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    ensure

    someone told me that ensure is a good drink bikers. Do you guys drink ensure and if so do you drink it before the ride or after?

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    I "ensure" that I drink and that is enough for me. Isotonic additive is about all I take.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moitense View Post
    someone told me that ensure is a good drink bikers. Do you guys drink ensure and if so do you drink it before the ride or after?
    Where in NY are you?

    Never touched the stuff, probably never will.
    I do occasionally use protein supplements though, some mornings I mix Whey protein, yogurt, some fruit and bran buds in the AM for breakfast when I know I will by shy on protein & fiber for the day.
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    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Ensure is great for folks with inadequate nutritional intake. Not designed to be a sports supplement.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    If I remember right, it's mostly sugar.

    This time of year I like a hot cocoa after a ride.
    Old Man Maine

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    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    I think JanMM is correct, although Ensure tends to be the nutritional drink of choice for the RAMM riders. But the RAAM is an extreme event and probably not in the subject intent of this thread. For general cycling, this type nutritional drink would be heavy and more than is needed. It would likely tax the gastrointestinal system. Simple is better.

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    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NealH View Post
    I think JanMM is correct, although Ensure tends to be the nutritional drink of choice for the RAMM riders. But the RAAM is an extreme event and probably not in the subject intent of this thread. For general cycling, this type nutritional drink would be heavy and more than is needed. It would likely tax the gastrointestinal system. Simple is better.
    Probably is good for some athletic situations. I understand it is hard to take in adequate nutrients for an event like RAAM. For most of us, it's overkill.
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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I practically lived on the stuff for a few months in the aftermath of throat cancer treatment and did drink a few during rides for a short time. But I haven't touched one since I got to where I could eat enough. The closest I come now is sometimes drinking Perpetuem during century rides.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Like B-dawg, I drank it while sick and I had trouble eating. I don't thinks it's good for cycling nutrition. If I remember right, it was a lot of calories with moderate nutrition. Sports drinks and real food is a better solution.

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    In fact, it's excellent for cycling nutrition. Yes it is a stock in trade for those "in the know" as far as energy replacement along with electrolytes for long-distance riding, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have application for shorter rides, in the right dosages.

    Ensure Plus is our preference... Machka discovered this some time ago, and while it comes in powdered form, we both prefer the liquid version.

    It has a really nice balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates along with a wide spread of electrolytes and vitamins which are leeched from an athletes body during intensive exercise. And best of all, it is very palatable compared with the concentrated gels such as Hammer (which we also use).

    Plus, the idea of it is to not tax the intestinal system. It is one of the primary reasons why it is so popular among the long-distance riders because they can handle the nutritional uptake without gastric distress. This very likely has much to do with the electrolyte balance in the mix.

    I wonder... if Ensure was marketed as "Cyclesure" whether it would be the great on-bike nutritional discovery of all time, rather than being shunned as just an invalid's dietary supplement.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moitense View Post
    someone told me that ensure is a good drink bikers. Do you guys drink ensure and if so do you drink it before the ride or after?


    Speaking as an experienced long distance cyclist ...

    Ensure is a great source of nutrition for cyclists. As far as I am concerned, it's one of the best ... and I've tried a lot over the years.

    When I started cycling long distances (longer than centuries), I had digestive issues, partially because of nerves and partially because of the redirection of blood away from the stomach when cycling. So I set about looking for something liquid I could use instead ... but one of my qualification was that it could not contain milk, because milk causes me digestive issues. I wanted something liquid, nutritional (with the right balance of protein, fat, and carbs + vitamins and minerals), and milk-free.

    I found all sorts of products (like Boost, for example) with milk, but Ensure was the only one I came across without milk. And even more appealing was the fact that it was used for people who had digestive issues.

    I gave it a try on a long ride or two, and it worked very well. It sat well, and it gave me the necessary energy to get through the ride. Then I gave it a really good test on the Rocky Mountain 1200 (1200 km randonnee). I had a lot of digestive problems on that ride, and could only stomach a few bites of solid food now and then ... I basically did the ride on 13 cans of Ensure.

    More times than I can count, I've had a can or two of Ensure before a century or other long ride, and then I've carried a can with me for toward the end of the ride. And they're great for right after the ride when you need that carb : protein intake.


    An additional appealing factor about Ensure is that it comes in a variety of delicious flavours. Butter Pecan is my favourite - it has more flavour than Vanilla but isn't quite as strong as Chocolate.


    Regular Ensure has about 250 calories per bottle which makes it a good choice before setting out on a 2+ hour ride. After all, on 2+ hour rides, you're supposed to consume approx. 200-300 calories per hour.
    http://ensure.com/products/ensure

    Ensure Plus is the stuff I generally use for long rides, and it runs about 350 calories per bottle. I notice that they have added milk to it now, so I'd have to try it to see if it was still OK - but it does say that it is suitable for lactose intolerance.
    http://ensure.com/products/ensure-plus


    They had another product I used on the PBP in 2003 along with Ensure, but I think they stopped making it. Very disappointing. It was a juice, like apple or orange juice and was packed with calories, vitamins, and minerals. I rode to the first control on the PBP on that stuff, and felt strong.

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    Good to hear this from such experienced long distance riders. This bears more looking into.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    I use the stuff.

    I used to run marathons - I took a bottle of the stuff about half way. Maybe it was reassurance, maybe fuel, but it worked for me.

    As a T1 Diabetic, when I get the 'bonk' (hypoglycemia) it's important to get something in the system fast, and something that isn't fussy or hard to choke down. This stuff works for me. Usually have a bottle in the jersey pocket

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    On some of the county roads I frequently ride on I see empty bottles of Ensure and cold medicines tossed along side the road. I just assumed that Ensure was the drink of choice of mobile meth lab workers.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

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    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    On some of the county roads I frequently ride on I see empty bottles of Ensure and cold medicines tossed along side the road. I just assumed that Ensure was the drink of choice of mobile meth lab workers.
    You are riding in some rough areas!!!!!
    Ride your Ride!!

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    Forgot all about that stuff! I used to drink some at pit stops and after 100+ mile dirt bike woods races. Worked minor miracles! Thanks for the reminder.

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...S/exercise.png

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Ensure Plus is the stuff I generally use for long rides, and it runs about 350 calories per bottle. I notice that they have added milk to it now, so I'd have to try it to see if it was still OK - but it does say that it is suitable for lactose intolerance.
    http://ensure.com/products/ensure-plus
    +1 on Ensure *Plus*.
    BTW If you have a "King Soopers" supermarket nearby, they sell generic forms of Ensure and Ensure Plus, called "Fortify" and "Fortify Plus". The price is ~60% of Ensure.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I looked at their website.

    Ensure High Protein has one gram LESS protein than Ensure Plus or Ensure Muscle Health.

    I don't expect the magic ingredient, HMB, in Muscle Health to do much,
    but I am a sucker for that sort of thing. So I'll try it.

    I don't know where you'd get it, but it also comes as a powder.

    And I was right, it's mostly sugar, a blend of corn syrup and sugar.
    Old Man Maine

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    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I think eating sensible food plus maybe some junk food would give you at least the same results at lower cost.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post

    And I was right, it's mostly sugar, a blend of corn syrup and sugar.
    True enough that it is mostly sugar, but maltodextrin is not the same as high fructose corn syrup.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    True enough that it is mostly sugar, but maltodextrin is not the same as high fructose corn syrup.
    It doesn't sound very nutritious.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    It doesn't sound very nutritious.
    The fact is, you have to look at the calorie count and that fact that maltodextrin is the main ingredient of just about every gel, powder and drink of any repute for athletic pursuits.

    It sure beats plain sugar, as maltrodextrin sort of events out the availability to the body of energy -- maltodextrin takes longer to break down before it becomes available for use as energy.

    Many good quality drinks have glucose/dextrose as an additional ingredient because it is made available by the body faster, so it becomes a sort of bridging energy source.

    Plain sugar, which is the primary constituent of Gatorade, is the worst thing to have, because it spikes the insulin count, and you have to get another sugar fix almost straight away to counter the feeling of lost energy.

    As far as Ensure being nutritious, you've already read accounts by several posters that it was on what they survived through bouts of cancer. If that's not nutritious, I don't know what is.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    They had another product I used on the PBP in 2003 along with Ensure, but I think they stopped making it. Very disappointing. It was a juice, like apple or orange juice and was packed with calories, vitamins, and minerals. I rode to the first control on the PBP on that stuff, and felt strong.
    I did a little research and discovered that they still sell that other product ... it's called Enlive!
    http://abbottnutrition.com/products/enlive

    200 calories for every 200 ml. In a Zefal Magnum 1-litre bottle, I was carrying 1000 calories. No wonder I covered that first 140 km on a bottle of Enlive!

    It is filled with vitamins and minerals, and also has carbs and protein.

    I am now in the process of seeing if we can get it here in Australia.


    In answer to the question of where you can get Ensure products ... in the US, you can get them in just about any pharmacy (i.e. Walgreens) or department store or grocery store with a pharmacy. It's a very common, easily accessible product. In Canada and Australia it's not quite as available ... at least not the variety that is available in the US.

    In answer to the comment that it would be better to eat solid food ... sure, if you can stomach solid food on long rides, solid food might be a better choice. For those of us who have difficulty with solid food on long rides, however, Ensure works well. And Ensure has the potential of being more well-rounded nutritionally than solid food, depending on the choice of solid food.

    And yes, the Ensure products are designed to be nutritious.


    But if your rides are less than 2 hours, you probably don't need Ensure. An oatmeal raisin cookie will work.

  25. #25
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The fact is, you have to look at the calorie count and that fact that maltodextrin is the main ingredient of just about every gel, powder and drink of any repute for athletic pursuits.

    It sure beats plain sugar, as maltrodextrin sort of events out the availability to the body of energy -- maltodextrin takes longer to break down before it becomes available for use as energy.

    Many good quality drinks have glucose/dextrose as an additional ingredient because it is made available by the body faster, so it becomes a sort of bridging energy source.

    Plain sugar, which is the primary constituent of Gatorade, is the worst thing to have, because it spikes the insulin count, and you have to get another sugar fix almost straight away to counter the feeling of lost energy.

    As far as Ensure being nutritious, you've already read accounts by several posters that it was on what they survived through bouts of cancer. If that's not nutritious, I don't know what is.
    Maltodextrin is used in sports drinks because it's absorbed even faster than sucrose. Since it's a long chain molecule, you'd think it would be slowly absorbed, evening out blood sugar spikes.

    See this google search: maltodextrin glycemic index

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    Like B-dawg, I drank it while sick and I had trouble eating. I don't thinks it's good for cycling nutrition. If I remember right, it was a lot of calories with moderate nutrition. Sports drinks and real food is a better solution.
    From this page:

    The original Ensure supplement drink contains water, sugar, corn syrup, corn maltdextrin, milk protein concentrate, soy oil, soy protein concentrate, short-chain fructooligosaccarides, cocoa powder, canola oil (...and a big list of vitamins..)

    I wouldn't drink this. It is good for people that have lost their appetite, to get some calories into them.
    The only advantage I see is that it doesn't need refrigeration.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 05-17-11 at 07:40 AM.

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