Gels vs Gatorade

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by scottt, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. scottt

    scottt Guest

    Any clue as to what works best...? I ride between two and four-hours a
    ride--a few times a week (also teach spinning classes twice-a-week). I
    average about 80-100 rpm and also push around 16-20 mph.I always
    hydrate before I ride and bring at least one large bottle of water and
    a bottle of mixed accelerade. Last year, as well into this season, I
    have been using Hammer gel as another source of fuel (especially on
    longer rides).I'm feeling great, and pose this question to see if
    anyone has better results with a mix of water/gels, or bars and
    water/energy drinks or any other combo. My Tri buddy swears by eating
    a good breakfast and drinking only Gatorade...He also mentioned that
    one dosen't get any more bag for your buck/carbs etc. using sport
    drinks and gels. Is he more loopy that usual?
     
    Tags:


  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    [email protected] (scottt) wrote in
    news:[email protected]:
    > My Tri buddy swears by eating
    > a good breakfast and drinking only Gatorade...He also mentioned that
    > one dosen't get any more bag for your buck/carbs etc. using sport
    > drinks and gels. Is he more loopy that usual?


    Is he faster than you? Maybe he knows something you don't.

    On a 2 hour ride, Gatorade alone should be fine. Depending on how hard you
    ride and how much breakfast you ate, that may be enough for a 4 hour ride,
    too. Bring along a couple of energy bars just in case. You can eat that
    after 2 or 3 hours if necessary.
     
  3. "scottt" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Any clue as to what works best...? I ride between two and four-hours a
    > ride--a few times a week (also teach spinning classes twice-a-week). I
    > average about 80-100 rpm and also push around 16-20 mph.I always
    > hydrate before I ride and bring at least one large bottle of water and
    > a bottle of mixed accelerade. Last year, as well into this season, I
    > have been using Hammer gel as another source of fuel (especially on
    > longer rides).I'm feeling great, and pose this question to see if
    > anyone has better results with a mix of water/gels, or bars and
    > water/energy drinks or any other combo. My Tri buddy swears by eating
    > a good breakfast and drinking only Gatorade...He also mentioned that
    > one dosen't get any more bag for your buck/carbs etc. using sport
    > drinks and gels. Is he more loopy that usual?


    In my experience I prefer water and solids over gel or Accelerade.
    In fact, after a few hours the taste of (warm) Accelerade becomes plain
    revulsive.
    Gels have the advantage that they are lighter and easier to consume than
    solids
    (energy bars, fig newtons, etc.)

    Arguably, there is no need to consume that many carbs on 2-3 hour rides.
    There should be enough glucogen in your muscles to fuel the ride.
    Just stay hydrated. Of course, ymmv ... literally.

    Bengt-Olaf.
     
  4. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    [email protected] (scottt) wrote:

    > Any clue as to what works best...? I ride between two and four-hours a
    > ride--a few times a week (also teach spinning classes twice-a-week). I
    > average about 80-100 rpm and also push around 16-20 mph.


    At that effort and amount of time, you'll need more fuel than just a
    sports drink provides to prevent a bonk. I try to get at least 200
    calories per hour whenever I'm riding above zone 2 (66-72% of max.
    heart rate). Clif bars and Cytomax are my staples, but I'm
    experimenting with Hammer Gel and Sustained Energy.

    > My Tri buddy swears by eating
    > a good breakfast and drinking only Gatorade...He also mentioned that
    > one dosen't get any more bag for your buck/carbs etc. using sport
    > drinks and gels. Is he more loopy that usual?


    In my experience, Tri athletes are worse than most at nutrition.
    Probably because they don't train as many hours at a time as
    cyclists. But your buddy's right about one thing -- you can buy bulk
    ingredients and mix up your own liquid fuel: maltodextrin and soy
    protein, to mention two.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
     
  5. Jee Doy

    Jee Doy Guest

    >I'm feeling great, and pose this question to see if
    >anyone has better results with a mix of water/gels, or bars and
    >water/energy drinks or any other combo.


    If you're feeling great, something is working. I learned the hard way with
    hunger pangs, dried salty sweat, and cramps. All signs of electrolyte
    imbalance.

    Now I start hydration sooner, take two Accelerade bottles (the newer formula
    tastes better), GU energy gels and energy bars (even Snickers Marathon is
    good), at least two bananas and Chinese dried salted orange peels.

    I also stop more often, get off the bike, and eat and drink for approximately
    10 minutes.
     
  6. scottt

    scottt Guest

    [email protected] (Jee Doy) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > >I'm feeling great, and pose this question to see if
    > >anyone has better results with a mix of water/gels, or bars and
    > >water/energy drinks or any other combo.

    >
    > If you're feeling great, something is working. I learned the hard way with
    > hunger pangs, dried salty sweat, and cramps. All signs of electrolyte
    > imbalance.
    >
    > Now I start hydration sooner, take two Accelerade bottles (the newer formula
    > tastes better), GU energy gels and energy bars (even Snickers Marathon is
    > good), at least two bananas and Chinese dried salted orange peels.
    >
    > I also stop more often, get off the bike, and eat and drink for approximately
    > 10 minutes.


    Dang JD.... I assume you must be doing a lot more miles a ride then
    me. Chinese dried salted orange peels? Does bug protein help? Sure the
    heck getting tons of that up here the the Great Northwest :)

    scottt
     
  7. scottt wrote:
    > Any clue as to what works best...? I ride between two and four-hours a
    > ride--a few times a week (also teach spinning classes twice-a-week). I
    > average about 80-100 rpm and also push around 16-20 mph.I always
    > hydrate before I ride and bring at least one large bottle of water and
    > a bottle of mixed accelerade. Last year, as well into this season, I
    > have been using Hammer gel as another source of fuel (especially on
    > longer rides).I'm feeling great, and pose this question to see if
    > anyone has better results with a mix of water/gels, or bars and
    > water/energy drinks or any other combo. My Tri buddy swears by eating
    > a good breakfast and drinking only Gatorade...He also mentioned that
    > one dosen't get any more bag for your buck/carbs etc. using sport
    > drinks and gels. Is he more loopy that usual?


    I usually don't push myself that hard for that long when I'm cycling, as
    it's mostly about transportation for me, but I have experiences I can
    relate from when I was a treeplanter.

    Treeplanting is a lot like cycling in many ways, in that fast planting is
    a high output activity, complete with accelerated heartrate and rapid
    breathing, not to mention profuse sweating. I've heard people say things
    like sustained 66% of Vo2 Max, whatever that means to you. The same
    pitfalls apply, such as dehydration, loss of blood sugar, and eating foods
    that are difficult to digest quickly and keep going without slowing down.
    To make money planting, you need to push yourself to a cyclists' level of
    exertion for nine hours a day, every day you work.

    I experimented a lot with different drinks and foods, and found that for
    the most part anything labelled or packaged as a sports product was less
    likely to improve my performance. Gatorade, while it was a lot better than
    koolaid (yes I tried koolaid, it was cheap), still left me feeling awful
    at the end of the day. Straight gatorade is disgusting to chug, and even
    if I watered it down a lot I would run out of steam about 6 hours into the
    day. Often by quitting time I would have difficulty focusing my eyes on
    anything for very long or walking in a straight line. I would slur my
    speech and be unable to fill in the form claiming my trees for the day. I
    would pass out and sleep on the drive back to camp, which if you've ever
    planted you know is a *very* bumpy ride sometimes. The same thing happened
    with powerade, kool-aid, and some kind of gel I forget the name of. I
    never had this problem when I drank plain water, and I would drink up to 7
    litres a day or more without pissing. I also liked to drink a can of V8
    once a day, I felt like that made a difference, possibly from the salt, or
    just because I really like V8.

    I also tried many different kinds of foods. I found that energy bars and
    granola bars of all sorts weren't filling enough. Half an hour after
    eating my stomach would be growling (I need to eat a lot, and eat often).
    Heavier foods like pasta, potatoes, and vegetables were too hard to
    digest. If I ate even a moderate amount I would feel bloated and get
    heartburn, and would slow down more than if I hadn't eaten. The best thing
    was a combination of trail mix and sandwiches. A handful of salted
    pretzels, peanuts, chocolate, raisins and other misc salty and sugary bits
    plus a portion of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with whole grain
    or multigrain bread. It's important not to eat too much at any one time,
    but to eat often throughout the day. Sometimes I would eat a small amount
    of meat or tuna in a sandwich, just to break the tedium of PB&J. I would
    also eat several cookies or brownies throughout the day, which our cooks
    baked for us.

    This combination never failed to work for me. If I tweaked it even a
    little bit, like using white bread instead of wholewheat, I would have
    significantly less energy by the afternoon and would make less money that
    day. I think the key is getting the right balance of electrolytes, carbs,
    proteins and sugars in an easily digestible form, which energy bars and
    drinks could never do for me. I also worry about the things that go into
    such products, chemicals and preservatives and colouring and flavouring
    and who knows what other additives. In the long run as well as the short,
    it's much better to eat a balanced mix of wholesome organic foods, and to
    drink plain water. In my experience anyhow.
     
  8. On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 17:11:17 -0700, scottt wrote:
    > My Tri buddy swears by eating a good breakfast and drinking only
    > Gatorade...


    Well, he can enjoy the tooth decay.

    It's seriously not good to be washing your teeth in sugar water all day
    long.

    If you're going to use sugar as fuel, make it quick and rinse with water.

    I'm sure there's no real difference between the syrup in a gallon of
    gatorade and a little foil pack of sugar syrup.

    Seriously, you wrote that you feel great, so what's the problem?

    EK
     
  9. On 20 Jul 2004 02:01:51 GMT, [email protected] (Jee Doy) wrote:

    >If you're feeling great, something is working. I learned the hard way with
    >hunger pangs, dried salty sweat, and cramps. All signs of electrolyte
    >imbalance.


    I don't think hunger is related to electrolyte imbalance.

    JT
     
  10. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "scottt" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Any clue as to what works best...? I ride between two and four-hours a
    > ride--a few times a week (also teach spinning classes twice-a-week). I
    > average about 80-100 rpm and also push around 16-20 mph.I always
    > hydrate before I ride and bring at least one large bottle of water and
    > a bottle of mixed accelerade. Last year, as well into this season, I
    > have been using Hammer gel as another source of fuel (especially on
    > longer rides).I'm feeling great, and pose this question to see if
    > anyone has better results with a mix of water/gels, or bars and
    > water/energy drinks or any other combo. My Tri buddy swears by eating
    > a good breakfast and drinking only Gatorade...He also mentioned that
    > one dosen't get any more bag for your buck/carbs etc. using sport
    > drinks and gels. Is he more loopy that usual?


    Unless you've been fasting, you should have enough stored glycogen to go for
    2-3 hr at a hard pace. Beyond that, you may need ~500 cal/hr or so to keep up.
    Whatever you find easiest to digest and palatable is all that's important.
    Gels and bars are some rider's choice, but there's no magic, fig newtons,
    PB&J, etc. work just as well and are cheaper.

    For fluids, riding hard in hot weather can consume 1-3 L/hr (most riders
    closer to 1 L/hr max), you don't want to get much more than 2 L behind, and
    there's a maximum rate that you can absorb, so depending on conditions and
    length of ride, you have to drink accordingly. There isn't much difference in
    drinking plain water vs. "carbohydrated" water, and there are advantages to
    keeping food and fluid separate. For very long rides, especially in the heat,
    salt replacement becomes an issue. There is a considerable variation in how
    much salt different riders may lose. I've found it only becomes an issue for
    me after 7-8 hr of hot, hard, riding.
     
  11. andres muro

    andres muro Guest

    [email protected] (scottt) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Any clue as to what works best...? I ride between two and four-hours a
    > ride--a few times a week (also teach spinning classes twice-a-week). I
    > average about 80-100 rpm and also push around 16-20 mph.I always
    > hydrate before I ride and bring at least one large bottle of water and
    > a bottle of mixed accelerade. Last year, as well into this season, I
    > have been using Hammer gel as another source of fuel (especially on
    > longer rides).I'm feeling great, and pose this question to see if
    > anyone has better results with a mix of water/gels, or bars and
    > water/energy drinks or any other combo. My Tri buddy swears by eating
    > a good breakfast and drinking only Gatorade...He also mentioned that
    > one dosen't get any more bag for your buck/carbs etc. using sport
    > drinks and gels. Is he more loopy that usual?


    If you are properly hydrated and nourished at the start of a ride,
    you'll need water, salt and sugar to keep you riding at a certain
    intensity. Water and salt will hydrate you and prevent cramps and
    sugar will give you energy and prevent bonking. I use both gatorade
    and some kind of easy to eat bar. Gatorade provides water, salt and
    some of the sugar. For additional sugar I used to get granola bars at
    $2.00 for a box of ten. Each granola bar has about 25 grams of sugar
    which is the same or more than an energy gel, or two thirds of the
    sugar of a power bar, cliff bar, etc. Granola bars are good, but hard
    to chew, so I switched to little debbie oatmeal creams. They are
    easier to chew and swallow, are higher in sugar than granola, and
    cheaper.

    It really doesn't make much difference if you eat a power bar and
    drink accelerade, or if you eat an oatmeal cream and down it with
    gatorade. I've done centuries, triathlons and all kinds of lenghty
    events with this w/o any trouble. It really doesn't make any
    difference, except in your wallet. Energy gels are very practical if
    you want to get the food down fast without chewing and stuffing your
    mouth too much. When I ride I carry two water bottles on the frame and
    two behind the seat, all with gatorade. I also carry one of those
    triathlete vento boxes and I put five or six bars fo somehting. If
    someone forgets their drink, their food, bonks, etc. I always have an
    extra water bottle or bar to share. Other people have done fine on my
    nutrition. Also, having tries everything else, it makes not difference
    to me.

    Andres
     
  12. scottt

    scottt Guest

    Elmo Spam King <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 17:11:17 -0700, scottt wrote:
    > > My Tri buddy swears by eating a good breakfast and drinking only
    > > Gatorade...

    >
    > Well, he can enjoy the tooth decay.
    >
    > It's seriously not good to be washing your teeth in sugar water all day
    > long.
    >
    > If you're going to use sugar as fuel, make it quick and rinse with water.
    >
    > I'm sure there's no real difference between the syrup in a gallon of
    > gatorade and a little foil pack of sugar syrup.
    >
    > Seriously, you wrote that you feel great, so what's the problem?
    >
    > EK


    Seriously, never said there was a problem. Seriously seeking options.
    Seriously, take a deep breath and go brush your teeth...
     
  13. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "scottt" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Elmo Spam King <[email protected]> wrote in message

    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 17:11:17 -0700, scottt wrote:
    > > > My Tri buddy swears by eating a good breakfast and drinking

    only
    > > > Gatorade...

    > >
    > > Well, he can enjoy the tooth decay.
    > >
    > > It's seriously not good to be washing your teeth in sugar

    water all day
    > > long.
    > >
    > > If you're going to use sugar as fuel, make it quick and rinse

    with water.
    > >
    > > I'm sure there's no real difference between the syrup in a

    gallon of
    > > gatorade and a little foil pack of sugar syrup.
    > >
    > > Seriously, you wrote that you feel great, so what's the

    problem?
    > >
    > > EK

    >
    > Seriously, never said there was a problem. Seriously seeking

    options.
    > Seriously, take a deep breath and go brush your teeth...


    Gatorade was intended as an electrolyte and fluid replacement and
    only incidentally a carbohydrate source. Gels are a carbohydrate
    source and generally contain some sort of amphetamine, like
    caffeine or a natural source of caffeine, to keep the mind clear.
    I even think some of the early gels had mahuang which is a
    natural source of ephedrine. Any way, gels will give you a burst
    of energy and will perk you up, but they will not hydrate you --
    in fact, you need to drink a fair amount of water so that the
    gels do not knot up your stomach (I know, they are not supposed
    to do that -- but they do that to me if I do not drink). Also,
    if you go through a lot of gels, you will not be able to sleep at
    night and will get caffeine shakes.

    With that said. I love gels, especially before critical climbs
    or accelerations in a race or a hard ride. Cliff bars in the
    middle, gel for a quick pop, and Cytomax (or something like it)
    for hydration and electrolytes. That's my recipe. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  14. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    andres muro wrote:

    > If you are properly hydrated and nourished at the start of a ride,
    > you'll need water, salt and sugar to keep you riding at a certain
    > intensity. Water and salt will hydrate you and prevent cramps and
    > sugar will give you energy and prevent bonking.


    All good advice, except the sugar part. Sugar is not a good source
    of energy for an endurance athlete: 1) it is slowly absorbed, 2) it
    requires additional water for digestion, and 3) it can actually
    cause a blood sugar crash (i.e. bonk).

    On the other hand, complex carbohydrates like maltodextrin avoid all
    three of these problems. If a sports drink contains mostly simple
    sugars, it's not a good endurance drink.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
     
  15. On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 11:30:53 -0700, "Jay Beattie"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >source and generally contain some sort of amphetamine, like
    >caffeine or a natural source of caffeine, to keep the mind clear.


    Is caffeine really an amphetimine?

    JT
     
  16. "Jay Beattie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > Gatorade was intended as an electrolyte and fluid replacement and
    > only incidentally a carbohydrate source. ...


    Does anyone know what electrolytes we're talking about in Gatorade?

    The one I'd be most concerned about - Potassium - is not to be found in
    Gatorade in anything but trace amounts. It's just sucrose, dextrose, salt
    and water as far as I can tell. I can't figure out if it's useful. I haven't
    used it in years, but recently bought some again.

    Usually I get by on dried fruit (dates, mango, papaya, fig bars) and Clif
    Bars. I need to eat every hour or I start to decline after 2 - 3 hours. If
    that's the duration of the ride, I don't bring food. Anything longer and I
    have to eat small amounts regularly. An ride of over six hours means I like
    to eat a small meal too, like a PBJ.

    Boris
     
  17. On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 15:35:41 -0700, Terry Morse <[email protected]>
    wrote:


    >All good advice, except the sugar part. Sugar is not a good source
    >of energy for an endurance athlete:


    > 1) it is slowly absorbed,


    That may or may not be a bad thing, depending on what the user wants.
    And of course different sugars are absorbed at different rates.

    > 2) it >requires additional water for digestion, and


    Riders have to drink anyway.

    > 3) it can actually cause a blood sugar crash (i.e. bonk).


    Not if you are taking it in small amounts often.

    >On the other hand, complex carbohydrates like maltodextrin avoid all
    >three of these problems.


    Maltodextrin is certainly useful.

    > If a sports drink contains mostly simple
    >sugars, it's not a good endurance drink.


    Then how come top bike racers are often drinking Extran, which is just
    glucose and water?

    JT
     
  18. On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 19:25:31 -0400, John Forrest Tomlinson
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 11:30:53 -0700, "Jay Beattie"
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>source and generally contain some sort of amphetamine, like
    >>caffeine or a natural source of caffeine, to keep the mind clear.

    >
    >Is caffeine really an amphetimine?
    >
    >JT


    Dear John,

    No, caffeine and the amphetamines are technically different,
    but it takes a good deal of fuss to distinguish them. Browse
    around sites like this, and you'll find the differences:

    http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/caff.html

    Time for a Coke before my daily ride.

    Carl Fogel
     
  19. andres muro

    andres muro Guest

    Terry Morse <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > andres muro wrote:
    >
    > > If you are properly hydrated and nourished at the start of a ride,
    > > you'll need water, salt and sugar to keep you riding at a certain
    > > intensity. Water and salt will hydrate you and prevent cramps and
    > > sugar will give you energy and prevent bonking.

    >
    > All good advice, except the sugar part. Sugar is not a good source
    > of energy for an endurance athlete: 1) it is slowly absorbed, 2) it
    > requires additional water for digestion, and 3) it can actually
    > cause a blood sugar crash (i.e. bonk).
    >
    > On the other hand, complex carbohydrates like maltodextrin avoid all
    > three of these problems. If a sports drink contains mostly simple
    > sugars, it's not a good endurance drink.


    you are right, and by sugar I meant carbohydrates in general, both
    simple and complex. usually, granola bars, oatmeal creams, etc have a
    combination of both. the flour, the oats, the grain, etc are complex
    carb, while the sweet flavor of corn syrup, refined white sugar are
    simple carbs, I think. Simple carbs will give you a faster kick while
    the complex carbs will stay in your system longer. Usually, bars don't
    break down carbs into simple and complex, they just say carbs. so, I
    ultimately don't know what the ratio of simple to complex carbs is.
    However, I am sure that these bars have plenty of complex carbs cause
    I have gone for hours on them and haven't bonked in a long time. I
    almost forgot fig newtons are great too. However, when it is hot they
    feel pasty in your mouth.

    Andres
     
  20. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Terry Morse wrote:
    >
    >
    > >Sugar is not a good source of energy for an endurance athlete:

    >
    > > 1) it is slowly absorbed,

    >
    > That may or may not be a bad thing, depending on what the user wants.
    > And of course different sugars are absorbed at different rates.


    All simple sugars are absorbed slowly and poorly, thanks to their
    low osmolality. If you are exercising hard, you simply can't get
    anough nutrition with sugar alone to keep up with the glycogen loss.
    If you're not exercising hard or long, then it doesn't matter. You
    can drink colored water, or no water at all. But this is beside the
    point.

    > > 2) it >requires additional water for digestion, and

    >
    > Riders have to drink anyway.


    Riders have to drink, but the amount they drink is limited by how
    much their body can absorb. The upper limit is about 1 liter/hour
    and is usually substantially less. Consuming sugar can actually draw
    fluids from the body into the digestive tract, increasing
    dehydration.

    > > 3) it can actually cause a blood sugar crash (i.e. bonk).

    >
    > Not if you are taking it in small amounts often.


    If you are taking sugar in small enough amounts to prevent
    dehydration and a sugar crash, you're getting pitifully little
    nutrition. A bonk will be the ultimate result.

    > >If a sports drink contains mostly simple
    > >sugars, it's not a good endurance drink.

    >
    > Then how come top bike racers are often drinking Extran, which is just
    > glucose and water?


    Because many top bike racers don't know squat about nutrition.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
     
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