Your preference of drink for Long Rides?

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by razor_USMC, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. razor_USMC

    razor_USMC New Member

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    Howdy all,

    I made this a preference vs. "BEST" because everyone gives people grief about "there is no BEST drink, just what YOU prefer", so here it is.

    A few weeks ago I went on my first 50+ mile ride (most of it hills). It was a very hot day and I took a full camel back of water and then one water bottle of water and another of gatorade. I brought a balance bar for some extra carbs. Needless to say, I learned the hard way that I was wayyyy underprepared. Although I was plenty hydrated I started cramping very bad in my calves and then major cramping in my triceps while on the hoods. Every inch of my jersey, shorts, and skin was covered in a white chalk called...salt. (LOL I was in the hurt locker big time!) I went to my LBS and talked to some of the guys there who gave me the all too knowing "Rookie" grin. "Gatorade is worthless, they said and any water is too much water." They guys there recommended Cytomax due to its protein, increased sodium and potassium over gatorade and its ability to hydrate, give energy, prolong endurance and prevent cramping from electrolyte loss. Plus, with the protein it aids in recovery.

    They also stock accelerade and endurox and they said they all do about the same as the cytomax.

    I have heard about the flat coke for quick pick me ups for end of race sprints and stuff, but i was curious to know what drinks you long-distance gurus use for your 25+ mile rides and why. I also brink a banana and extra protein bar on the long ones too.

    Thanks for your input.
     
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  2. lumpy

    lumpy New Member

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    I used to use Cytomax on long rides but noticed a lot more tartar/plaque on my teeth when visiting the dentist.

    I still use it but use less of it and more H2O now.

    Tim
     
  3. zaskar

    zaskar New Member

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    I have tryed Cytomax,Accellerade,GU2,Extran and many others i can't think of that i threw in the trash. the drinks i used with protien are just way to nasty in the heat and they didn't seem to digest to well for me. i decided to give Power Bar a try, the endurance drink lemon lime. to my suprise it works very well, mixes very good, and taste is good even when it's warm! give it a try im sure you won't be disapointed.
     
  4. razor_USMC

    razor_USMC New Member

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    sounds like its worth a try, will give it a look. thanks.
     
  5. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    There is *NO* reason to consume protein during exercise. Your LBS is flat out wrong, although it's a common mistake.

    Gatorade (at least the formulation in Australia - could be slightly different elsewhere) has plenty of salts and carbs. Some people would argue that glucose is a better form of CHO than sucrose (which is what gatorade uses mainly), but I've never seen that borne out in research.

    I think the primary problem is likely to be that you didn't bring enough carbohydrate (CHO) on your ride (especially if you tend to ride hard).

    Say you do 50 miles at 18 mph, that's almost 3 hours on the bike. You would want to be consuming at least 120g of carb, probably more - maybe up to 200g. The bottle of sports drink is probably about 40g. I don't know what a balance bar is, but most energy bars I see have about 40g of carb.

    If you find 2 bottles of fluid suit the climatic conditions you ride in (correct hydration for the temp of the day/intensity of your ride), try adding gatorade instead of water to the second bottle. This should get you to around 120g carb. Don't bother with protein bars either - fine for recovery in combination with carb, but go high carb instead during exercise. (This is not my just my opinion although learning it has improved my performance personally - it's also borne out in study after study).

    If you eat 2 energy bars that are high in carbohydrate (~40g CHO ea), and drink two bottles of sports drink (~40g CHO each), that's 160g CHO and I'm guessing you'll be feeling a lot better. If you can't stomach that much sports drink (I couldn't when I started, but I've trained myself to take it), take an extra high carb bar/gel.

    I *LOVE* coke when I'm riding because of the caffeine, but in some ways it's not the best. Caffeine definitely provides a kick, but sports drink helps more with salt balance, and coke has less CHO per volume than you'd think (less than sports drink). Have it as something extra if you want it. I also am a fan of bananas. In terms of sports performance, they are high in CHO and potassium, which is a plus, but most of the CHO is fructose - not so good. Fructose is difficult to digest, may cause gastro-intestinal upset. Small amounts are good, too much is bad - have a banana as something extra if you'd like it, but don't eat them primarily.


    As for what I drink personally - any sports drink I can lay my hands on cheaply. (I define sports drink as carb with salts, no protein or fat - as opposed to recovery drinks which may contain protein). I use powerade powder (is that only in Australia?) and mix it myself, but gatorade powder is good as well. Carboshotz products are *excellent*, and I highly reccomend them; the sports drink sachets are expensive if you use them exclusively, but cheaper than buying bottles on the road. Perhaps use a pre-mix powder like gatorade or powerade for your bottles mixed at home, and take carboshotz sachets for bottles filled on the road. Or if you're super-keen and organised, pre-measure powder into zip-lock bags to add to your bottles on the road.


    Anyway, hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask for clarification if I've expressed myself poorly or you have more questions.
     
  6. mellowjohnny

    mellowjohnny New Member

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    Enervit G is my drink of choice, simple and effective. You can mix it as a powder or take it in tablet form (no mixing , no mess, no fuss) and drink straight water. Works better then anything I have used in the past (tried all the major stuff and lots of the smaller brands as well). Everything else still lef tme high and dry, stomach issues (especially the ones with protein) and covered in salt crystals (Accelerade) or worked great and I hated the taste (Extran). Enervit just fit the bill simple, tasty and effective without the hype BS marketing and bad side effects.
     
  7. isdsms

    isdsms New Member

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    Cytomax works fine for me. It has no protein, unlike Acelerade, which upsets my stomach and is not necesary on a ride. I also use High5, which is real good stuff, but is way too expensive here in the States. I drink 20oz of Cytomax before I run or cycle. During my rides, I consume about 22oz an hour in 80 degree+ weather. Hydrating with Cytomax before I run has been a real savior for me in hot weather. Runs are easier and recovery is quicker.
     
  8. razor_USMC

    razor_USMC New Member

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    Got a lot of great pearls of wisdom. Thanks all for your input. And to my Aussie friend, we do have Powerade in the US so next time you have one, think of us Yanks here in the USA and CHEERS Mate!
     
  9. Claes

    Claes New Member

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    Now, this is plain wrong, if I understand you right. Normal, ISOTONIC sports drink is normally between 6-7 grams per 100 g of carbs. Coke is roughly twice that. Normal orange juice is 10-12 grams per 100 g. If you mean high carb drinks, then I understand what you mean, but coke is more than your ISOTONIC sports drink. An old classic for a simple sports drink is flat coke, mixed 50 50 with water, add a pinch of salt. That gives you something that works ok. Not exaclty maltodextrin in there, but some of the normal sports drinks have none of that either.
     
  10. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    Apologies; not sure if I was writing from memory and remembered wrong, or the label I looked at was a diet version, or a different formulation from Australia. I suspect the second option.

    Anyway, why would you need maltodextrin? I've not seen any evidence it confers any advantage over other types of CHO as an aid to endurance exercise (apart from fructose, lactose and galactose).
     
  11. mellowjohnny

    mellowjohnny New Member

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    Maltodextrin is a more complex carb and will give you a boost of energy but no take you above your insulin threshold. So instead of giving you a boost and then crash you get a nice sustained energy boost from it. It also does not interfere with fluid absorption like fructose has been found to do.
     
  12. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    Glycemic and insulin response are relevant in considering pre and post exercise nutrition, but insulin is suppressed during exercise and the primary concern is eating CHO in a form that is metabolically available as soon as possible. Maltodextrin is no better or worse for in exercise consumption than glucose or sucrose (although theoretically there are reasons why glucose or a glucose polymer is optimal, I don't believe this has been borne out).

    Certainly, large quantities of fructose can cause GI upset and are not optimal for consumption during exercise, but small amounts are OK, and allow a different metabolic pathway to be utilised (that said, I don't think there's much evidence that any fructose consumption is really beneficial).
     
  13. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    I just realised, I was looking on the ack of a 600ml pack, but the nutritional information was for a 200ml 'serve'. I was off by a factor of 3! Oops. Makes much more sense now...

    Sorry guys. [Didn't help that I'd been riding for 4 and a bit hours when I started thinking about this :) ]
     
  14. groskilly

    groskilly New Member

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    Dear Razor,
    It seems to me the food/beverage intake you describe was suffient to prevent cramping on a fifty mile ride. I think its more likely you experienced a physical conditioning muscle response (cramping) on your first 50 mile ride.

    I experienced burning and cramping in my upper legs on several of my early long rides regardless of my food/beverage intake.

    Jerry
     
  15. Triodelover

    Triodelover New Member

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    Well, I prefer an ice-cold martini - Citadelle gin at least 7:1 to Noilly Prat vermouth. Served up with a twist. But they do play hob with long rides. ;)
     
  16. Salsa Rider

    Salsa Rider New Member

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    For mid-length rides, 35-45 miles/ 3 hours or less, I usually take -1- bottle of water and -1- bottle of weak accelerade. 'bout 1/2 reccommended amount powder to water. For longer rides, I'll add clif shots (primarily brown rice sweetener and flavor) or reload fliuds w/ 1/2 sport drink, 1/2 water. The occasional luna or clif bar will also find its way into the mix.

    Something that is being missed here is that whatever you decide to go with, its very important that it tastes good. Bad tasting anything just will not be consumed at the same velocity that some good tasting will. Thereby, making it less effective.
     
  17. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    It's likely that conditioning has something to do with it; the fitter you are, the less likely to cramp and the higher your rate of lipolysis so the less carbs are needed. Even so, the nutrition described was around 80g of CHO for 3+ hours. Unlikely to be enough, especially if there is any intensity thrown in.
     
  18. ken800

    ken800 New Member

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    have you tried hammer heed (it's new)? i've been using it for my 40 mile rides and it seems to work really well. I use a gel about 2/3 way through and i seem to be fine at the end of the ride.

    as far as protien, i've read that your body begins to use small amounts of protein as your ride lengths increases - say 2+ hours. Is this not an accurate statement?
     
  19. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    Protein is only catabolised (there is normally no metabolically available protein) in the case of glycogen insufficiency. If you're eating enough CHO you won't burn protein, and there is no need to eat protein during exercise.
     
  20. ken800

    ken800 New Member

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    I guess I don't understand the chemical names then because I keep reading that certain protein types are used as part of your body's fueling -- with or without enough carbs -- something to the tune of 2-10 percent. Here's one particular page but I'd be happy to point you to others. It is hard to understand without a full understanding of what protiens are, how they work, etc... and I'm not a doc ...

    http://www.gssiweb.com/reflib/refs/258/rt42.cfm?pid=38
     
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