How charcoal can boost equine performance by absorbing sugar

By Dr Keith Foster

Did you know that a high sugar equine diet can be detrimental to performance?

This is because sugar is acid forming; blood acidity occurs when the normal pH balance of the blood veers towards the acid end of the scale. When the blood (of any mammal, whether human, equine or otherwise!) is less alkaline than it should be, we risk not only gastric disturbance but a reduction in the oxygen distribution throughout the blood. If oxygen supply to the muscles is compromised, so is stamina!

Red blood cells take oxygen around the body and are released into the bloodstream each day.

red blood cellsThey contain a chemical called haemoglobin which binds to oxygen and takes oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body and enhances performance ability, an obvious requirement in competitive horses and ponies.

However, acidic blood means thick, slow-moving blood, hence excessive blood acidity caused by a high sugar equine diet (which could for example include mollased chop or a high-sugar grass chaff, as well as carrots and mollased ‘licks’ and treats) can lead to compromised  oxygenation of the bloodstream.

Subsequently, this may lead to reduced performance in the horse.



Happy Tummy

Happy Tummy charcoal is a dietary additive containing natural hardwood charcoal, and it will help optimise your equine’s performance capacity, as well as improving the animal’s general digestive and metabolic health. Happy Tummy charcoal bonds to toxins and intestinal gases in the gut, neutralising them and removing them from the system. It also reduces amount of build up of lactic acid in the horse or pony’s muscles, preventing tying up and muscle cramps, and enabling faster recovery so horses (and humans!) can perform better.


Bear in mind also that the above information applies to your companion animals, and also yourself! So, humans will also benefit from taking natural charcoal to boost their own digestive and metabolic health, and also optimise their actual performance in terms of stamina and speed, as part of a targeted fitness programme, of course.

Jumping horse

Back to our equine friends, and please also bear in mind that the charcoal product Happy Tummy is an FEI Clean Sport product, and is FEI approved. It can be used under racing rules, and in fact is widely used by top Newmarket trainers in the UK.

I advocate a high fibre, low sugar equine diet based on no molasses, no alfalfa and very little of anything fancy, as I believe that on this diet, your horse or pony will, in all likelihood, become much more healthy and you will spend a lot less money!

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