Gels vs Gatorade

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

  1. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    andres muro wrote:

    > 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.


    The nutrition labels for Clif Bars list sugars as a sub-category of
    carbohydrates. From a Clif Bar wrapper I have here:

    Total Carb. 45g
    Dietary Fiber 5g
    Insoluble Fiber 4g
    Sugars 21g
    Other Carb. 19g

    From that label, it seems that the bar has about equal amounts of
    complex carbs and sugars.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
     


  2. On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 21:57:15 -0700, Terry Morse <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >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.


    No, it's because a lot of testing of nutritional products are done on
    people who haven't trained themselves to digest large quantities of
    calories and liquids -- they can't tolerate it because they don't try
    it.

    Everything you've described is counter to best practice among cyclists
    who need large amounts of calories and often large amounts of liquid
    under diffcult conditions. When the lab and reality contradict each
    other, you've got to ask if the lab is looking at the right questions
    or the whole picture.

    JT
     
  3. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:

    > No, it's because a lot of testing of nutritional products are done on
    > people who haven't trained themselves to digest large quantities of
    > calories and liquids -- they can't tolerate it because they don't try
    > it.


    So you claim that a person can be trained to absorb sugar quickly.
    Interesting. Got any physics to back that up? Or maybe a study would
    be nice.

    > Everything you've described is counter to best practice among cyclists
    > who need large amounts of calories and often large amounts of liquid
    > under diffcult conditions. When the lab and reality contradict each
    > other, you've got to ask if the lab is looking at the right questions
    > or the whole picture.


    Everything I've described is the state of the art when it comes to
    nutrition for the endurance athlete. Dozens of studies have looked
    at these issues, in the lab and out. What you have described is
    nonsense.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
     
  4. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    > 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?


    No, and I certainly did not mean it in the technical sense.
    Caffeine is in a different chemical family. Ephedrine is
    chemically related to the amphetaimes, though (it's banned, too).
    Anyone contemplating eating gels, though, should know that many
    of them contain a CNS stimulant, typically caffeine. -- Jay
    Beattie.
     
  5. Terry Morse <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
    >
    > > No, it's because a lot of testing of nutritional products are done on
    > > people who haven't trained themselves to digest large quantities of
    > > calories and liquids -- they can't tolerate it because they don't try
    > > it.

    >
    > So you claim that a person can be trained to absorb sugar quickly.
    > Interesting. Got any physics to back that up? Or maybe a study would
    > be nice.


    I'm not talking about the physics of osmosis. I'm talking about the
    common claim people making when drinking sugary drinks that "It upsets
    my stomach." And the real problem that some people have in drinking
    sugary drinks in getting enough down without getting nauseous or
    having an upset stomach. If you can't drink more than 10 or 15 ounces
    of, say, straight Gatorade, in a hour, sure you're going to risk
    dehydration. But if you work at it so you can tolerate that, or much
    more, dehydration is less of a risk.

    So if you want to reduce everything to simple physics -- such as
    saying the liquid in a 4% solution is absorbed quicker than an 8%
    solution, fine. But don't extrapolate from that to mean that an 8%
    solution is bad becasue the rider can't absorb when, in fact, he might
    be able to simply by drinking more.

    > > Everything you've described is counter to best practice among cyclists
    > > who need large amounts of calories and often large amounts of liquid
    > > under diffcult conditions. When the lab and reality contradict each
    > > other, you've got to ask if the lab is looking at the right questions
    > > or the whole picture.

    >
    > Everything I've described is the state of the art when it comes to
    > nutrition for the endurance athlete. Dozens of studies have looked
    > at these issues, in the lab and out. What you have described is
    > nonsense.


    It's nonsense to ignore the fact that there are plenty of cyclists who
    can drink Extran (a solution of over 15% glucose) and a more normal
    sports drink (say 8% sugar) and not get dehydrated. It's nonsense to
    take studies that look at a single variable and extrapolate from that
    to reality, when reality contradicts what you're claiming.

    JT
     
  6. andres muro

    andres muro Guest

    Terry Morse <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > andres muro wrote:
    >
    > > 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.

    >
    > The nutrition labels for Clif Bars list sugars as a sub-category of
    > carbohydrates. From a Clif Bar wrapper I have here:
    >
    > Total Carb. 45g
    > Dietary Fiber 5g
    > Insoluble Fiber 4g
    > Sugars 21g
    > Other Carb. 19g
    >
    > From that label, it seems that the bar has about equal amounts of
    > complex carbs and sugars.


    again, I agree with you. however, I am a proponent of granola bars at
    $2.00 a box of 10, little debbie oatmeal creams at less than $2.00 a
    box, or fig newtons. The packaging for this says carbs--XXg
    They are referring to the sugar plus the complex stuff. However, I
    have no idea of the ratios.

    Andres
     
  7. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    On 19 Jul 2004 17:11:17 -0700, in rec.bicycles.tech you 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?


    The Hammergel is lower glycemic index than the Gatorade and takes a
    bit longer to get into your system. It costs $1 for 100 calories.
    The Gatorade provides very little calories per bottle but you will
    hydrate better on a weak sugar solution than on plain water.

    For your 2 hour ride, you need good hydration and a full tank of
    calories when you start. At your steady pace, you won't need that
    much additional calories. For your 4 hour ride, a pop tart or two, a
    bagel, or candy bar will do fine. Look to get about 400 calories/hr.
    of something that lasts a while. 150 calories of soda pop doesn't
    last long. It's better to eat small amounts often than a 230 calorie
    energy bar in one shot.
     
  8. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    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, 2) it
    >requires additional water for digestion, and 3) it can actually
    >cause a blood sugar crash (i.e. bonk).


    Actually, simple sugars are absorbed too quickly. The insulin level
    is raised quickly to a high level to digest the sugar. If there is
    not a constant supply of the sugar, you overshoot your insulin output
    and you get sugar bonk. If you've got a short distance like ½ hour at
    high intensity, soft drinks, especially those with caffein, work.

    If you take maltodextrin for that ½ hour, you'll get the kick after
    the ride is done. That is particularly true if your adrenalin level
    goes up and your digestive system is abandoned.
     
  9. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 21:57:15 -0700, Terry Morse <[email protected]>
    wrote:



    With all due respect, don't get rely nutrition information that comes
    from sources that sell the stuff. If you read carefully into
    sponsored studies, you'll find that the number of participants is low.
    Additionally, they tend to publish favorable results only.

    Toss a coin 7 times only with your left hand. If you do enough
    trials, you'll find that left hand tossing can yield 6 tails...one one
    test. Refer to that test in your promotional activities.
     
  10. On Thu, 22 Jul 2004 03:04:27 GMT, Paul Kopit
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >Actually, simple sugars are absorbed too quickly.


    and
    >
    >If you take maltodextrin for that ½ hour, you'll get the kick after
    >the ride is done.


    But maltodextrin has a higher glycemic index than _some_ simple
    sugars, such as sucrose so I think it's absorbed faster.

    JT
     
  11. andres muro <[email protected]> wrote:
    >again, I agree with you. however, I am a proponent of granola bars at
    >$2.00 a box of 10, little debbie oatmeal creams at less than $2.00 a
    >box, or fig newtons.


    Malt loaf - don't you get it over on the other side of the Atlantic? It's
    great stuff.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  12. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan 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.


    All bad advice, especially the sugar part. ;-)

    Seriously, sucrose (common table sugar) is as good, if not better than, any
    other source of carbohydrate when used in a sports drink. The only possible
    advantage to maltodextrin is that, for a given concentration, it isn't as
    sweet, which some people may find more palatable.

    Andy Coggan (who cut his eye-teeth studying this stuff)
     
  13. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    "Boris Foelsch" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "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.


    There's a new 'Gatorade Endurance', which contains not only potassium but
    extra sodium as well. There is sound scientific data supporting the latter,
    but the problem is one of palatability. In contrast, there's no good data
    showing that you benefit from ingesting potassium during prolonged
    exercise - in fact, despite the loss of potassium via sweating, your plasma
    potassium concentration actually *increases* during exercise, in proportion
    to the exercise intensity. (OTOH, there's no data showing that ingesting
    potassium is detrimental, either.)

    Andy Coggan
     
  14. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Andy Coggan wrote:

    > Seriously, sucrose (common table sugar) is as good, if not better
    > than, any other source of carbohydrate when used in a sports
    > drink. The only possible advantage to maltodextrin is that, for a
    > given concentration, it isn't as sweet, which some people may
    > find more palatable.
    >
    > Andy Coggan (who cut his eye-teeth studying this stuff)


    Andy,

    Thanks for chiming in, your expert opinion is always refreshing.
    I'm sure it would come as no surprise to you that some disagree
    with your statement about the benefits of sugar in sports drinks. A
    sample:

    "Fructose, sucrose, glucose and other simple sugars...absorb
    poorly, cause wild energy fluctuations, and require excess water
    consumption...Complex carbohydrates...are the wisest choice for
    endurance athletes, as they allow your digestive system to rapidly
    and efficienlty process a greater volume of calories, providing
    steady energy." - S. Born, "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to
    Suceess", an E-Caps/Hammer Nutrition publication

    Granted, this is coming from a company that's trying to sell its own
    line of sports nutrition products. Please explain why you think their
    reasoning is all wrong.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com
     
  15. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Terry Morse wrote:
    > Andy Coggan wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Seriously, sucrose (common table sugar) is as good, if not better
    >>than, any other source of carbohydrate when used in a sports
    >>drink. The only possible advantage to maltodextrin is that, for a
    >>given concentration, it isn't as sweet, which some people may
    >>find more palatable.
    >>
    >>Andy Coggan (who cut his eye-teeth studying this stuff)

    >
    >
    > Andy,
    >
    > Thanks for chiming in, your expert opinion is always refreshing.
    > I'm sure it would come as no surprise to you that some disagree
    > with your statement about the benefits of sugar in sports drinks. A
    > sample:
    >
    > "Fructose, sucrose, glucose and other simple sugars...absorb
    > poorly, cause wild energy fluctuations, and require excess water
    > consumption...Complex carbohydrates...are the wisest choice for
    > endurance athletes, as they allow your digestive system to rapidly
    > and efficienlty process a greater volume of calories, providing
    > steady energy." - S. Born, "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to
    > Suceess", an E-Caps/Hammer Nutrition publication
    >
    > Granted, this is coming from a company that's trying to sell its own
    > line of sports nutrition products.


    Do they give any justification for those statements? They are certainly
    at odds with basic biochemistry since the body's energy system runs on
    glucose which is absorbed very readily by the bloodstream directly
    through the intestinal lining. More complex carbohydrates are first
    converted to glucose before they used by the body cells for energy
    production. Substituting complex carbohydrates for glucose would
    therefore slow down the process and make it more difficult for an
    athlete to digest a sufficient number of calories.
    A simplified overview of the digestive process is given at:
    http://home.howstuffworks.com/food2.htm
    The main problem with consumption of mono- and disaccharides is that
    they enter the bloodstream too quickly therefore leading to jumps in the
    blood sugar levels and consequent variations in the insulin levels in
    response. But an exercising athlete who is consuming an energy drink at
    frequent intervals would be unlikely to experience this problem.
     
  16. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Peter <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Terry Morse wrote:
    >
    > > "Fructose, sucrose, glucose and other simple sugars...absorb
    > > poorly, cause wild energy fluctuations, and require excess water
    > > consumption...Complex carbohydrates...are the wisest choice for
    > > endurance athletes, as they allow your digestive system to rapidly
    > > and efficienlty process a greater volume of calories, providing
    > > steady energy." - S. Born, "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to
    > > Suceess", an E-Caps/Hammer Nutrition publication
    > >
    > > Granted, this is coming from a company that's trying to sell its own
    > > line of sports nutrition products.

    >
    > Do they give any justification for those statements?


    Yes. From the same document:

    "Just as important, though, is the fact that simple sugars, unlike
    complex carbohydrates, take longer and require more fluid to empty
    from the stomach and GI tract. This is due to a physiological
    feature known as osmolality...If the osmolality of your sports drink
    deviates from body fluid levels, it will not absorb. A simple sugar
    drink will only match regular body fluid osmolality at a very weak
    6-8% concentration; otherwise, it will remain in the stomach until
    sufficiently diluted...With a simple sugar drink, you're left with
    three bad choices. You can drink a 6-8% solution, but you'll get too
    few calories. You can drink a lot of a 6-8% solution to get adequate
    calories, but you'll overfill on fluid, or you can make a
    concentrated drink to get enough calories, but then you'll get poor
    absorption. In any case, you're done in. Simple sugar drinks just
    don't cut it for the endurance athlete."
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
     
  17. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Terry Morse wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Peter <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Terry Morse wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>"Fructose, sucrose, glucose and other simple sugars...absorb
    >>>poorly, cause wild energy fluctuations, and require excess water
    >>>consumption...Complex carbohydrates...are the wisest choice for
    >>>endurance athletes, as they allow your digestive system to rapidly
    >>>and efficienlty process a greater volume of calories, providing
    >>>steady energy." - S. Born, "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to
    >>>Suceess", an E-Caps/Hammer Nutrition publication
    >>>
    >>>Granted, this is coming from a company that's trying to sell its own
    >>>line of sports nutrition products.

    >>
    >>Do they give any justification for those statements?

    >
    >
    > Yes. From the same document:
    >
    > "Just as important, though, is the fact that simple sugars, unlike
    > complex carbohydrates, take longer and require more fluid to empty
    > from the stomach and GI tract."


    This statement totally ignores the fact that complex carbohydrates can't
    be absorbed from the stomach and GI tract at all - they first have to be
    broken down into monosaccharides (simple single sugars like glucose and
    fructose). From
    http://arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/smallgut/absorb_sugars.html:
    "Particularly important dietary carbohydrates include starch and
    disaccharides such as lactose and sucrose. None of these molecules can
    be absorbed for the simple reason that they cannot cross cell membranes
    unaided and, unlike the situation for monosaccharides, there are no
    transporters to carry them across. ... Polysaccharides and disaccharides
    must be digested to monosaccharides prior to absorption"


    > "This is due to a physiological
    > feature known as osmolality...If the osmolality of your sports drink
    > deviates from body fluid levels, it will not absorb. A simple sugar
    > drink will only match regular body fluid osmolality at a very weak
    > 6-8% concentration; otherwise, it will remain in the stomach until
    > sufficiently diluted.


    Anyone who has mildly 'bonked' and then been rather quickly revitalized
    by drinking a coke or other sugar-rich drink will recognize that the
    sugar didn't just sit in the stomach waiting for them to drink lots of
    additional water to achieve this dilution. Instead, the sugar passes
    quickly to the small intestine and is absorbed directly through the
    intestinal wall into the bloodstream. If the sugar is sucrose (a
    disaccharide) then it is first broken down by enzymes to its components:
    glucose and fructose, but that's a very rapid process compared to the
    necessary breakdown of starches and other complex carbohydrates.

    ...With a simple sugar drink, you're left with
    > three bad choices. You can drink a 6-8% solution, but you'll get too
    > few calories. You can drink a lot of a 6-8% solution to get adequate
    > calories, but you'll overfill on fluid, or you can make a
    > concentrated drink to get enough calories, but then you'll get poor
    > absorption. In any case, you're done in. Simple sugar drinks just
    > don't cut it for the endurance athlete."


    So their claim is that given two possible processes:
    1) monosaccharide -> absorption by bloodstream -> ATP production in body
    cells; and
    2) polysaccharide -> breakdown by enzymes to monosaccharides ->
    absorption by bloodstream -> ATP production in body cells;

    that somehow 2) is faster and more efficient even though it's the same
    as 1) but with the additional first step.
    Looks like magic to me. The only explanation I can see is what you
    mentioned previously: "this is coming from a company that's trying to
    sell its own line of sports nutrition products."
     
  18. On Thu, 22 Jul 2004 19:06:51 -0700, Terry Morse <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > - S. Born, "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to
    >Suceess", an E-Caps/Hammer Nutrition publication
    >
    >Granted, this is coming from a company that's trying to sell its own
    >line of sports nutrition products.


    You were arguning with me based on an advertisement? That's funny.

    It's even funnier to argue with Coggan based on that.

    Prediction: he's going to tell you to look it up in pubmed or another
    online database of real science.

    JT
     
  19. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Terry Morse" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > Granted, this is coming from a company that's trying to sell its own
    > line of sports nutrition products. Please explain why you think their
    > reasoning is all wrong.


    I think you answered your own question.
     
  20. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Peter <prat[email protected]> wrote:

    > Terry Morse wrote:
    >
    > > "Just as important, though, is the fact that simple sugars, unlike
    > > complex carbohydrates, take longer and require more fluid to empty
    > > from the stomach and GI tract."

    >
    > This statement totally ignores the fact that complex carbohydrates can't
    > be absorbed from the stomach and GI tract at all - they first have to be
    > broken down into monosaccharides...


    I don't think this invalidates their comment, but it certainly casts
    a shadow over the fuild transport situation. They claim that complex
    carbs will be absorbed at the same 6-8% concentration as simple
    sugars, but since the carbs have more energy content, they carry
    with them more fuel. What they don't mention is that the carbs are
    broken down into simple sugars in the intestine, raising the
    concentration, which reportedly shuts down the stomach emptying.

    > > "This is due to a physiological
    > > feature known as osmolality...If the osmolality of your sports drink
    > > deviates from body fluid levels, it will not absorb. A simple sugar
    > > drink will only match regular body fluid osmolality at a very weak
    > > 6-8% concentration; otherwise, it will remain in the stomach until
    > > sufficiently diluted.

    >
    > Anyone who has mildly 'bonked' and then been rather quickly revitalized
    > by drinking a coke or other sugar-rich drink will recognize that the
    > sugar didn't just sit in the stomach waiting for them to drink lots of
    > additional water to achieve this dilution.


    Well, that concentrated sugar solution had to get through the
    intestinal wall some how, and it can't climb an osmolality gradient
    to do it. I don't think there are any pumps in the intenstines for
    moving fluids. From what I understand, when you have a concentrated
    solution, fluid will flow from the bloodstream into the intestines
    until the solution is isotonic (same concentration as the body's).
    When hydration is at a premium, that's probably not a great idea.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
     
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