Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Deep in the Shawnee Forest
Bikes: LeMond - Gunnar
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I guess i could see it working on a longer road race or training ride, but i don't see how it could make any difference on a 45 minute crit or an hour long high intensity training ride after work.
First of all, remember that there are more than one kind of sports drinks. Some are targeted for replacing electrolytes, while others like Cytomax, supply a carbohydrate that is "designed" to keep energy levels stable during high intensity activity.
As you suspect, it is difficult to determine whether these products aid performance for shorter term exercise sessions. My own experience suggests that even if there is no specific performance benefit during exercise, some sports products, when used correctly will speed recovery and delay fatigue.
Those factors are realized as a "benefit" when viewed across an entire training regimen.