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  1. #1
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    What do I need in a sports drink??

    after reading for about 30 minutes about different drinks, i still havent decided which one to get. I think a better way to decide which drink would be best is to know what my body really needs and find a drink accordingly.
    So, here is what i THINK my body needs: sodium, potassium, carbs. so thats why i drink gatorade right now, because it has all of those. under this logic, it seems that koolaid with salt and a vitamin tablet would be good enough. But, i hear a lot of good things about nuun which has no calories or sugar, but has more sodium and potassium than gatorade. so now im very confused on whether my body needs sugar and carbs or not on long rides...


    I don't want this to become another thread about which sports drink is best, I just want to know what things the body needs from a sports drink.

    right now i drink water on short rides, and bring one bottle of half strength gatorade on long rides. i haven't cramped yet.

    on a side note, what is a good recovery drink, or recovery meal that can help prevent muscle soreness or lactic acid build up? i know that caffeine can help reduce lactic acid build up when weightlifting, but im not sure if it is the same for endurance activities.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    From a drink, your body needs water. If you're riding in hot weather and/or doing long rides, you could probably use some electrolytes (sodium and potassium). And if you want to supplement the real food you're eating while you ride, your drink could contain carbs.

    But flavor is probably one of the most important factors ... if it doesn't taste good, you won't want to drink it.

    So yes, your koolaid with salt and a vitamin tablet would work just fine. I've been using President's Choice Power Quencher singles, which basically just contain electrolytes, mixed with some maltodextrin and a dash of table sugar on a lot of my rides in the last few months.

    As a guideline, aim for about one 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours on any ride, and approx. 250 calories per hour, acquired from your sports drink and/or solid food on rides over 2 hours.

    Does that help?

  3. #3
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    yes it does, thank you. i've decided to buy some %100 maltodextrin because all the carbs from gatorade is just from sugar. thanks for the maltodextrin suggestion, i didn't even know what that was until you mentioned it.

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    I think what you need is to be able to tolerate it, and you'll probably have to try a few. For example, I like Heed, Gu20, and Cytomax low-carb, can tolerate regular Cytomax and Cliff, and can't do Gatorade, Accelerade, Spiz, and a few others.

    It doesn't matter much if you are doing rides that are just an hour or two, but when you are using it for a long time, you might find some of them agree with your stomach and others don't.

    Another thing some people do is separate the requirements - hydration, calories, electrolytes - so you can regulate them separately. Drink water or a diluted sports drink (Heed is great for this), eat food or food-like stuff (I use Gu alternating with 'real food' like granola bars), take electrolyte pills (I use the hammer brand).
    ...

  5. #5
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    I wrote this a while back:

    http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx/arch...ion-drink.aspx

    If you don't get carbs during long rides, you risk running out of carb stores and bonking, which is no fun. You also make it harder to replenish your carb stores after your ride. You can get that from regular food or from a drink with carbs, but the liquid drinks are typically easier to digest/absorb. But it's a personal thing, and something that you can, to some extent at least, train your body for.

    For recovery drinks, I like endurox chocolate, some people like chocolate milk (which is pretty good if it's sweetened with sugar and not HFCS), some people like other stuff.
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  6. #6
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by td.tony View Post
    i've decided to buy some %100 maltodextrin
    Just a quick word of warning - 100% maltodextrin powder is not fun to mix.

  7. #7
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    just bought some cytocarb II from vitamin shoppe. i decided to just get the cytocarb because the employee told me that the cytocarb mixes very well, much better than the carbo gain which is %100 maltodextrin, also because i dont think i need anything more. as for electrolytes, ill probably just add some table salt and take a 99mg potassium tablet. anything longer than 3 hours i'll probably be packing real food anyways.
    has anyone tried the ultra fuel? looks like a good drink for long rides, aside from the low sodium, it has lots of potassium and other minerals and vitamins.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I get my maltodextrin from the local wine-making establishment ... about $1 for a bag of it.

    And if I'm not using the PowerQuencher singles, I use a product called Half Salt for my sodium/potassium mix. Like this:
    http://www.salt.ca/food_salts/half_salt.html.htm

  9. #9
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    What's the difference between dextrose and maltodextrin, especially from a cycling performance drink standpoint?

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Dextrose = glucose = simple sugar.
    http://www.medterms.com/script/main/...rticlekey=7040

    Maltodextrin = polysaccharide = complex sugar
    http://www.sugar.org/consumers/sweet...ure.asp?id=277

    Because maltodextrin is a complex sugar, it is a better choice for cycling because it doesn't raise the blood sugar as fast, and it helps sustain the blood sugar longer.
    http://www.bodyactive-online.co.uk/s...ltodextrin.asp


    Hammer products, such as HEED, use maltodextrin, and if you're looking for a good sports drink, check the label to see if it has maltodextrin in it.


    Personally, I find that the ones that don't have maltodextrin ... the ones that just contain simple sugars ... cause me horrendous mouth sores on long rides.

  11. #11
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    Would a mix of maltodextrin and dextrose be good? Seems like you'd get the short burst and the sustained increase of blood sugar.

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arexjay View Post
    Would a mix of maltodextrin and dextrose be good? Seems like you'd get the short burst and the sustained increase of blood sugar.
    Yes ... and if I'm not mistaken the dextrose also tastes a bit better (sweeter) than straight maltodextrin.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Maltodextrin + fructose + dash of salt:

    http://outside.away.com/outside/body...hydration.html

    I used it on all my long rides last year on distances up to 130 miles, up to 10,000' of climbing. I add instant green tea for flavoring.

    Maltodextrin & fructose available in bulk from here:

    http://www.bulkfoods.com/

  14. #14
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    so thats why i drink gatorade right now, because it has all of those. under this logic, it seems that koolaid with salt and a vitamin tablet would be good enough.
    I don't know what you mean by a "vitamin" tablet. But I do know that there several different formulas of Gatorade, so you'll have to double check to see the difference between regular and "endurance"........

    After years and years of experience, I've come to the conclusion that there are basically two types of mineral formulas used in many supplements.

    One type of product always has about twice as much sodium in it as it does potassium. (or more) Another class of products always has much more potassium, and in some cases almost as much potassium as sodium. Most people don't believe this, but check it out.....read all the labels....

    I also think there are two kinds of of athletes in the world. The ones that "hang on" to potassium and the ones who don't. Everyone who sweats and performs hours of work is going to use and lose quite a bit of sodium. But some people, for some unknown reason, will also lose quite a bit of potassium.

    The result of these differences is that some people can get by on some products, while other people need to have potassium replaced earlier and in greater quantities during any long term exercise.

    I've been using Cytomax because of its higher potassium content. And have performed repeated experiments, trying just Gatorade as an alternative. There is no doubt in my mind, that for me, and I suspect for many other riders, (but not all) timely potassium replacement is critical to maintaining fluid balances for longer periods.
    Last edited by Richard Cranium; 02-02-09 at 07:33 AM.

  15. #15
    Race and Ride michaeldmanthey's Avatar
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    Rides under 2 hours and water is all you need. Over 2 hours and you need some electrolytes and calories.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    by vitamin tablet i actually meant a potassium supplement, sorry for being way off with my terminology. just found some half salt substitute at foodmax today, %50 sodium, %50 potassium. i tried the cytomax on my 1 hour ride today, just half concentration making it about 100 calories. It made the water taste funny, just enough to make it unpleasant to drink. but it is totally flavorless. ill probably add some gatorade next time to make it more palateable.

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by td.tony View Post
    i tried the cytomax on my 1 hour ride today, just half concentration making it about 100 calories. It made the water taste funny, just enough to make it unpleasant to drink. but it is totally flavorless. ill probably add some gatorade next time to make it more palateable.
    <<SHUDDER>>

    Each is barely tolerable when it comes to taste ... mixing them is just horrible. Nasty, very nasty!! Bleck!! Yes, I've tried.

    Just mix your half salt with your maltodextrin (small amount of half salt, larger amount of maltodextrin) ... add a bit of unsweetened koolaid for flavor, and a dash of dextrose and or fructose for sweetening as needed.

    I used to have an actual recipe, but I don't remember it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    Whoops, meant to say cytocarb! haha. i've actually never tried cytomax but seems like the consensus is that its way too sweet or strong.

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