What are you putting in your body?

Perple was born out of a need for change. To offer an alternative to Sports Drinks, Energy Gels & Energy Drink Powders that are full of synthetic, ultra-processed & chemical ingredients. Much of which, it turns out, simply aren’t good for us, & can actually lessen performance. Caffeine, maltodextrin & ultra-processed sugars, for example, mean energy crashes, upset stomachs & headaches. Below you’ll see the artificial ingredients commonly found in the majority of energy and hydration products. Disclaimer: It’s shocking.

The stuff that's a health hazard:

Maltodextrin (from GMO corn)

Maltodextrin is used as the main ‘energy source’ in leading energy gels & energy drink powders. It's a cheap bioengineered white powder, introduced in the 70s as a food thickener in processed foods. Like instant puds and sauces. [33] And much of it is made using GMO Corn.[34]

Regulators might have considered it as safe in the past, but in the context of it being used in 'low moderation'.

But our exposure to Maltodextrin today, is higher than it has ever been. Especially with its high inlcusion in sports nutrition and drinks, which we now consume in greater quantities, and more often.

The problem is that Maltodextrin makes our stomachs more susceptible to disease, owing to changing the balance of gut bacteria. Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's or ulcerative colitis.[1] [2] [3]

Aspartame (from Bio Diesel)

To make synthetic or ultra-processed ingredients look and taste better, many producers use artificial colours, flavours & sweeteners. Aspartame is the sweetener that is used by most sports drink and soft drink companies, which the World Health Organisation recently declared as ‘potentially carcinogenic.’ [21]

Aspartame is made by modifying acids from plants, but with the chemical - methyl esther - a biodiesel, typically used in industrial, household cleaners, & as power generation.[22] [23] [24]

Artificial Flavours (from Petrol)

To make synthetic of ultra-processed ingredients taste better, many producers use artificial flavours. You'll find them in leading sports drinks, and some energy gels and drink powders, but did you know they're made from petroleum.[25] [26]

Artificial Colours (from Petrol or Coal)

Food Dyes are used to give popular sports drinks their bright colours. These artificial colours actually come from petroleum and coal tar.[27] [28] [29]

Artificial Preservatives (from Petrol or Coal)

To preserve the synthetic or ultra-processed ingredients in their products, many producers then use chemical preservatives like Sodium Benzoate and Benzoic Acid. Toluene is key to making it, which comes from coal or petroleum and is used to make degreasers, paints & glues.[30] [31] [32]

The stuff that doesn't work:


Caffeine comes from coffee beans, cacao beans, tea leaves, and gaurana berry, to make it sound more exotic. But it isn’t real energy. It heightens nervous systems giving us a fake or artificial rush of energy. While this can help to drive more effort in exercise, it maxes out at one tall starbucks coffee (a 200mg dose) and can’t be sustained. One cup in the morning will last throughout the day and maximize any performance benefits. Then, to supplement at excess doses won’t necessarily give you any addedbenefit, and you run the risk of side effects. Such as irritability, tremor, heart-rate increases, headaches and fatigue.[8] [9] [10]


Taurine, an amino acid, is claimed to give endurance gains, improve times in sports and exercise and boost cognitive performance. Yet there is no established body of scientific evidence to support these claims. On the contrary, studies have shown there to be no performance effects. [33] [34]

Green Tea

There is still a suggestion by some that Green Tea extracts will improve your metabolism and help you to release more energy. Yet, it is important to know that current research shows that green tea supplements are of little help to healthy athletic individuals.[19] [20]


There is no doubt among researchers that prolonged and intense exercise causes oxidative stress. Which in turn can result in increased muscle fatigue. Therefore, some promote anti-oxidant supplementation during exercise, to overcome these effects. Yet, after a thorough review of the scientific literature, there is little evidence to conclude that this approach helps.[11] [12] In fact, we find strong evidence that supplementation can actually inhibit the body’s natural biological defences to oxidative stress. What this means is that natural adaptive responses by your muscles can be lessened, and your capacity for endurance reduced.[13] [14] [15] If you’re consuming well-balanced daily meals, you should be receiving adequate supplies of these anti-oxidants.

Vitamin B

There is sound scientific evidence to conclude that B-Vitamins play an important role in energy metabolism. Then, it seems reasonable that any deficiencies might lessen exercise performance. But, if you’re getting everything you need from your normal diet, excess doses above recommended upper limits, could be harmful. For instance, excess B2 can cause diarrhoea and polyuria, B3 liver problems, gout and irregular heartbeat, and B6 nerve damage.[16] [17] [18] When it comes to vitamins, we believe you should only supplement for known deficiencies. Otherwise toxic doses can result in serious health problems.


  1. Arnold AR, Chassaing B. Maltodextrin, Modern Stressor of the Intestinal Environment. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019;7(2):475-476.
  2. Nickerson KP, McDonald C. Crohn’s disease-associated adherent-invasive Escherichia coli adhesion is enhanced by exposure to the ubiquitous dietary polysaccharide maltodextrin. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e52132.
  3. Laudisi F, Di Fusco D, Dinallo V, Stolfi C, Di Grazia A, Marafini I, Colantoni A, Ortenzi A, Alteri C, Guerrieri F, Mavilio M, Ceccherini-Silberstein F, Federici M, MacDonald TT, Monteleone I, Monteleone G. The Food Additive Maltodextrin Promotes Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Driven Mucus Depletion and Exacerbates Intestinal Inflammation. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019;7(2):457-473.
  4. Asker E. Jeukendrup (2008) Carbohydrate feeding during exercise, European Journal of Sport Science, 8:2, 77-86.
  5. Fritzsche RG, Switzer TW, Hodgkinson BJ, Lee SH, Martin JC, Coyle EF. Water and carbohydrate ingestion during prolonged exercise increase maximal neuromuscular power. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000 Feb;88(2):730-7.
  6. Boschmann M, Steiniger J, Hille U, Tank J, Adams F, Sharma AM, Klaus S, Luft FC, Jordan J. Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Dec;88(12):6015-9.
  7. T. D. Noakes (2007) Drinking guidelines for exercise: What evidence is there that athletes should drink “as much as tolerable”, “to replace the weight lost during exercise” or “ad libitum”?, Journal of Sports Sciences, 25:7, 781-796.
  8. Bell DG, McLellan TM. Effect of repeated caffeine ingestion on repeated exhaustive exercise endurance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Aug;35(8):1348-54.
  9. Graham TE, Spriet LL. Metabolic, catecholamine, and exercise performance responses to various doses of caffeine. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1995 Mar;78(3):867-74.
  10. Kovacs EM, Stegen JHCH, Brouns F. Effect of caffeinated drinks on substrate metabolism, caffeine excretion, and performance. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1998 Aug;85(2):709-15.
  11. Theodorou AA, Nikolaidis MG, Paschalis V, Koutsias S, Panayiotou G, Fatouros IG, Koutedakis Y, Jamurtas AZ. No effect of antioxidant supplementation on muscle performance and blood redox status adaptations to eccentric training. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jun;93(6):1373-83.
  12. Gomes EC, Allgrove JE, Florida-James G, Stone V. Effect of vitamin supplementation on lung injury and running performance in a hot, humid, and ozone-polluted environment. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011 Dec;21(6):e452-60.
  13. Braakhuis AJ. Effect of vitamin C supplements on physical performance. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2012 Jul-Aug;11(4):180-4.
  14. McGinley C, Shafat A, Donnelly AE. Does antioxidant vitamin supplementation protect against muscle damage? Sports Med. 2009;39(12):1011-32.
  15. Paulsen G, Cumming KT, Holden G, Hallén J, Rønnestad BR, Sveen O, Skaug A, Paur I, Bastani NE, Østgaard HN, Buer C, Midttun M, Freuchen F, Wiig H, Ulseth ET, Garthe I, Blomhoff R, Benestad HB, Raastad T. Vitamin C and E supplementation hampers cellular adaptation to endurance training in humans: a double-blind, randomised, controlled trial. J Physiol. 2014 Apr 15;592(8):1887-901.
  16. Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment. Statement on Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Toxicity.
  17. Habibe MN, Kellar JZ. Niacin Toxicity. 2021 Aug 1. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–.
  18. Lheureux P, Penaloza A, Gris M. Pyridoxine in clinical toxicology: a review. Eur J Emerg Med. 2005 Apr;12(2):78-85.
  19. Martin BJ, Tan RB, Gillen JB, Percival ME, Gibala MJ. No effect of short-term green tea extract supplementation on metabolism at rest or during exercise in the fed state. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2014 Dec;24(6):656-64.
  20. Randell RK, Hodgson AB, Lotito SB, Jacobs DM, Rowson M, Mela DJ, Jeukendrup AE. Variable duration of decaffeinated green tea extract ingestion on exercise metabolism. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Jun;46(6):1185-93.
  21. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/who-declares-aspartame-carcinogen
  22. https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/glossary-item/methyl-esters_en
  23. https://www.etipbioenergy.eu/fact-sheets/fatty-acid-methyl-esters-fame-fact-sheet
  24. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780444521149500256
  25. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780128115183000016
  26. https://dspace.nuft.edu.ua/server/api/core/bitstreams/6687a2a2-07a1-4db4-a956-583459128b71/content
  27. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/1077352512Z.00000000034
  28. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2772753X2200003X
  29. https://www.cspinet.org/article/artificial-colorings-synthetic-food-dyes
  30. https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/chemical/toluene.htm#:~:text=Toluene%20is%20found%20naturally%20in,glues%2C%20inks%20and%20stain%20removers
  31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9003278/
  32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9003278/
  33. https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijsnem/20/4/article-p322.xml
  34. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/asbid/issue/78116/1239679

Whats in Perple?

We designed our energy and hydration drinks, to give you all the nutrients scientists tell us boost performance, but delivered into your body using 100% plant based ingredients, which means no health implications or side effects. We uniquely combine multiple complex carbs, BCAAs, electrolytes and phyto nutrients, to deliver sustained endurance, improved muscle function, boosted cognitive function, enhanced hydration and faster recovery. The PLEASURE of all-natural ingredients delivering enhanced PERFORMANCE, without unhealthy side effects. aka PER-PLE.

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What Perple replaces:

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  • Backed by

    Sebastian Vettel

    4x F1 World Champion & Outdoor Adventurer

  • Backed by

    Adelle Tracey

    Team Jamaica middle distance record holder & World finalist

  • Backed by

    Joe Truman

    Team GB Cyclist, World, Euro & Commonwealth Medalist

  • Partnered with

    Anita Bean

    World Renowned Sports Nutritionist