“During exercise, our muscles use all of our stored glucose to fuel the activity. When it’s time to replenish those stores, the body prefers quick, easily-absorbable energy that provides glucose right away so we can keep on exercising,” explains Alexandra Caspero, R.D., owner of weight management and sports nutrition service Delish Knowledge. And an intense workout is probably the only time where 100 percent sugar is preferred over foods with fiber and fat, she adds.
Now, we're not talking about mainlining Aunt Jemima here. But pure maple syrup falls perfectly into this category of instant gratification, since the sugars start to break down and deliver glucose the moment it enters your bloodstream. But, because the sticky stuff also has a lower glycemic index than other sugars, it continues to break down over a longer stretch of time to keep you fueled longer. And its lack of anything other than sweetness actually works to your benefit, since fiber and fat can slow down absorption and give you GI distress mid-run.