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  1. #1
    Senior Member mpop's Avatar
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    Hydration while biking

    I have a question on hydration while biking, I try to get about 3 hours of biking in during the weekdays (and 5 days on Saturdays) weather permitting. Normally I have a camel back that holds 2 liters of water, but I had a friend (he works as an EMT) tell me that I should drink Gatorade (or something like it) when biking that long.

    Is that true? If so how much should I take with me? How about mixing water and Gatorade (2 liters of water and a 24 oz thing of Gatorade)?
    Michael P. O'Connor
    http://www.mikeoconnor.net

  2. #2
    Senior Member Primevci's Avatar
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    hmm i work out at a gym allot and i jsut drink water and take my multivitamen... gatorade is good if your dehydrated but if u dont feel thursty i wouldnt worry about it but it wont really hurt either your just drinking allot of carbs is all... I would also ask your doc if you really need to know althow emts are very good people and know about almsot everything they might not be up to par on proper hydration as a your docotr would be,, i would ask the doc next time your getting a checkup...

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    There have been cases of runners, etc who drank so much water they leached out their electrolytes and I guess in extreme cases it can even kill a person, people have died.

    Most importantly, Gatorade is a corporate product and so it's the patriotic thing to recommend it.

    You can use it, some other sports drink, or there may be other, cheaper ways, you could, I suppose, even get salt pills etc. from the drug store that would be a lot cheaper. It might be worth it to see what skilled long distance riders are using, find out what the guys on the Tour use, that might be a good indication of what's proven.....

  4. #4
    Senior Member Primevci's Avatar
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    Yea i been reading about that about over hydration liek everything u gotta find the balancew and stick with it...

  5. #5
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    thing is gatorade replaces carbs, sodium and electrolytes. I have no idea where you cen get electrolytes from, but I would just carry some nice toasted flatbreads for carbs, and maybe a few of those condiment packets of salt if your worried about it.

    I usually have 3 or 4 packs of salt in my bag for those long rides to nowhere...and of course 4-5 toasted wheat pitas...I love those things!

  6. #6
    Conservative Hippie
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    If your going to add something to your water you might want to compare the ingredients and the prices of Gatorade and Kool-Ade. They're pretty close to the same thing, just one's less expensive and the other has a better PR man.

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I am moving this to Training and Nutrition, that's where the drink experts lurk.

    --J, a Forum Mod
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    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  8. #8
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    There are lots of hydration products with energy and electrolytes in 'em (and Gatorade is one of the sweetest and nastiest IMO). For a long run, you'd be advised to take some energy - but that could be gels or bars or even (shock horror) real food.

  9. #9
    Gravel for Breakfast
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilHinault
    Most importantly, Gatorade is a corporate product and so it's the patriotic thing to recommend it. .
    Say WHAT?

    It's PATRIOTIC to promote CORPORATE interests? Wait a second, i think my head is going to explode…

    No, it's okay. False alarm. Whoa. I feel kind of dizzy. Please tell me that you're joking. If you're not, please tell me that you're sterile.

    As to the original point, don't put gatorade in your camelback. Tha taste never comes out of the liner. Fill it with good, clean water. Mmmm… cool clear water… If you really feel you need it, take a bottle of Corporate Coloured Sugar Water in your bottle cage. You can always pick up another one along the way if you're cycling long distances.

    Patriotic. Wow. That guy really freaked me out.
    Sin after sin I have endured, but the wounds I bear are the wounds of love.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mpop's Avatar
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    Konageezer that is what I do at this time, the camelback gets teh clean water, and I usally suck on that first, then I have a small bottle of colored sugar water that I hit after I suck the camelback dry.

    I don't really like the gatorade when I am on the bike, I just crave the water, but some one said I might want the gatorade (or something like it) for the electrolytes is advertises it has. So my main question is, it ok to go with just pure water, or is my friend right, and do I need to force myself to drink the gatorade?
    Michael P. O'Connor
    http://www.mikeoconnor.net

  11. #11
    Gravel for Breakfast
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    Sorry, mpop. I think you'll have to wait for a doctor to log in here. I only know my own experience, and I'd be reluctant to offer direction based solely on that. That being said, I'd rather drink the luke-warm weiner water from making hot dogs than have a gatorade.

    Man. I still can't believe that "patriot" guy.
    Sin after sin I have endured, but the wounds I bear are the wounds of love.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpop
    ... So my main question is, it ok to go with just pure water, or is my friend right, and do I need to force myself to drink the gatorade?
    Just my opinion so...
    Gatorade has ingredients that replenishes what your body loses during exercise. This is typically in the form of sweat. Ever see a gatorade ad claim it provides fuel for your muscles. Always shows someone sweating profusely! Thru sweat, you lose mainly fluid, potassium, sodium. Since your whole body functions on chemical processes, a loss of chemicals causes things to start not working correctly or possibly shut down (in extreme cases). So you need to put these chemicals back in before things go south. Water will only fix the loss of fluids. Water will do nothing for your chemicals. As was said before, look at the ingredients in Gatorade: water, Potassium and Sodium, a tad bit of carbs in the form of sugar.

    To answer your question (indirectly) ... you need to give your body what it needs. That is 1) fluids 2) chemicals, 3) fuel
    If you are NOT sweating, then you're not losing fluids or chemicals (at least not a huge amount in the form of sweat) so water might be OK up to a point. However, don't forget your poor muscles ... they need fuel. Water does not provide fuel ... and gatorade only provides a tad more.

    If you are sweating then you ARE going to need get those chemicals back in and water (by itself) just won't do that.

    I drink gatorade but only the powdered mix. I used to buy the pre-made bottles of gatorade but didn't like it for two reasons: 1) expensive and 2) hate the slimy film it left in my mouth. I started buying the cans of powder and mixing my own. I can make it a lot weaker than the bottled mix and it doesn't leave the slimy film in my mouth.

    good luck,
    d.tipton

  13. #13
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Although the new lemonade flavor is pretty tasty, I can't drink Gatorade for several hours at a time. That's all they had at last Saturday's Wine Country 200k, and I was so sick of it by the last rest stop.

    I've started experimenting with my own sports drink mix. You can get lots of ingredients in bulk and mix to suit your tastes. My latest concoction tastes pretty close to lemonade:

    - 1/3 cup maltodextrin
    - 1/6 cup table sugar
    - 1/8 tsp table salt
    - 1/4 tsp dehydrated lemon juice powder

    It's yummy!
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  14. #14
    Lets Ride Trekke's Avatar
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    Try Cytomax or Hammer Gel's HEED. The Cytomax i would use for rides longer than 2 hrs because it has more electrolites. The HEED is great for shorter rides. Longer rides I suplement with more solid foods like fig bars, power bars, cliff bars etc..What you need to look for in a drink is the Carbohydrate content. If it says Carb 28g and Sugars 28g you can bet the product (gatorade, Powerade) are pure sugar water (kood Ade) type drinks. Cytomax and HEED have Carbs 28g and Sugars only 2 g for example (cytomax is more sugary). What this means is the Carbs are not simple but complex carbs. These will give you a much more even carbo load verses the up and down sugar highs with sugar water type drinks. Its kind of like drinking a glass of oatmeal or pasta.

    During long endurance exercise over 1-2 hr. you need 3 things:
    1) Water to hydrate your body (16-20 Oz per hr.
    2) Electrolites to replace what you loose (wards off cramps etc..) and if you do not have electrolites the water will not hydrate you but pass through thus leaving you dehydrated and unable to continue.
    3) carbohydrates - best source of pure energy. Your body will store just so much. Once you are out of fuel you a done.

    Do without any one of these three and you will experience bonk, increasingly bad performance, and your rides will not be fun anymore.
    Phil

  15. #15
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    www.rehydrate.org/ors is a good site.

    Rehydration salts:

    1 liter water
    6 teaspoons sugar
    1 teaspoon salt (NaCl)
    Some mashed banana or OJ for potassion (K as in KCl)
    Alternately you could get "lite salt" which is really KCl

    Per liter, a bit of banana (like half), and a teaspoon of NaCl gives you the electrolytes you need. Add carbs as you feel is needed for energy, depending on how grueling the ride. Don't make it too sweet, or you won't feel un-thirsty drinking it.
    Last edited by Crunkologist; 05-28-05 at 11:21 AM.
    "A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.
    A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested."

  16. #16
    cab horn
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    Unless you're doing exterme marathon biking events, it would be hard to overhydrate enough to cause said effects. But still something to keep in mind.

  17. #17
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Unless you're doing exterme marathon biking events, it would be hard to overhydrate enough to cause said effects. But still something to keep in mind.
    It happened to my sister in about 3 hours, when she accompanied me on a training ride. It was a hot day, and we were climbing Toll House (one of the climbs in Climb to Kaiser). She wasn't heat acclimated, she ate nothing, she drank only water. She got nauseated, dizzy, faint, chilled, and was unable to ride. She was barely able to walk. I had to bring back a car for her. After some saltines and Gatorade, she perked back up.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  18. #18
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    Terry, that sounds like low blood sugar, not overhydration.

    The same thing happened to me a lot when I was a kid and had problems with my blood sugar. I'd get nausea, dizziness, cold sweats, pale skin, spots in front of my eyes, etc. Sometimes I'd even pass out momentarily. A coke or glass of Kool-Aid was usually the quickest fix. After I grew up my system straightened itself out somehow.

    My experience and research has told me that for shorter rides, just water is OK. But when I go on long rides (2+ hours), I drink Gatorade and eat Cliff Bars. I shoot for caloric intake of around 300 calories per hour from drinks and food. It helps keep me going. I have Gatorade in my 2 bottles and fill my Camelbak with ice and water. That way I can sip water in between swigs of the sweet stuff.

    By the way, in regards to an earlier post, don't think that pasta is any better for you than Kool-Aid. Regular pasta has a glycemic index pretty close to that of table sugar. You gotta go for the whole wheat pasta if you want a slower, steadier release of sugar into your system.

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