Atkins & sports drinks



quantum

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Mar 16, 2004
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Hello to all:

I’m on a low-carb diet and have been since the winter bulge started to set in around November. Even though spring is approaching and I’m riding more, I still want to keep up the low carb thing.
However, my concern (and my question) is what is impact of the carbs and sugars in sports drinks (Gator or Power Aide)? Anybody know?
 

KingB

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Dec 23, 2003
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Originally posted by quantum
Hello to all:

I’m on a low-carb diet and have been since the winter bulge started to set in around November. Even though spring is approaching and I’m riding more, I still want to keep up the low carb thing.
However, my concern (and my question) is what is impact of the carbs and sugars in sports drinks (Gator or Power Aide)? Anybody know?

Considering they are all full of carbs (something we need to keep our bodies going on the bike) they are not low carb. The impact? Gee, i dunno know. Obviously they do not fit into your low carb requirement!

You may want to rethink your low carb diet if you spend any amount of time on the bike. A better way to eat would be to fulfill the fuel requirements your body needs. That includes carbs, protein and fat. All are needed to keep you going. If you feed your body right, your performance on the bike will improve and the "winter bulge" will melt like the winter snow.:D
 

lokstah

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Sep 30, 2003
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As far as I'm concerned, KingB is completely right. Most beverages and snacks marketed as sports nutrition -- cycling-specific stuff is definitely no exception -- already assumes that you're using the product while depleting your body's stores, dragging your butt up that last hill. As KingB points out, that includes carbs, and includes them in a big way.

Think about the gels and bars marketed towards runners and cyclists -- Clif Bar, Powerbar, Gu, CarBoom and so on -- they're essentially high carb foods, and deliberately so. Gatorade isn't quite as carb or mineral loaded as the drinks marketed more specifically at athletes, like Accelerade, but it ain't sugar free, for one.

To echo KingB one last time, dramatically slashing your carb intake just isn't consistent with a particularly athletic lifestyle. It's an interesting way to lose pounds, but it's more or less a way of cheating your system -- and it doesn't set you up very well for that weekend ride. Cycling may be the key, Quantum... reduce the fats, keep the sugars moderate, and ride like hell.

Good luck!
 

stevek

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Sep 27, 2003
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but people have posted here that they do fine on biking and low carb. they have more energy. though some people eat more carbs when they plan on working out hard. myself I use fruit as the carb source.
but people have been working hard far before sports drinks ever hit the market.
 

KingB

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Dec 23, 2003
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Originally posted by stevek
but people have posted here that they do fine on biking and low carb. they have more energy. though some people eat more carbs when they plan on working out hard. myself I use fruit as the carb source.
but people have been working hard far before sports drinks ever hit the market.

I don't think either Lokstah or my self said sports drinks/bars etc .. were necessary. All we said was that proper nutrition to fuel your bodies output requirements includes carbs. These bars/drinks have been introduced as a quick and easy way to get those extra carbs needed for fuel.

If you are riding several hours per week. There is no way that a low carb diet is adequate. Your body however, is extremely adaptive and has no doubt comprimised in some sort of way to get you the energy you need while riding. Sure it may seem like you have no problems combining endurance exercise with a low carb diet. Keep pushing yourself and you will eventually see the results in your body comprimises (synthesizing protein resulting in muscle depletion etc...). For the average recreational rider, there well may be no problems with this diet in the short term. I still think this diet may be harmful for everyone in the long term
 

quantum

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Mar 16, 2004
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Guys,

Thanks for the input. I recognize the importance of carbs, especially when the time on the bike gets up over an hour and a half of so and the mileage increases.
I’m currently 6’ 1” 220lbs. (was approaching 250). Usually around May or June I’m down to below 200lbs and up to 150+ miles a week. But I’ve never started a ride year this heavy. I started the low-carb thing to reverse the effects of my gluttoness :D ways before the ride season started, and I don’t won’t to get back on carbs and gain the weight back and then struggle to ride it back off again.

According to the way my bibs and jerseys are fitting, I still have some more to lose. I think as I get my base miles in this spring, I’ll try to balance low-carb and riding. For the base miles anyway.

Anyway, stop staring at the computer screen. Go somewhere and ride a bike!
;)
 

davidbod

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Oct 7, 2003
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I've been on a low carb diet since late last July. I'm 6' 0", started at 225 lb and went down to 190 lb in about 4.5 months. When I started I was riding very well for my size and was also worried about carb intake and huge cycling efforts. I found that for the first several weeks I would cheat and eat carbs the day before a weekend ride. Then I just decided to try and eat no carbs before or during a ride and I was fine.

My standard pre ride meal now is 2 Atkins shakes which are 170 cal each and about 2/3 protien 1/3 fat. That's good for up to about 2.0 - 2.5 hours of riding. Anything longer and I include some carbs during the ride in either goo, bar or drink form. On really long organized rides I just eat what I want at the rest stops, bananas, cookies, whatever. Your burning so many calories on these longer rides that any carbs are just burnt away.

If your worried about the sports drinks I'd try mixing then half and half with water. Try yourself out on a longer ride and take a banana with you and eat it if you feel you need to. Bananas are a real no no on a low carb diet, but I eat them anyway because they are so good for you. Just make sure your post ride meal contains plenty of protien and little carbs.

Your body will be quite happy to burn protien and fat for fuel if you don't give it carbs. You won't lose any muscle mass either as long as your eating plenty of protien. By the way your body will prefer fat over protien so if you need to lose some pounds like you say then you won't have to worry that much about protien until you first drop the pounds.

David