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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 01-19-09, 03:07 PM   #1
zeo_max
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Powerade. A good choice for cycling ?

So I put Powerade in one of my water bottles and water in the other one. There are those other products usually sold at bike shops, which are a powder that you mix with water to make a flavored energy drink. But I figure that's unpractical becuase if you freeze it and take it out for a ride, it could taste watery as it unfreezes. Plus they're probably more expensive than Powerade.

So, is Powerade a good choice for cycling ?

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Old 01-19-09, 03:20 PM   #2
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I don't really like Powerade or Gatorade while cycling. I end up diluting them because they're so sugary, which in turn dilutes the amount of electrolytes you're getting. A large group of riders I was with last summer got hooked on Nuun (www.nuun.com). These tablets are really easy to carry. They come in a waterproof tube, I think w/ 12 caps. Just drop one in your bottle and in a minute or so it dissolves. They have a decent flavor, though I'd stay away from the lemon/lime.

I had a few 80-110 mile rides through the Arizona and California deserts in mid July, finishing up the days with salt covered jerseys. I felt fine, though, because of these tablets. They're particularly good at the end of the ride for a quick recovery.
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Old 01-19-09, 03:22 PM   #3
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I didn't notice that you freeze the water beforehand. I'm not sure how that would work with Nuun, but I'd still encourage you to give it a shot.
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Old 01-19-09, 04:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by efi View Post
I didn't notice that you freeze the water beforehand. I'm not sure how that would work with Nuun, but I'd still encourage you to give it a shot.
That is exactly my concern. I like my liquids cold, I use insulated polar bottles and freeze it during the night before I go out riding. So anything that involves dissolving posses a problem for me.

I do also use Power Gel packets, btw.
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Old 01-19-09, 04:49 PM   #5
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I think you'll find that poweraid works just about as well/poorly as any other grocery store off-the-shelf product (like gatoraid). Any of them will give you some extra calories and help replenish electrolytes.

There is plenty of info to be searched for here on BF and other places that go into detail about the pros & cons if different ingredients and products. Some of it scientifically based and some of it subjective. I am perfectly happy with my powdered gatoraid that I only use in summer on longer rides when I know I'm going to be sweating a lot. I have occasionally bought some of the mixes that include protein and other components in them (when I find them on sale) but I can't say they do much different for me than gatoraid and a powerbar or real food.

I would say do some research and then test a few things. You might find something that you like better than poweraid. But if poweraid works for you, there's nothing wrong with that. Just try to understand what it does and doesn't do.

As for cost, buying a powdered form of any product is going to save you lots of money over the prepacked form. Maybe just refrigerate your poweraid and freeze the straight water?
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Old 01-19-09, 06:03 PM   #6
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Kool aid with a dash of salt is just about as good.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:53 PM   #7
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^ thought i was the only one who did that
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Old 01-19-09, 10:11 PM   #8
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Any additive to water that make it palatable when the water gets warm is good, in my book. I, too, dislike full-strength xxxAde, but for early morning workouts, anything to pump up the blood sugar (while the light breakfast is digesting) is a plus, so I mix it about half-strength in either (warm weather or early AM) scenario.
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Old 01-20-09, 07:25 AM   #9
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there nothing wrong with powerade and hammering on a bike. nothing.
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Old 01-20-09, 12:52 PM   #10
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Something to consider when drinking cold liquids on a hot day. While a cold liquid in your stomach does briefly cool off the body, it also takes longer to digest as the liquid must be warmed up before it can enter the blood stream and do its job.
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Old 01-21-09, 03:35 PM   #11
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You are going to get the same issue with out of the bottle powerade and the powder you buy and mix yourself. This is in terms of the liquid tasting 'watery' as it melts.

You can actually buy Powerade power and mix it up yourself. It's really the same stuff.
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Old 01-21-09, 06:42 PM   #12
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Only use water for rides under 2 hours. If you are exceeding 2 hours then you will want one bottle of..... gatorade, powerade, cytomax etc.. They are all similar and should be a very small part of your hydration as a cyclist.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:42 AM   #13
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I cant deal with powerade or gatorade at all not even cut. I use the Luna Sport splash cut to 24 ounces and manage to not vomit. I may try this Nuun stuff though this summer. Its always good to have options and that looks a hell of a lot easier to pack.
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Old 01-26-09, 11:05 AM   #14
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Im surprised that no one has noted that gatoraid/poweraid tend to have less electrolytes in them then most of the powdered drink mixes. The advice i've always gotten on that is that poweraid is not enough electrolytes for a hot day.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:27 PM   #15
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Based on a few articles that I've read on hydration over long periods, I believe that powerade is unsuitable over the long haul (>2 hours.) We just lose so much in terms of electrolytes that, IMO, a simple sugar solution doesn't cut it.

I understand that many rides do use power/gatorade and do fine. That's great. But for the rest of us, if at the cellular level proper ratios of key elements are not maintained, then how can performance/body function not diminish as a result?

If I can suggest, try several different 'drinks' in addition to in-ride foods and evaluate results. It worked for me.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:08 PM   #16
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It depends on what you want to get out of the drink. Hypotonic (which I believe Gatorade/Powerade are) solutions are better at rehydrating you. Drinks with higher levels of electrolytes and salts can be better at putting these back into your system, however they aren't as good at hydrating you.
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Old 01-26-09, 09:54 PM   #17
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Depends - I believe powerade formulation is different in differents areas.

If the version you are looking at is sweetened with HFCS - or any high fructose sweetener - I would recommend avoiding it. Fructose isn't very good during exercise for most people - it isn't absorbed as well as sucrose, nor does it give you energy as quickly. It is probably okay in small amounts but not as the primary sweetener.

For a minority of people, fructose is worse - it can cause considerable stomach upset during exercise.

As others have noted, the flavor profile isn't very good - it's too sweet and therefore you likely won't drink enough fluid.
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Old 01-28-09, 03:44 PM   #18
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Switch to Heed. Especially if you don't like sweet flavors while riding. Their "unflavored" flavor has a VERY light citrus taste. I switched from Cytomax about 2 years ago and would NEVER go back to anything else. I train with a large group, and at rest areas we get free Powerade. I can't drink it...it makes my stomach upset, and my bottle and hands all sticky. Heed does neither of these, so I carry spare powder in a ziplock bag and pour it in water.
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Old 01-29-09, 11:14 AM   #19
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I like Gatorade Endurance Formula but those who can't stomach regular Gatorade will have a tough time with GEF. YMMV
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