note, when administering carbohydrates, that there is probably a U-shaped relationship between the glucose level and cognitive and psychomotor performance ability; in other words, the principle is not “a lot helps a lot“ (too high or too low glucose levels will have the effect of reducing performance (12)), but “the optimum composition achieves it!“. “headstart ” has this composition.
CH intake should occur continuously in small quantities of around 100-120ml of “headstart ” every 50-60 minutes. In tasks involving high levels of mental concentration, one “headstart ” (750ml) per 7 hours duration would be the optimal amount for “brain performance”. The composition of the mixed fruit drink, which has been fortified with (“long-chain”) polysaccharides and additional vitamins and minerals, speeds up and promotes a continuous uptake of CH into the blood and ensures optimal supply of these nutrients to the brain (and muscles).
In one of the current studies with highly-qualified performance athletes (squad members), the effectiveness of the “headstart ” drink was demonstrated in spectacular fashion (6). Those athletes using the “headstart ” drink delivered measurably better performances (up to 12%) in the “high-stress” competitions, which lasted around three hours and required high levels of concentration.
The amounts of adrenaline (A) and particularly noradrenaline (NA) measured, were higher in the “headstart ” group than in the placebo group. The inter-relationship of the catecholamines (A:NA), which is all-important in determining sympathetic nervous system activity, was around 30% higher in the athletes using “headstart ” and thus considerably more beneficial, meaning that “stress” was lower in this group.
The resulting superior performances were generated by making a direct comparison between all those taking part in the study, particularly in the last third of the competition, which showed that with “headstart ”, the “highest” (brain) performance capacity could also be maintained for a longer period of time!