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  1. #1
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Help me prove my wife wrong

    So, after a long Sunday ride (double-metric), my wife and I were discussing nutrition. My wife is a health/organic/green nut, and she is very well versed in nutrition.

    I told her that on two of the stops I got a diet-coke and on another I got a sparkling flavored water. Now, given that she doesn't like soda (for various reasons) she said the carbonation was bad for me on my long rides.

    However, on my long rides (over 70 miles), sometimes a carbonated beverage is the only thing that I a) have a taste for b) enjoy drinking c) peps me for the rest of the ride.

    So, is there an issue with carbonation on a long ride?

    Secondly, I was telling her about the salt crystals forming on my shirt from sweating, and she said that I have too much salt in my system. However, I heard that under strenuous exercise you can loose huge amounts of salt through sweat, and need to replace this along the way. So, she is basically saying avoid salt on the rides, and I think it (at least for me is the exact opposite).

    So, help me prove my wife wrong, so she will get off my back when I stop for a plate of french fries mid century.

    PS, my other nutrition/food/beverage factors are pretty good IMHO, and I feel pretty good (all things considered) after a long ride.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    1) From what I've heard the carbonation can be detrimental to your digestive system ... upset stomach, burping, etc.

    2) You do sweat out salt, and you do need to replace it. Do not avoid salt on long rides and especially do not avoid salt on hot rides. You risk hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is caused by not consuming enough electrolytes (of which salt (sodium) is the main one, and drinking a bit too much.

    3) Read the articles on this site:
    http://www.ultracycling.com/siteindex.html

    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutritio..._too_much.html
    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutrition/electrolytes.html
    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutritio...natremia1.html
    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutritio...natremia2.html

    There might be an article somewhere in that site about carbonation too ... I'm not sure. But definitely read the ones on hyponatremia.

  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Rule # 1: The wife is always right.

    If rule #1 is flawed, see rule #2

    Rule #2: The wife is always right .
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  4. #4
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    Barrettscv, you're joking, I know it, hope the OP does too.

    ANyway, yeah, I have no actual info about the carbonation but do like a soda around mile 80 myself. As to the salt - agree w/ what Machka said. People take electrolyte replacements on long rides b/c they are losing too much salt through sweating.
    ...

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    i dont think its the carbonation that helps you... its primarily the caffine and sugar. I know that can help with a quick energy boost on a long ride. Carbonation may be bad, but having the extra energy is always good. (oh and lance drinks coke... well maybe because they pay him to, but it cant be horrible either)

    Also its very much like you said. You sweat lots of salt, you need to replace that salt. Do not run too low on salt!!! you will hate yourself. I like gatorade for some electrolyte replacement as well. Some sort of sports dring should be mandatory on those long rides along with the normal water you bring.

  6. #6
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Rule # 1: The wife is always right.

    If rule #1 is flawed, see rule #2

    Rule #2: The wife is always right .
    So true . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by TVS_SS View Post
    i dont think its the carbonation that helps you... its primarily the caffine and sugar.
    It's actually diet coke (because I don't like the sweetness of regular pop) but definitely right on the caffeine. What I meant about the carbonation, is that it seems to "un-muck" my throat. That probably makes no sense, but that is the best way I can describe it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member smurf hunter's Avatar
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    No one has explained why carbonation is bad. If I have an unsettled (pre-nausea) feeling in my stomach, carbonated drinks are a relief. After 75-100 miles, I think to each his/her own. People react differently.

    Personally I love a cup of coffee every 50-75 miles, if nothing else it's an excuse for a stop.
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    My BF just started me on salt tabs and I feel so much stronger on long distance rides (100+ miles). As far as carbonation... I wouldn't drink it normally but sometimes, after a big ride, a coke is just the thing!

  9. #9
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    I like a Diet Coke or two on long rides. It seems to scrape all the 'stuff' out of my mouth and throat in a way that just plain water won't do.

  10. #10
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    I have never had any problems from carbonation when drinking a Diet Coke during a long ride. What about the bubbles is supposed to be bad for you?

    +1 on ingesting more salt if you have large salt sweat rings. I had a friend suffer from hypotranemia during a marathon once. I got her to an aid station and they made her drink Gatorade with salt poured into it.
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  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of Pepsi for my mid-ride pick-me-up, but a Coke will do. I don't think it's the carbonation which bothers people (who have issues with soda mid-ride) but probably the acidity of the cola. Personally, I chug a can of Pepsi after a mid-ride sandwich, hop on the bike and crank out a monster burp, and I feel great.

    As for the salt on your jersey, some people just sweat a lot and lose more salt. (I'm one of them.) It was bad enough after the 200k this weekend that I took a pic of my jersey. When I took it down from the hanger to wash it that evening, the salt was literally flaking off the shoulders. Endurolytes are our friends! Keep the salt intake appropriate or you'll cramp up or risk hyponatremia. (someone mentioned it earlier)
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    Senior Member surfengine's Avatar
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    i wouldnt drink one of those sodas on a ride, before a ride, after a ride....or anytime of any day.
    that stuff is just slow poison.

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    Don't think there is anything wrong with carbonated beverages. But I figure I lose weight on brevets so I drink regular coke. Diet soda seems like a silly idea.

    I drink cokes with food because it helps it go down faster. Carbonation comes right back up ( sorry about that). If I'm not eating anything solid, I drink milk. It has plenty of sodium. The blood tests I had done after I started randonneuring were the first in a long time where the doctor was pleased with the results. I had been in the range they consider "at risk" for diabetes, and my cholesterol was out of whack. Now I'm better than normal on the cholesterol.

  14. #14
    Just ride it. BLACK BIKE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
    It's actually diet coke... it seems to "un-muck" my throat. That probably makes no sense, but that is the best way I can describe it.
    It makes perfect sense. Phosphoric Acid is used to un-muck all sorts of things.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    Diet soda seems like a silly idea.
    Strictly a flavor preference, I don't like sugary pop, haven't been able to stomach non-diet soda for the last 6 years or so.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
    Strictly a flavor preference, I don't like sugary pop, haven't been able to stomach non-diet soda for the last 6 years or so.
    You could try a sugar-based soda instead of corn syrup - you get the sweet without the syrupy thick sensation. The Jones Cola brand is one such brand that has national distribution (I think).
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    sch
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    A look at a variety of web sites and our own nutrition forum suggests that there is a lot of
    voodoo peddlers out there in regards to nutrition. Just to add to the confusion I will throw
    out that non-wgt bearing exercisers (that's us, who don't run, walk a lot or jog) tend to lose
    bone mass at a greater rate than those who do do the above. Cola drinks, Dr Pepper and that
    ilk, with their phosphate content, tend to increase the rate of calcium washout, phosphate
    ions tend to pull calcium ions with them into the urine. So long time heavy cola/pepper upper
    drinkers will be more osteoporotic than otherwise.

  18. #18
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    More salt while you are riding/exercising (or immediately afterward) especially in heat, less at other times.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVS_SS View Post
    i dont think its the carbonation that helps you... its primarily the caffine and sugar. I know that can help with a quick energy boost on a long ride. Carbonation may be bad, but having the extra energy is always good. (oh and lance drinks coke... well maybe because they pay him to, but it cant be horrible either)

    Also its very much like you said. You sweat lots of salt, you need to replace that salt. Do not run too low on salt!!! you will hate yourself. I like gatorade for some electrolyte replacement as well. Some sort of sports dring should be mandatory on those long rides along with the normal water you bring.
    Not just Lance. I was watching the Tour at the early feed station and was amazed to see riders grabbing cans of Coke. I suppose it's an easy way to take in lots of energy.

    Choccy...

  20. #20
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choccy View Post
    Not just Lance. I was watching the Tour at the early feed station and was amazed to see riders grabbing cans of Coke. I suppose it's an easy way to take in lots of energy.

    Choccy...
    I don't know that I'd call it "lots" of energy. A can of Coke is about 1.5x - 2x what you get from an energy gel in terms of calories. (150 cal/12oz can, 40g sugar; most gels average 100cal/20g).
    I do know that after 10 hours, I'd rather have a cold soda than a warm gloopy gel packet.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
    ...I told her that on two of the stops I got a diet-coke and on another I got a sparkling flavored water. Now, given that she doesn't like soda (for various reasons) she said the carbonation was bad for me on my long rides.

    However, on my long rides (over 70 miles), sometimes a carbonated beverage is the only thing that I a) have a taste for b) enjoy drinking c) peps me for the rest of the ride.

    So, is there an issue with carbonation on a long ride?...
    From a recent thread on Coca Cola nutrition:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    My drink of choice is flavored carbonated water, e.g. Poland Springs, for the carbonation. Even when warm, IMO, it's more refreshing than plain water [with no ill effects as far as I can tell]. Otherwise I bring real food for calories and electrolytes. For caffeine I always have a big coffee before beginning, and may pick up an iced coffee drink at a bathroom stop at a fast-food joint (usually necessitated by the initial coffee. ).

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    The TDF camera crew zoomed in on one rider who was bogging down. I can't recall who it was, but I did watch his coach hand him a coke to guzzle, so I don't think carbonation would be an issue here, especially with so much at stake in a race like that. If a can of pop works for you, who is she to tell you different?

    Different people sweat salt at different rates. The fact you can see lots of salt deposits after sweating is indication that you sweat it out more than others; and you need to replace it. Avoiding salt during your ride is completely wrong.

  23. #23
    pmt
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    Your wife is nuts. I consumed eighteen Endurolytes and seven eDiscs on yesterday's 200k Permanent, plus three packets of HEED and one Perpetuem. Salt/electrolytes are critical for endurance riding.

    I don't think the soda pop is a good idea though, since the carbonation fills your stomach and leaves less room for water and such, but everyone is different. If it works fine for you, keep doing it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    Soda and french fries? Really?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    Soda and french fries? Really?
    McDonalds is the meal of champions....

    ok, well maybe not, but I still have it sometimes before a ride and no issues yet.

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