LARKSPUR, Calif. — If a diabetes educator could give one single piece of advice, it would probably be to replace sugary sodas and energy drinks with water. Good Idea could be described as an upgraded version of water that makes a switch both easier and more efficient.
Good Idea is a carbonated, naturally flavored water with a blend of five amino acids and chromium. It is clinically proven to balance blood sugar after a meal by reducing the blood sugar response by, typically, 25%.
“With a more balanced blood sugar, the typical post-meal slumps and sugar cravings can be avoided,” explains Elin Östman, chief scientific officer of Good Idea and one of the inventors behind Good Idea. “This means that Good Idea helps us consume less sugar in two ways. It replaces the energy-dense soda as a mealtime drink, and also makes it easier to withstand the sweet treats that so many of us crave for, especially after a rich meal.”
For the increasing number of people in the risk zone of developing type 2 diabetes, Good Idea can be of help, since recurring blood sugar spikes and lows put a strain on the body´s system to manage the energy from food. This also leads to constant high levels of insulin and glucose in the bloodstream, a condition classified as prediabetes.
“Today, close to 90 million Americans are prediabetic, and this represents a ticking time bomb challenging the whole health care system,” says Östman. “There’s a strong call for solutions that will help prevent and even reverse the course of disease instead of treatment and medication when the damage is done. Foods and drinks like Good Idea, with preventive properties, have an important role to play in that context.”
The general idea behind Good Idea is to include proven healthy properties in a product that fits into established lifestyle patterns, thus making it easy to embrace. The upgraded water is available in three mild and natural flavors — lemon-lime, dragon fruit and orange-mango — that all pair very well with any kind of food.
Östman wants to see Good Idea as a part of a healthy lifestyle. “Ideally, people would change their eating habits to include more fiber, veggies and slow carbohydrates. But it´s a fact that most of us tend to love foods like white bread, pizzas and burger meals that make our blood sugar spike. Good Idea can make those meals a little healthier, both by reducing the number of calories in the meal and by its unique blood sugar balancing function.”
Good Idea is the result of many years of research at the Food for Health Science Center at Lund University in southern Sweden. Fifteen years ago, Östman´s research group discovered that a blend of five amino acids could reduce the blood sugar spike that usually follows after a carbohydrate-rich meal. When a small proportion of chromium was added, the effect was even more pronounced, and less insulin was needed to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.
Today, Good Idea is available on Amazon and in more than 400 convenience stores across the U.S. The clinical studies — so far nine in Europe and the U.S. — have all been performed in healthy, nondiabetic individuals. Östman is now interested in studying possible effects in prediabetes and type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
“We do get interesting feedback from people with diabetes claiming that Good Idea has helped them in different ways. But we need clinical studies to find out more about possible mechanisms behind that. It is a highly interesting research field.”
Good Idea has its best blood sugar balancing effect when about one-third of the 355 ml serving is consumed a few minutes before a meal and the rest with the meal.