Using honey as an alternative to energy gells

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by big_h, Jul 5, 2003.

  1. big_h

    big_h New Member

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    Hi

    In one of our recent publications of Bicycling South Africa they suggested that one could use honey as a alternative to energy gells ( we have Vooma, Perc and other) They suggested to add small amount of salt (for mineral replacement????) and some cinnamon and nutmeg for added flavour. They suggested to place this in measured quantities in a small ziploc bag (I use 20g) and use in the same way as the proprietary gells. I tried this as honey is much cheaper (R16-00 for 500ml) as to R6-00 and more per scahet of 20 ml of the gells. I did not like the nutmeg but added some lemon juice which combined with the cinnamon and salt is quite tasty and the lemon breaks the sweetness a bit. I have used this concoction now in various races with no real change in effect. My question now is......????? Does honey also have all the long chain polymers they advertise for the manufactured gells, is it suitable as a energy gell, is the glycogen replacement the same (hope I have this right) In short how does honey which is a natural product compare with the gells that is most likely full of chemicals and preservatives???????

    Thanx

    Keep those wheels spinning!!!!!

    Big H
     
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  2. paulraphael

    paulraphael New Member

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    it seems to me that different people have different levels of tolerance for simple sugars. honey is a concentrated form of very simple, small molecule sugars. if you can tolerate it without stomach upset, sugar high and crash etc., that's great.

    keep in mind, though, that long molecule sugars and starches can pass out of your stomach much faster at higher concentrations. you can consume many more calories per hour with the better brands of gel than you'll be able to with honey.

    a couple of notes: not all gels are created equal. many have lots of simple sugar in them. the best, like hammer, have virtually no simple sugar.

    also, gels can be quite natural, despite the chemical sounding ingredients. maltodextrine, for example, is brown rice starch.
     
  3. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    during exercise, it doesn't matter whether the carbohydrates are simple or complex, as the insulin response is blunted. In fact, you actually want highly glycaemic carbs, so they can be delivered to you rapidly.

    However, if i'm not mistaken, honey is fructose, and too much fructose can cause gastro intestinal distress.

    Ric
     
  4. paulraphael

    paulraphael New Member

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    <<during exercise, it doesn't matter whether the carbohydrates are simple or complex, as the insulin response is blunted. In fact, you actually want highly glycaemic carbs, so they can be delivered to you rapidly. >>

    actually, it matters a great deal. don't confuse glycemic index with simple vs. complex ... it is true that a high glycemic index is fine (probably helpful) for food consumed during exercise. you're right about insulin response being blunted.

    the real issue here is the rate of gastric emptying. different size carbohydrate molecules can pass through the stomach and intestines at different dilutions. simple sugars like fructose need to be very dilute (around 8% solution, i believe) this means you need to drink a very weak solution (or follow that gulp of honey with lots and lots of water). The problem is you end up not being able to get enough calories. your body can only absorb a max of about 24 oz. of fluid per hour, and at 8% carbs this is very little fuel.

    if you try to consume a higher concentration, your body actually needs to borrow water from your blood, and bring it into your stomach until the dilution is 8% or so .. a slow and counterproductive process ... the one that leads to the sour stomach you mentioned.

    long chain carbs .. like maltodextrin and glucose polymers .. can be absorbed at 4 times the concentration of simple sugars. this means that you can consume a 32% carbohydrate solution (or a gulp of gel followed by much less water) and have your body absorb the water and the carbs quickly, without side effects. the advantages should be obvious.

    incidentally, these long chain carbs have a very high glycemic index, so they are NOT good to consume before exercise. have them during and immediately after.

    paul
     
  5. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Paul,
    I know of no research that suggests that you can use a 32% CHO solution during exercise, perhaps you can point me to a study on Pub Med?

    All the research (that generally use polymers) suggests a 6 - 8 % solution.

    Ric
     
  6. paulraphael

    paulraphael New Member

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    i just checked out some research ... 32% is wrong. thanks for pointing it out.
    but 18% to 24% solutions of maltodextrins and large glucose polymers are absorbable, if they're the right ones for the job.

    the number to look is the DE, or dextrose equivalence. this tells you how high a concentration can be absorbed. the lower the better.


    Jenkins, JA et al. "Simple and Complex Carbohydrates: Lack of Glycemic Difference between Glucose and Glucose Polymers." Dept. of Nutritional Sciences. Faculty of Medicine and Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Toronto, 1987; pp.113-116.

    The Functional Edge-Maltrin(Maltodextrins and Corn Syrup Solids), Grain Processing Corporation, Muscatine, Iowa, 1994.

    this is a good link, too ... i'm a fan of hammer products and find their site to be informative ...

    http://www.e-caps.com/knowledge/endurancedet.cfm?&id=82&sub=endurance library

    by the way, another issue with using honey is the lack of branched chain amino acids. if you're going to be riding for more than an hour or so, it's good insurance to have at least a modest bcaa profile in your energy goop, just to stave off catabolism (your body eating its own muscles in order to keep amino acid levels up in the blood).

    for long events or training (more than 90 minutes or 2 hours) it's probably beneficial to get around 10% of your calories from protein. here's where honey and most of the gels out there fall short.
     
  7. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    I'm unable to find any good scientific evidence to support your suggestion of 18 to 24% CHO soulutions during exercise. All the research (i.e., peer reviewed scientific literature) usually suggests solutions of 6 - 8%. The ACSM position stand on nutrition and athletic performance also suggests a 4 - 8% solution for intense exercise lasting >1-hr or 30 - 60 g CHO per hour during exercise.

    Furthermore, there is no research to suggest an ergogenic effect from BCAA amino acids in exercise lasting > 1hr or 90mins.

    Ric
     
  8. paulraphael

    paulraphael New Member

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    Ric,
    the research you've seen that concludes 6-8% concentration is the max that can be absorbed is correct. however, i believe you'll find that this is all research done on simple sugars. the whole point of going to the complex molecules is to increase the concentration that can be absorbed. it's a common misunderstanding that it's all about glycemic index; in fact there's little correlation between molecule size and ge. maltodextrin has a very high ge. we like it because of its low dextrose equivalence. check out the sources i sited, or any of a million that you'll find on line.

    as far as the notion that there's no research to support the ergogenic effect of branched chain amino acids, again i believe you're mistaken. BCAAs have proven extremely important in reducing muscle catabolism, speeding recovery, and increasing endurance. the longer the event, the more important they are.

    i've come across dozens of studies supporting their use.

    here are a few:


    Anthony JC, Anthony TG, Layman DK_ (June 1999)
    Leucine supplementation enhances skeletal muscle recovery in rats following exercise.
    J Nutr._ 129(6): 1102-6._ Full text at Journal of Nutrition web site.

    Blomstrand E, Saltin B. (Aug 2001)
    BCAA intake affects protein metabolism in muscle after but not during exercise in humans._
    Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 281(2):365-74._ Full text at AJP - Endocrinology and Metabolism web site.

    Bowtell JL, Leese GP, Smith K, Watt PW, Nevill A, Rooyackers O, Wagenmakers AJ, Rennie MJ. (May 2000)._ Effect of oral glucose on leucine turnover in human subjects at rest and during exercise at two levels of dietary protein._ J Physiol. 15;525 Pt 1:271-81._ Full text at Journal of Physiology web site._



    McKenzie S, Phillips SM, Carter SL, Lowther S, Gibala MJ, Tarnopolsky MA. (Apr 2000)
    Endurance exercise training attenuates leucine oxidation and BCOAD activation during exercise in humans._ Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 278(4):E580-7._ Full text at American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism web site.




    Bassit RA, Sawada LA, Bacurau RF, Navarro F, Martins E Jr, Santos RV, Caperuto EC, Rogeri P, Costa Rosa LF. (May 2002)
    Branched-chain amino acid supplementation and the immune response of long-distance athletes.
    Nutrition 18(5):376-9.



    Bassit RA, Sawada LA, Bacurau RF, Navarro F, Costa Rosa LF._ (July 2000)
    The effect of BCAA supplementation upon the immune response of triathletes.
    Med Sci Sports Exerc. 32(7):1214-9.



    Bigard AX, Lavier P, Ullmann L, Legrand H, Douce P, Guezennec CY_ (Sept 1996)_
    Branched-chain amino acid supplementation during repeated prolonged skiing exercises at altitude.__Int J Sport Nutr. 6(3):295-306.__



    Blomstrand E_ (2001)
    Amino acids and central fatigue.
    Amino Acids. 20(1):25-34. REVIEW



    Blomstrand E, Hassmen P, Ekblom B, Newsholme EA_ (1991)_
    Administration of branched-chain amino acids during sustained exercise--effects on performance and on plasma concentration of some amino acids.__
    Eur J Appl Physiol. 63(2):83-8._



    Blomstrand E, Ek S, Newsholme EA_ (July-Aug 1996)_
    Influence of ingesting a solution of branched-chain amino acids on plasma and muscle concentrations of amino acids during prolonged submaximal exercise._
    Nutrition. 12(7-8):485-90.__



    Blomstrand E, Celsing F, Newsholme EA_ (May 1988)_
    Changes in plasma concentrations of aromatic and branched-chain amino acids during sustained exercise in man and their possible role in fatigue._
    Acta Physiol Scand._ 133(1):115-21.___



    Blomstrand E, Hassmen P, Ek S, Ekblom B, Newsholme EA_ (Jan 1997)_
    Influence of ingesting a solution of branched-chain amino acids on perceived exertion during exercise._ Acta Physiol Scand. 159(1):41-9.___



    Blomstrand E, Newsholme EA_ (Nov 1992)_
    Effect of branched-chain amino acid supplementation on the exercise-induced change in aromatic amino acid concentration in human muscle._
    Acta Physiol Scand. 146(3):293-8.__



    Coombes JS, McNaughton LR_ (Sept 2000) Effects of branched-chain amino acid supplementation on serum creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase after prolonged exercise.
    J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 40(3):240-6.



    Davis JM, Alderson NL, Welsh RS. __ (Aug 2000)
    Serotonin and central nervous system fatigue: nutritional considerations.
    Am J Clin Nutr. 72(2 Suppl):573S-8S. REVIEW



    De Palo EF, Gatti R, Cappellin E, Schiraldi C, De Palo CB, Spinella P._ _ (2001)
    Plasma lactate, GH and GH-binding protein levels in exercise following BCAA supplementation in athletes.
    Amino Acids. 20(1):1-11.


    Freyssenet D, Berthon P, Denis C, Barthelemy JC, Guezennec CY, Chatard JC_ (1996)_
    Effect of a 6-week endurance training programme and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on histomorphometric characteristics of aged human muscle.__
    Arch Physiol Biochem. 104(2):157-62.__



    Gastmann UA, Lehmann MJ_ (July 1998)_
    Overtraining and the BCAA hypothesis._
    Med Sci Sports Exerc. 30(7):1173-8._ REVIEW



    Gibala MJ. (March 2001)
    Regulation of skeletal muscle amino acid metabolism during exercise.
    Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 11(1):87-108. REVIEW



    Hargreaves MH, Snow R._ (March 2001)
    Amino acids and endurance exercise.
    Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 11(1):133-45. REVIEW.



    Hassmen P, Blomstrand E, Ekblom B, Newsholme EA_ (Sept-Oct 1994)_
    Branched-chain amino acid supplementation during 30-km competitive run: mood and cognitive performance. __Nutrition. 10(5):405-10.__



    Knapik J, Meredith C, Jones B, Fielding R, Young V, Evans W_ (Jan 1991)_
    Leucine metabolism during fasting and exercise._
    J Appl Physiol. 70(1):43-7._



    Lamont LS, McCullough AJ, Kalhan SC. (Feb 2001)
    Relationship between leucine oxidation and oxygen consumption during steady-state exercise.
    Med Sci Sports Exerc. 33(2):237-41.__



    Layman DK (Dec 2002)
    Role of leucine in protein metabolism during exercise and recovery.
    Can J Appl Physiol. 27(6):646-63. REVIEW.


    Lemon PW, Nagle FJ, Mullin JP, Benevenga NJ (Oct 1982)_
    In vivo leucine oxidation at rest and during two intensities of exercise.__
    J Appl Physiol. 53(4):947-54._



    MacLean DA, Graham TE_ (June 1993)_
    Branched-chain amino acid supplementation augments plasma ammonia responses during exercise in humans.__J Appl Physiol. 74(6):2711-7.___



    MacLean DA, Graham TE, Saltin B_ (Dec 1994)_
    Branched-chain amino acids augment ammonia metabolism while attenuating protein breakdown during exercise.__Am J Physiol. 267(6 Pt 1):E1010-22.__



    MacLean D, Vissing J, Vissing SF, Haller RG_ (Nov 1998)_
    Oral branched-chain amino acids do not improve exercise capacity in McArdle disease.__
    Neurology.__ 51(5):1456-9.__



    MacLean DA, Graham TE, Saltin B_ (June 1996)_
    Stimulation of muscle ammonia production during exercise following branched-chain amino acid supplementation in humans._
    J Physiol (Lond). 493 ( Pt 3):909-22._



    Mero A, Pitkanen H, Oja SS, Komi PV, Pontinen P, Takala T (June 1997)_
    Leucine supplementation and serum amino acids, testosterone, cortisol and growth hormone in male power athletes during training.
    _J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 37(2):137-45.__



    Mittleman KD, Ricci MR, Bailey SP_ (Jan 1998)_
    Branched-chain amino acids prolong exercise during heat stress in men and women.__
    Med Sci Sports Exerc.__ 30(1):83-91._



    Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY_ (Jan 1997)_
    Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers.__
    Int J Sports Med. 18(1):47-55.___



    Platell C, Kong SE, McCauley R, Hall JC. (July 2000)
    Branched-chain amino acids.
    J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 15(7):706-17. REVIEW.___



    Roy BD, Fowles JR, Hill R, Tarnopolsky MA. (Aug 2000)
    Macronutrient intake and whole body protein metabolism following resistance exercise.
    Med Sci Sports Exerc. 32(8):1412-8.__



    Schena F, Guerrini F, Tregnaghi P, Kayser B_ (1992)_
    Branched-chain amino acid supplementation during trekking at high altitude. The effects on loss of body mass, body composition, and muscle power.__
    Eur J Appl Physiol. 65(5):394-8.__



    Struder HK, Hollmann W, Platen P, Wostmann R, Ferrauti A, Weber K_ (June 1997)_
    Effect of exercise intensity on free tryptophan to branched-chain amino acids ratio and plasma prolactin during endurance exercise._
    Can J Appl Physiol. 22(3):280-91._



    Tarnopolsky MA, Atkinson SA, MacDougall JD, Senor BB, Lemon PW, Schwarcz H_ (Mar 1991)_Whole body leucine metabolism during and after resistance exercise in fed humans._
    Med Sci Sports Exerc._ 23(3):326-33._



    van Hall G, Raaymakers JS, Saris WH, Wagenmakers AJ_ (Aug 1995)_
    Ingestion of branched-chain amino acids and tryptophan during sustained exercise in man: failure to affect performance.__ J Physiol (Lond). 1;486 ( Pt 3):789-94.___



    Verger P, Aymard P, Cynobert L, Anton G, Luigi R_ (Mar 1994)_
    Effects of administration of branched-chain amino acids vs. glucose during acute exercise in the rat. __Physiol Behav. 55(3):523-6._



    Wagenmakers AJ, Coakley JH, Edwards RH_ (May 1990)_
    Metabolism of branched-chain amino acids and ammonia during exercise: clues from McArdle's disease.__Int J Sports Med. 11 Suppl 2:S101-13._ REVIEW.__



    Zanker CL, Swaine IL, Castell LM, Newsholme EA_ (1997)_
    Responses of plasma glutamine, free tryptophan and branched-chain amino acids to prolonged exercise after a regime designed to reduce muscle glycogen._
    Eur J Appl Physiol. 75(6):543-8.__
     
  9. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Paul,

    Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the list of references. However, whilst, i have not had time to read the full papers on the cited references, i have checked (all) the (available) abstracts.

    Some of the references supplied have nothing to do with endurance exercise and BCAA as an ergogenic aid. Some of the references, which, e.g., mention BCAA within the abstract, just suggest using CHO during exercise. Quite a few of the articles are to do with disease and BCAA. You've also not included in the list the one paper that did find an ergogenic effect!

    I question, how you came up with the list presented, i'm not sure if you've the read the articles themselves, or just culled the list from e.g., Pub Med without actually reading them, or perhaps just culled the list from a 3rd party site.

    The ACSM position stand, which is a large review paper written by leading scientists in the area of exercise physiology failed to find an ergogenic effect to support BCAA administration during exercise.

    The other review papers that i have read, and NGB reports also do not suggest an ergogenic effect. In fact the AIS who split ergogenics in to categories put BCAA in to group C

    Group C is defined as thus: "Supplements which have no proof of beneficial effects and are therefore not to be provided to official AIS programs."

    Group C specifically mentions, "Branched chain amino acids and other free-form amino acids".

    I'm unable to find any peer reviewed work (without spending hours) to support your 18 - 24% CHO solution.

    Ric
     
  10. paulraphael

    paulraphael New Member

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    Hi Ric,
    I gave you a list of lots of studies, since they surround the topic from numerous directions. Included in that list are a couple of studies that found no benefit from bcaa supplementation ... i include those because i'm not trying to simplify this issue, which obviously presents some complexities to researches.

    There does seem to be a shortage of bcaa studies done on true endurance performances. Presumeably for the convenience of the researches, most of these trials were done on athletes performing for an hour or less. Even these studies, though, make some pretty persuasive cases:

    -bcaa supplementation during exercise reduces muscle catabolism
    -it speeds recovery from exercise
    -it reduces subjective perception of effort and fatigue
    -it appears to improve performance in hot weather
    -it dramatically reduces lean muscle loss at high altitude
    -it appears to stave off fatigue

    If you like, I can email you the abstracts of some of the studies that lead to these conclusions.

    The suggestions of the research fit my own subjective experience. As a cyclist I don't typically ride distances (or enough consecutive days) for the effects to be noticeable. At least not yet, anyhow ... I've just started playing with supplementation.

    As a climber, though, i have to exert myself from ten to eighteen hours at a time, and i found a dramatic increase in endurance and recovery when i added modest amounts of protein (typically bcaa-rich soy or whey) to my water bottles and pockets.

    Obviously this is annecdotal, and nothing like the peer-reviewed studie you're asking for. However, when you have a concept that's been around for a while, been supported by gobs of strong annectdotal evidence, personal experience, and strong suggestions from numerous clinical trials ... and no suggestions of negative side effects, you start running out of reasons not to go along with it.

    as far as the 18%-24% concentration of maltodextrin question, i sent a note to a researcher friend who promotes this. i'll pass along the info he sends me.

    incidentally, I checked the dose of what I've been drinking while cycling ... it's about a 16% solution of carbs. It goes right down. this is a maltodextrin/glucose polymer/corn solids concoction that has a soupy consistency and tastes kind of like drinking starch. it's 10% or 12% of the calories are from soy protein. as far as staving off fatigue and feeling fresh the next day it's the best thing i've tried. can't wait to give it a shot on a long climb.
     
  11. paulraphael

    paulraphael New Member

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    there's a fair amount of evidence (not completely without controversy) that bcaa supplementation reduces fatigue by their effects on brain chemistry, not by their direct effects on muscles. there were at least a couple of trials that found athletes claiming to feel better, even though their actual performance (typically 60 minute exertions) didn't improve significantly.

    there's also evidence of improved immune function from bcaa supplementation ... or more acurately, of immune function being less impaired by exertion.

    i think the strongest argument for bcaa in sports drinks, though, is their ability to reduce catabolism and to speed recovery. maybe this doesn't fit your definitions of an ergogenic benefit (making you ride faster or farther, right here and now?) but they definitely fit mine. Feeling better and being stronger at the end of the week is at least as important to me as feelilng better and stronger at the end of the ride.
     
  12. paulraphael

    paulraphael New Member

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    my friend the researcher responds about carbohydrate concentrations:

    Hello Paul,
    Your colleague is correct if he is referring to short-chain carbohydrates,
    simple sugars, which are absorbed between 6-8% solutions due to osmolar
    pressure generated by solution. However, long chain carbohydrates are
    absorbed immediately in 15-20% solutions. Maltodextrin is an example long
    chains of simple sugars linked together, and when in as high as 15-20%
    solutions they are absorbed due to their osmolality of 280-303 mOsm, which
    duplicates transient body fluids osmolality. If you separate maltodextrins
    linked simple sugars, they must be diluted to 6-8% in order to achieve an
    acceptable absortion osmolar value of body fluids @ 280-303 mOsm. If the
    osmolality value of a carbohydrate solution is above normal body fluid
    levels of 280-303 mOsm, the gut must draw both fluids and
    electrolytes/namely sodium in order to reduce the osmolar values down to
    body fluid levels of 280-303 mOsm. There is myriads of research that
    establish the given necessity for osmolality of a solution required for
    absorption.

    This is basic research from Weber & Ehrlein, Glucose and maltodextrin in
    enteral diets have different effects on jejunal absorption of nutrients,
    sodium and water and on flow rate in mini pigs. Dtsch Tierarztl
    Wochenschr.
    1998 Dec;105(12):446-9:

    "Absorption of glucose and fat from the maltodextrin diet was
    significantly
    greater than from the glucose diet, whereas absorption of protein was only
    slightly enhanced. A net water absorption occurred at perfusion of the
    isotonic solution with maltodextrin. Perfusing the hypertonic glucose
    diet,
    water was secreted. Therefore the flow rate increased from oligomer to
    monomer glucose source. With enhanced flow rate sodium secretion
    increased.
    However, the sodium concentration of the effluent was determined more by
    the transepithelial water movement than by the sodium secretion. The
    present results indicate that in enteral diets with interactions among
    different nutrients there is a 'kinetic advantage' in glucose absorption
    from maltodextrin compared to glucose. However, the reduced flow rate of
    the maltodextrin diet due to the lower osmolality contributed to the
    enhanced absorption."

    The balance between electroyte flux, fluid volume and the length of
    carbohydrate chains determines what solution will be receptively absorbed
    immediately. This report is a "given" from widely-accepted concluded basic
    science.

    Best wishes and kindest regards,

    Dr. Bill Misner, Ph.D., C.S.M.T.
     
  13. ant evans

    ant evans New Member

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    Thanks for the quality debate (so far), guys.
     
  14. Harrow

    Harrow New Member

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    Why use honey, when you can buy maltodextrin for next to nothing. I get mine from the local supermarket 20 times cheaper than gels.

    Eg. A typical gel costs around $2.50 and contains around 25 g maltodextrin.

    But a 500g bag of maltodextrin is only $2.60.

    Then I just dissolve it in water. It is much less sweet than sugar, which is fine by me because I have been training hard, I just want the clean taste of water. You could just as easily add salt to your mixture as well if you want.

    Another possible source is your local home brewery supply store.

    Good luck,
    Harrow.
     
  15. Harrow

    Harrow New Member

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    Paul,

    Would it be possible to take a solution containing 6-8% simple sugar AND 15%-20% long chain sugars? Or aren't the two mutually exclusive? It's an interesting question. Has it been studied ?

    Thanks,
    Harrow.
     
  16. paulraphael

    paulraphael New Member

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    hi Harrow,
    i'm pretty sure this doesn't actually work. what counts is the overall osmolality of the solution in your stomach, so the two kinds of carbs aren't really mutually exclusive.

    the powdered sports drink i use has a big warning on the side not to mix it or consume it along side simple sugars. not that you'll die or anything ... they just know it won't work and don't want you blaming them!
     
  17. BrittsHoney

    BrittsHoney New Member

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    HONEY USE
    Honey is mainly composed of simple sugars, antioxidants (two of which are found only in honey), small amounts of vitamins minerals and 18% water. The advantage with honey is that it needs no digestion providing an instant boost the minute he/she takes a drink. Honey with a small amount of salt, fresh lemon, water makes a very refreshing pick-er-upper when working out in the heat. I have used the above combination for years. When I first got the idea of using a natural unprocessed sweetener with food value beyond that of empty calories like most other sweeteners in common use I adhered to specific recipes. I soon found that the best recipe was simply to mix it according to my current taste and anticipated need. When exercising in the blistering heat I found I preferred a drink that was lighter, not as sweet, in the cooler weather I found that a sweeter drink was better. A basic recipe to use for a starter is:
    1 liter water
    1/3-1/4 cup honey
    1/4 tablespoon salt (sodium-chloride)
    and fresh lemon/other fruit squeezings to taste. I find two medium lemons juiced works very well
    I use only natural honey that has not been pressure filtered, heated just as it is straight from the hive. In fact it was my quest for a natural sweetener with food value that got me interested in honey eventually leading to my becoming a part time beekeeper.
    For those of you new to honey the darker honeys like Eucalyptus, safflower, tupelo.are generally higher in antioxidants than the light colored honeys like star thistle, clover, sage, etc.
    Enjoy!
    [email protected]
    Honey Use
     
  18. paulraphael

    paulraphael New Member

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    I haven't seen any research done on honey specifically as an endurance fuel, but from everything I know about it I would assume it's very poor. Somewhere lower on the scale than drinking coca cola.

    Here's why: the main sugar in honey is fructose, which, in terms of dextrose equivalence (and therefore the amount of dilution/time it takes to pass into the blood stream) is just about the worst sugar there is. I don't know where the notion came from that honey "needs no digestion" or provides an "instant boost." Nothing does. All food needs to pass out of your stomach, through the linings of your intestines, and into the blood. Honey will do this more slowly than other, larger sugar molecules, or will require a much weaker dilution. At any rate, you will not be able to get nearly the same number of calories per hour as you will with better suited carbs.

    I'm also not a fan of the idea of consuming anything citrus during training or competing. You want to avoid acidic foods and if possible lean toward foods that have a buffering quality. Your body chemistry is going to tend toward an acidic state on its own during hard exercise, and you want to counter this process, not help it along.

    If you like the idea of a do it yourself fuel, i believe someone said you can get bulk maltodextrin for cheap. This, with a touch of soy protein and some electrolytes should work great. you'd have to experiment with the formula and the dilution, but you pretty much have to do that with store bought formulas too.

    Honey would probably be ok for a post ride recharge. Your body is primed to restore muscle glycogen in the first hour or so after a hard ride, and anything that spikes insulin will work well for this. complex carbs are still better ... you'll digest more of them faster ... but for some reason i find myself craving sweets after a ride (like coke .. just about the only time i drink it). it seems to work fine.


     
  19. JimAmelung2

    JimAmelung2 New Member

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    I'm really enjoying this discussion. Many thoughtful posts, reflecting earnest attempts to demonstrate various positions and conclusions regarding the use of honey during exercise.

    My perspective [on this subject] suggests that much about the nature of sugar/fluid absorption during exercise remains unclear.

    It is clear that a great deal of information and evidence supports various conclusions regarding clearly defined bio-chemical processes in conjunction with accurately measured substances introduced to "control groups".

    I have discovered that many of the comments rendered as "facts" in this discussion run contrary to my own experience and results.

    This conclusion, in no way disproves these "facts" regarding any given biological process. It does however, suggest, that many other interdependent mechanisms account for the performance and results of various individuals using various sugar-solutions during various intensities of exercise.

    Now, is that clear?
     
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