Goji berries, spirulina, kale... maple syrup? Could America's favorite pancake syrup be the next big athletic superfuel? One Vermont farmer thinks so, and plenty of athletes seem to agree. According to the Guardian, Slopeside Syrup — a maple farm in Vermont run by the Cochran family — has entered the market with a new product this year called UnTapped. Unlike other energy packets on the market, Untapped is not a proprietary formula of vitamins and minerals in a gel-like base. It's 100 percent maple syrup.
The Cochran family is full of national ski champions and one Olympic gold medalist. "We're all athletes, we're all young," one of the brothers told the Guardian. They have been using their own supply to fuel up before training for years. "So we joined forces and started marketing 1-ounce, 100-calorie packets of maple syrup." They launched an Indiegogo campaign last year, and when they raised far more than their desired goal of $35,000, the product went into development. The company has sold more than half of their first run of 100,000 packets. It can be found in sporting goods stores across Vermont, though most of the company's sales have been direct to consumer thanks to the crowdfunding campaign.
Maple syrup is a plant-based product with a low-glycemic index, and is naturally high in minerals. But not all nutritionists are convinced there is any proof to the claims that it's an ideal fuel for athletes. It's also pricier than other athletic fuels currently on the market at about $1.99 per packet. Will maple syrup catch on as a cure-all for energy seekers? It has at least one thing going for it: it tastes better than kale.