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  1. #1
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Interesting article about sports drinks

    http://www.drjohnm.org/2012/07/sport...rned-recently/

    I'm not a Dr. John shill and I was tempted to just post the original article, but that seemed unfair as I encountered this on Dr. John's website.

  2. #2
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I was on my prep school soccer team when Gatorade first came out. The coaches were so enamored of it, that they refused to allow any players to drink water during games. I couldn't stand the stuff, so I ended up playing entire soccer games without hydration.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  3. #3
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Yes, it is interesting. I saw the coverage of the BMJ articles and was smug in the way I get when my uninformed prejudices seem to be confirmed by the data.

    Pro cyclists in the old days used to say "driest is fastest". I've even heard some quoted as saying "the more you drink, the thirstier you get". I wouldn't go that far, but the idea that you should drink more than you want seems suspicious to me, as does the notion that water plus food is inferior to the hideously sticky drinks and gels that are constantly peddled to us.

    And I once flirted with hyponatremia. When cycling in extreme heat in Tanzania I drank several litres of water with electrolyte tablets in it and still couldn't pee. I thought I must be incredibly dehydrated, but we had a medic with us and he told me to stop drinking until I started to pee normally again. So I did, and it worked. I was fine, never felt ill or anything, but it gave me pause for thought: left to my own devices, and with the warnings about dehydration echoing in my mind, I'd have continued drinking more and more and could have got myself into trouble. So these days I hydrate with plain water and drink when I'm thirsty. It seems to work fine.

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Yes, it is interesting. I saw the coverage of the BMJ articles and was smug in the way I get when my uninformed prejudices seem to be confirmed by the data.

    Pro cyclists in the old days used to say "driest is fastest". I've even heard some quoted as saying "the more you drink, the thirstier you get". I wouldn't go that far, but the idea that you should drink more than you want seems suspicious to me, as does the notion that water plus food is inferior to the hideously sticky drinks and gels that are constantly peddled to us.

    And I once flirted with hyponatremia. When cycling in extreme heat in Tanzania I drank several litres of water with electrolyte tablets in it and still couldn't pee. I thought I must be incredibly dehydrated, but we had a medic with us and he told me to stop drinking until I started to pee normally again. So I did, and it worked. I was fine, never felt ill or anything, but it gave me pause for thought: left to my own devices, and with the warnings about dehydration echoing in my mind, I'd have continued drinking more and more and could have got myself into trouble. So these days I hydrate with plain water and drink when I'm thirsty. It seems to work fine.
    +1

    Haven't touched ANY "ade" in years. I made it to my 70's and I am still alive. When I did drink some (years ago), I diluted it 50% with water.

    But, I am not a "racer" type nor a long-distance rider, so very likely YMMV.

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    Thanks for posting the link, Dudelsack. I've been curious about sports drinks but not motivated to actually look into it. They just seemed to me more like a fashion accessory than a real need.

    I've been dehydrated a couple of times, when I've been biking or hiking on days too hot. What I've found really helps on days like that is to soak my shirt and let the evaporation cool me. This makes a big difference on hot climbs. We even did it to the dog one time, and she was much happier.

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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Its a lot of "no compelling evidence". But it doesn't offer any alternative type of gathering of evidence. Researchers have enough trouble getting funding.

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    Senior Member Mort Canard's Avatar
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    I been in the right place
    But it must have been the wrong time
    I'd of said the right thing
    But I must have used the wrong line


    ...uh, wait. Wrong Dr. John!

    I usually don't use sports drinks during an exercise session but after I am done I often drink them diluted by 50%. I don't like them at full strength.
    "The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles" Butch Cassidy

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    All we will get is point and couter point here. Some like them some do not. But like the question what is the best bike the best answer is the one you will ride. The same is true for hydration.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    All we will get is point and couter point here. Some like them some do not. But like the question what is the best bike the best answer is the one you will ride. The same is true for hydration.
    This x 1M.

    Don't like sports drinks? Don't use 'em. I personally do like them, so don't try to tell me they're a useless fad. (Not speaking to anyone personally here....) I use them sparingly. I will be the last person to tell ANYONE "You NEED to use a sports drink when you exercise hard, or for a long time." It's your ass, you take care of it.

    My kids like Gatorade; it's a treat, one they get less than 6 times a year, and NEVER in weather conditions that don't involve sweat. I get 4-packs of Gatorade sports bottles every few months, and recycle the bottles for water between purchases; they fit bottle cages well, and I refill them daily for re-hydration from commutes/whatever. (Where else will you get serviceable water bottles for $.90 each? LOL!) I also use a 2-liter hydration pack for most rides, BTW.... Nothing but water in that.

    (You know what, though...just between us...I'd trade all the Gatorade in the world for a reasonably priced supply of nitric oxide supplements; I was skeptical about their effect when a buddy starting raving about them, but I was WRONG!)

  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    If hydration practices are pushed as 'scientific' but that 'science' isn't evidence-based, then it's just advertising BS.
    I drink water when I ride.
    Thanks for sharing.

    The real Dr. John: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs0epThTlpw
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  11. #11
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Healthy skepticism is, well, healthy. Mandrola stated about 2 weeks ago that we should all drink 30 oz of water immediately before a ride in the heat. This to me sounds like a recipe for hyponatremia, and I was tempted to "call him out" but I didn't because he's way smarter than me.

    In sports lore it was taught that we should drink 64 oz of water a day. Someone did a doctoral thesis trying to figure out where this number came from. Like so much in the medical sciences, it was pulled out of thin air.

    I also remember someone publishing an article that dousing ones self with cold water did not help dissipate body heat. It was properly ignored at the Atlanta Olympics.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    If hydration practices are pushed as 'scientific' but that 'science' isn't evidence-based, then it's just advertising BS.
    I drink water when I ride.
    Thanks for sharing.

    The real Dr. John: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs0epThTlpw
    And I drink both. But then I want the replacement electrolytes that water doesn't offer. But then that is just me. But I did check with web MD because studies are often made to prove a point not from experience by medical professionals. Remember when the studies said coffee was bad and then coffee was good and then coffee was bad and then coffee is maybe OK? From Web MD "Clark believes energy drinks do have their place. She says there is clear evidence caffeine is a nonharmful stimulant that provides performance-enhancing benefits, which can include improved endurance, stamina, and reaction time." Page 2 from Web MD.

    http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercis...n-you-exercise

    It must work because high levels of Caffeine are banned in College sports.

    No one has studied training and nutrition much more than Livestrong and here is what they say.
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/37...k-for-cycling/

    Now Chocolate is good for us as long as it is dark chocolate. http://www.allchocolate.com/health/basics/


    Like I said, point and counter point your reasons verses mine. Because when I ride more than an hour I take drinks with added electrolytes I can't get that from water. Just my experience not to be confused with what someone else might do.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    The problem is this advice/info is counter to just about everything else.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  14. #14
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    Sports drinks are better than soda, but I still prefer water. I do not agree with the idea that urine color is not a determination of hydration. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/urine-color-chart.html

  15. #15
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    Remember when coffee and dark chocolate were unequivocally bad for you? It seems there's a huge amount of nutrition "research" that is more marketing than reality. When I followed the old-saw advice of drinking 8 glasses of water a day, all I got for it was blood presure of 120 to 140. I just stopped drinking unless I was thirsty, and within a week my blood pressure was down around 90 to 104. I no longer drink except when I'm thirsty, no matter what.

    It's possible that urine color has little to do with hydration, since post-workout urine has to deal with more uric acid from the workout waste products, so the urine is just going to be darker after a prolonged workout.
    Last edited by David Bierbaum; 07-28-12 at 06:31 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Ahh, this article really hit a nerve with me...

    Are sports drinks good or bad? I don't know and neither does Dr John.. But what gets me is the illogical but highly repeated medical mantra:
    "There is no compelling scientific evidence .."
    "There is no proven link ..."
    "the supporting science is lacking..."

    The illogical part is that our supposedly intelligent medical community uses those statements to prove that something does not exist.
    But, simply because a researcher has not proven to Dr John that it does exist does not mean that it doesn't

    The analogy is Dr John telling us: "There is no supporting evidence that the sun will come up tomorrow...."
    ... and he's right, there isn't.
    ...... But it will...

    Do Sports drinks "help"? Perhaps, as Dr John tells us, there is no supporting "scientific" evidence that they do. But that doesn't mean that they don't. It may mean that nobody has checked in a way that satisfies Dr John....

    As Mr. Spock often told Dr. McCoy: "That is not logical doctor"
    Last edited by GeorgeBMac; 07-28-12 at 06:52 PM. Reason: add ending comment
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  17. #17
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    So what about hydrating to avoid cramps after the ride?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Like I said before, it takes a lot of funding to do scientific studies and a lot has to be done in steps as each researcher fine tunes the study over the previous studies.

    Skepticism needs to be replaced with constructive criticism. They're not the same.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    Ahh, this article really hit a nerve with me...

    Are sports drinks good or bad? I don't know and neither does Dr John.. But what gets me is the illogical but highly repeated medical mantra:
    "There is no compelling scientific evidence .."
    "There is no proven link ..."
    "the supporting science is lacking..."

    The illogical part is that our supposedly intelligent medical community uses those statements to prove that something does not exist.
    But, simply because a researcher has not proven to Dr John that it does exist does not mean that it doesn't

    The analogy is Dr John telling us: "There is no supporting evidence that the sun will come up tomorrow...."
    ... and he's right, there isn't.
    ...... But it will...

    Do Sports drinks "help"? Perhaps, as Dr John tells us, there is no supporting "scientific" evidence that they do. But that doesn't mean that they don't. It may mean that nobody has checked in a way that satisfies Dr John....
    And that points to the true test. What works for us. When I first came to the forums there were testimonials swearing to the benifits to just plain water, no GU or Gel, Brooks saddles, Steel bikes and becoming a vegetarian. I discovered they were simply personal preferences because some did and some didn't work for me. I tried the water only thing and I could "feel" the difference and went back to electrolytes and that did work for me. I even tried to be a Vegetarian and it was a disaster. At the end of a 50 miles ride after about 90 days of no meat I was simply dead with no extra energy. After the third out of gas experience I went back to three ounces of meat two to three times a week with some amp protein for recovery after a ride. worked for me after the first week. Might not have worked for any of my Vegetarian friends. For me a ride that requires two water bottles will get one sport drink and one water. I have a Hemmer Gel Shot flask as well. Works for me.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  20. #20
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    Ahh, this article really hit a nerve with me...

    Are sports drinks good or bad? I don't know and neither does Dr John.. But what gets me is the illogical but highly repeated medical mantra:
    "There is no compelling scientific evidence .."
    "There is no proven link ..."
    "the supporting science is lacking..."

    The illogical part is that our supposedly intelligent medical community uses those statements to prove that something does not exist.
    But, simply because a researcher has not proven to Dr John that it does exist does not mean that it doesn't
    Your point is not well taken. Sorry.

    A lot of medicine, even into the 20th century, was Aristotelean. It made sense so it must be true.

    Unfortunately the truth is often counterintuitive, and half-truths are often perpetuated. Hence the rise of evidence-based medicine.

    John is writing like a doctor when he says there is no compelling evidence. He's not saying its not true. There is a universe of difference.

    Expert opinion is grade 3, the weakest form of medical evidence.

    Grade 1a is based on specific well performed rigorous unbiased studies. It is the strongest form of medical evidence.

    Most evidence is somewhere in between.

    I hope that clears things up for you.

  21. #21
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Your point is not well taken. Sorry....

    John is writing like a doctor when he says there is no compelling evidence. He's not saying its not true. There is a universe of difference.

    .
    What you say SHOULD be true -- but most often in medicine it isn't. Specifically: to most physicians, if it has not been proven to be true (usually in an RCT), then it is not true. And, Dr John was using that same false logic to tell us that sports drinks are not effective -- because he has not seen any compelling evidence to say that they are... What he should have said is: "WE DON'T KNOW. We don't have any convincing tests to say that they are -- and we don't have any that say they aren't"

    I am not talking about what constitutes valid scientific research. I am talking about false logic.

    As to whether modern medicine has advanced beyond Aristotlean medicine: that's a whole other topic.
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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I wonder if those who are criticising the Dr John piece have actually read the articles on which it draws? They're worth the small effort required.

    To say "there is no compelling evidence that..." is actually very significant in this instance, because it indicates, as JanMM has pointed out, that that the supposedly scientific claims made for these drinks, and for the notion that one needs to drink when not thirsty, are not actually scientific at all. it should be for those who make claims of efficacy to substantiate them, shouldn't it? All the doctors are pointing out is that the sports drinks manufacturers have failed to do so.

    Now, you may like sports drinks. That's fine. You may believe that they give you more energy. That's fine too, obviously drinking something that has calories will provide more energy than drinking something with none - though no more than drinking water and eating the equivalent amount of carbs, which is my preferred solution. But that makes drinking them a matter of of preference, not science, whereas the products are marketed with statements that claim they are proven to improve performance. And of course, once we have accepted that something is true we are relectant to countenance the possibility that we've been conned. It makes us feel foolish.

  23. #23
    NewKidInTown AmFaeEmbra's Avatar
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    Here's a recent Panorama programme (British TV, 1hr) on the same subject http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ports_Products
    Fast Forward to 19.00 - 20.00 minutes to have it all summed up by an eminent professor.
    Last edited by AmFaeEmbra; 07-29-12 at 06:00 AM.

  24. #24
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmFaeEmbra View Post
    Here's a recent Panorama programme (British TV, 1hr) on the same subject http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ports_Products
    Fast Forward to 19.00 - 20.00 seconds to have it all summed up by an eminent professor.
    Just because I don't live in the UK it won't let me see it. Care to tell us Yanks what the eminent professor said?
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  25. #25
    Senior Member 12bar's Avatar
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    I used to work with the folks that formulate and manufacture a well known sports drink. The marketing is all about performance, the development is focused on cost optimization and all day offerings, after that exposure I don't use them but as its your choice.
    "It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for someone you love". Blazeman, Warrior Poet

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