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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-06-08, 06:54 PM   #1
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Sugar free drinks?

I have been reading that you need to drink more than just plain water when you ride so I am looking for a good sugar-free 'gatorade' type drink. (I had gastric bypass surgery last summer and cannot have sugar--it's not just a "preference" thing).
I found one by Camelback at the local REI but it wasn't all that great. I suppose it would work but just not much flavor. Or, lacking a commercially produced product, can anyone provide a home recipe using something like Crystal Light?
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Old 05-06-08, 07:05 PM   #2
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I like the Nuun fizzy tables you drop in a water bottle or hydration bladder. They're an electrolyte replacement, have no sugar, and taste pretty good.
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Old 05-06-08, 07:44 PM   #3
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What about Propel drink mixes? You can buy a box of the little pouches that can be added to a bottle of water at just about any grocery store. I think there's like 5 calories per packet and it's supposed to be vitamin enriched. I've used them in the past while on rides when I'd like to break up the plain-ness of water, but don't want sugary gatorade.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:20 PM   #4
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How long are you riding? Water should be good most of the time I think. If I'm going to be out more than a couple hours I take something to eat with my regular water
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Old 05-06-08, 08:44 PM   #5
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Right now we are only riding an hour or so. The question is sort of looking to the future when here in Texas it is going to be a bit warm when we are out. Also, we are planning to increase our mileage over the next couple of months leading up to me riding my age (45) in miles before my birthday in August.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:22 PM   #6
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I'd second Nuun, which is in many of my neighborhood bike stores in Boston area (full disclosure: it's run by some friends of mine). I noticed you can also order from Amazon if that's more convenient. Email them if you want full specs on their contents.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:46 PM   #7
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You might also want to gently experiment with maltodextrin. I was able to tolerate that fairly quickly, if diluted, initially to 25% of the normal concentration in drinks like Accelerade. Initially, though, don't stray very far from a bathroom until you know how the even low level of sugar concentrates affect your GI tract. Dumping Syndrome is NOT fun, I asssure you, if you haven't experienced it yet........ Hiding in the bushes in an emergency ain't fun.

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I have been reading that you need to drink more than just plain water when you ride so I am looking for a good sugar-free 'gatorade' type drink. (I had gastric bypass surgery last summer and cannot have sugar--it's not just a "preference" thing).
I found one by Camelback at the local REI but it wasn't all that great. I suppose it would work but just not much flavor. Or, lacking a commercially produced product, can anyone provide a home recipe using something like Crystal Light?
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Old 05-06-08, 10:04 PM   #8
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Gatorade just came out with G2 it has fewer calories then regular Gatorade and I assume less sugar. A lady I work with has also started putting emergenC in her water. I do agree though that unless you are riding for more then 2-3 hours water will probably be just fine.
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Old 05-06-08, 10:18 PM   #9
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I'm not sure on how well you can take pills, but, I have been using the Crystal Light peach tea and have been using the Hammer Electrolyte pills. Seems to be working great for me if I ride over 2 hrs. They also have the Electrolytes in powder form to just add to your drink.

http://www.hammernutrition.com/za/HN...0047&AMI=10104
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Old 05-07-08, 07:35 AM   #10
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A good basic rehydration formula is as follows.

# 1 liter (about 4 cups) of water
# 2-3 tablespoons of honey or sugar
# ½ teaspoon of salt or ¼ teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium chloride)
# ½ tablespoon of baking soda (bicarbonate)

I suppose you could leave out the sugar but if you are eating lean, I would leave it in. This formula is the basic one taught in emergency medicine for use in 3rd world scenarios. It replaces basic electrolytes and it hydrates. You can add whatever flavor you want. I frequently use green tea or roasted barley tea for flavor. I have also used a small amount of lemonaide or tang since the strong citrus flavor hides the other flavors. The hydration formula here is rock solid, medically sound, and can be home made.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:05 AM   #11
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A good basic rehydration formula is as follows.

# 1 liter (about 4 cups) of water
# 2-3 tablespoons of honey or sugar
# ½ teaspoon of salt or ¼ teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium chloride)
# ½ tablespoon of baking soda (bicarbonate)

I suppose you could leave out the sugar but if you are eating lean, I would leave it in. <<SNIP>>
Thanks for the recipe. My question is about the sugar. Is it necessary chemically or is it for the taste? Just a point of information--for those of us that have had gastric bypass surgery, sugar is OUT! The part of your stomach that begins breaking down sugar is bypassed and the sugar would go straight into the intestines, which cannot handle it. You body reacts with what is called "Dumping". I have not experienced this and from everything I have read and been told it is to be avoided.

The nutritionist at the surgeon's office explained it would only take once or twice for us to figure out that it is a bad thing. She used the phrase "explosive diarrhea". I am pretty sure that is probably never a good thing. So that is why sugar is such a concern for me.

Our nutritionist says that sugar can't be in the top three in the ingredient list. The problem is sugar comes in about a jillion different varieties. Natural fruit sugars are okay but most rehydration drinks come packed with processed sugars.

Thanks for everyone's advice. Now I have a few options to check up on.
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Old 05-07-08, 11:00 AM   #12
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To OP: I understand that you have to avoid sugar because of your surgery but is honey ok? If so you can try my home brew. Green tea, honey, a little salt and lemon juice (or any other fruit juice) to take away the salt taste. It works for me.

For those that don't have gastric bypass issue, why would you want to avoid sugar? Surely you want to take in calories from an energy drink that is quick acting or is that not the main purpose of an energy drink.
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Old 05-07-08, 11:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
I'm not sure on how well you can take pills, but, I have been using the Crystal Light peach tea and have been using the Hammer Electrolyte pills. Seems to be working great for me if I ride over 2 hrs. They also have the Electrolytes in powder form to just add to your drink.

http://www.hammernutrition.com/za/HN...0047&AMI=10104
I like the crystal light powders too. I drink plain water before I workout, while on the bike, and immediately after. During the say while sitting in my prison (cubicle) I like the powder mix.
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Old 05-07-08, 11:03 AM   #14
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oops..just saw acupunctureDocs recipe which is pretty much same as mine. Ignore me
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Old 05-07-08, 12:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DTSCDS View Post
I have been reading that you need to drink more than just plain water when you ride so I am looking for a good sugar-free 'gatorade' type drink. (I had gastric bypass surgery last summer and cannot have sugar--it's not just a "preference" thing).
I found one by Camelback at the local REI but it wasn't all that great. I suppose it would work but just not much flavor. Or, lacking a commercially produced product, can anyone provide a home recipe using something like Crystal Light?
First, what are you trying to get out of it? Gatorade is mostly carbohydrate to provide energy and some electrolytes to maintain your salt concentrations. (What is necessary for you is another thread.) If you take all the sugars out, there isn't much left.

When you say you cannot have sugar, do you mean sucrose or all sugars? If it is only sucrose, then you should look at something with glucose or maltodextrine (glucose polymer). A homemade maltodextrine solution can be made up quite easily and you could add a little Crystal Light if you want more flavor. Also, Hammer is big on maltodextrin rather than sugars.

TF
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Old 05-07-08, 12:30 PM   #16
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Yes, the sugar is definitely optional in a case where it is contraindicated for medical reasons.

You might want to run this whole thing past your Doc just to be sure. I don't know if this is recommended for bypass patients or not. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 05-07-08, 12:33 PM   #17
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Thanks for the recipe. My question is about the sugar. Is it necessary chemically or is it for the taste? Just a point of information--for those of us that have had gastric bypass surgery, sugar is OUT! The part of your stomach that begins breaking down sugar is bypassed and the sugar would go straight into the intestines, which cannot handle it. You body reacts with what is called "Dumping". I have not experienced this and from everything I have read and been told it is to be avoided.

The nutritionist at the surgeon's office explained it would only take once or twice for us to figure out that it is a bad thing. She used the phrase "explosive diarrhea". I am pretty sure that is probably never a good thing. So that is why sugar is such a concern for me.

Our nutritionist says that sugar can't be in the top three in the ingredient list. The problem is sugar comes in about a jillion different varieties. Natural fruit sugars are okay but most rehydration drinks come packed with processed sugars.

Thanks for everyone's advice. Now I have a few options to check up on.
There is some evidence that glucose in the water can aid in absorption of the water so that the water gets out of the stomach faster with the glucose in it than just water alone. Too high a glucose level and it slows water absorption. Fruit juices have too much in them for this to happen. The main function of the glucose in sports drinks is to provide a regular source of energy while exercising. It's pretty easy to deplete your muscle glycogen and it takes a while for it to come back. It's not called the Bonk for nothin'

The electrolytes in the sports drinks help too but it's easy to overdo the salts. And they have pretty high sodium levels.

There is something to be said for flavor...especially when water is all you are drinking. Having some flavor to the liquid encourages you to drink more to keep hydrated. In your case, use a flavoring if you need to for taste, perhaps look at electrolytes but you may not need them.

Personally, water works pretty well. Tepid water is just plain nasty but carrying a Camelbak packed with 7 lbs of ice is a whole lot better Who doesn't like ice water?
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Old 05-07-08, 03:59 PM   #18
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Since there's been much mention of Crystal Light; I don't know about how wide the distribution on these products is yet, but up here in Seattle I buy Crystal Light "Hydration" (which is their electrolyte formula). It's not a contender to put Nuun out of business, but for shorter rides they're OK. They're also cheap as heck at Target. In the grocery store a 10 pack of single-serve pouches is about $4.00, but at Target they're packaged 14 to a box and cost under $3.50
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Old 05-08-08, 02:54 PM   #19
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what?? no love for AMP energy drinks? they have a new cherry flavor called overdrive that's delicious.. plus it's got extra caffeine!
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Old 05-08-08, 03:01 PM   #20
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Caffeine is a diuretic, and will contribute to dehydration.

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what?? no love for AMP energy drinks? they have a new cherry flavor called overdrive that's delicious.. plus it's got extra caffeine!
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Old 05-08-08, 04:41 PM   #21
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I'm not sure on how well you can take pills, but, I have been using the Crystal Light peach tea and have been using the Hammer Electrolyte pills. Seems to be working great for me if I ride over 2 hrs. They also have the Electrolytes in powder form to just add to your drink.

http://www.hammernutrition.com/za/HN...0047&AMI=10104
+1 on the Crystal light.

I do not understand why water by itself would not be the best for you though.
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Old 05-08-08, 08:44 PM   #22
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Gatorade just came out with G2 it has fewer calories then regular Gatorade and I assume less sugar. A lady I work with has also started putting emergenC in her water. I do agree though that unless you are riding for more then 2-3 hours water will probably be just fine.
I just tried the G2 for the first time and I think I like it better than the original Gatorade as far as taste. Not sure as far as energy...
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Old 05-09-08, 05:56 AM   #23
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Caffeine is a diuretic, and will contribute to dehydration.


Will also contribute to being arrested for peeing by the side of the road
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Old 05-09-08, 06:24 AM   #24
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Caffeine is a diuretic, and will contribute to dehydration.
Latest studies indicate that caffeine is not a diuretic as long as you are exercising. - TF
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Old 05-09-08, 06:52 AM   #25
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Would watered down fresh fruit juice have any electrolyte benefit?
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