Veganism is more a lifestyle and philosophy than simply an approach to nutrition. Vegans choose to limit their direct and indirect impact on animal consumption. Today, there are more and more vegan products on the market; these products are not tested on animals, and do not contain animal content or byproducts.
Beyond the cause for animals, veganism offers genuine benefits to athletes. Our head nutritionist Benoit Nave provides insight on the subject: the added-value for athletes results from the fact that vegan foods contain no animal products; there are no traces of milk or milk protein.
There is no milk in any form in vegan foods, yet in most foods for athletes, especially energy bars, the ingredients include milk protein (or whey) or even lactose as part of the industrial transformation process.
What is lactose?
Lactose is the primary sugar in milk. It is not directly absorbed by the body, but must be metabolized by an enzyme called lactase to digest it. However, this enzyme is only secreted by infant mammals and by only 25% of the adult population.
Moreover, in adulthood lactase activity drops 90%. Therefore, the inability to properly digest milk and other dairy products is neither a disease nor an anomaly, but normal in all adult mammals and humans. However, this should not be confused with being allergic to milk (or dairy products), which is an immune system reaction to milk protein absorption.
In this case, how do we digest lactose in the absence of lactase? Lactose is broken down by a bacterium in the large intestine, a process that causes bloating, flatulence, and abdominal discomfort.
A bit of history
Let us examoine the situation for Paleolithic humans: Homo Habilis appeared approximately 2.5 million years ago, and then our species, Homo Sapiens about 200,000 years ago. Paleolithic hunter-gatherers had nutritional needs based on the food available. Yet, despite thousands of years of agricultural development, changing lifestyles and dietary habits, the nutritional needs of our current species have barely changed.
The human body and its metabolism have evolved very little: if we reduce the evolution of the human race to a single year, humans started drinking animal milk only 24 hours ago, which could explain why 75% of adults wean off of milk.
What does this mean for Baouw?
As you probably guessed, our bars do not contain any animal products or byproducts, and are therefore considered vegan!
Lactose digestion and intolerance is not an issue for our bars. They are easy to digest, especially during long efforts. This is important since digestion is a sensitive issue for athletes and is often the main contributing factor for dropping out of in long distance or endurance competitions. Just interview those who were unable to finish a long trail race or marathon.
Finally, in addition to this issue for athletes, our products also appeal to all those who eat vegan for ethical reasons: our bars make it possible to enjoy a healthy snack that does not contain any animal products or byproducts among its ingredients.
In a word, at Baouw! everybody wins: athletes, vegans, and foodies!