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  1. #1
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    Apple juice (or something else all natural) vs Heed or maltodextrin

    Can anyone help me.

    I would really like to consume something all natural. Heed and all that other stuff is made from GMO corn which I would like to avoid if possible.

    I am not sure though that apple juice is the right fuel for an endurance ride and/or bike racing? I have to say that I feel that HEED gives me more energy? Maybe it has a higher glycemic index?

    I am doing abotu 16-20 oz of AJ to 13-16 oz water. (about 240-280 calories in 32-33oz bottle). Any thoughts...

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    I've used white grape juice in the past, sugar and lemon juice works or gatorade powder. I mostly just use water. How far are you riding?

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    Why are you interested in avoiding GMO corn?

    Is it on principle or do you feel that there is something wrong with Heed / maltodextrin from GMO corn?


    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    Can anyone help me.

    I would really like to consume something all natural. Heed and all that other stuff is made from GMO corn which I would like to avoid if possible.

    I am not sure though that apple juice is the right fuel for an endurance ride and/or bike racing? I have to say that I feel that HEED gives me more energy? Maybe it has a higher glycemic index?

    I am doing abotu 16-20 oz of AJ to 13-16 oz water. (about 240-280 calories in 32-33oz bottle). Any thoughts...

  4. #4
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Are you sure that HEED's maltodextrin is made from GMO corn? Maltodextrin can also be made from rice or potato starch.

    You could make a drink using honey and lemon for flavor. The advantage of maotodextrin is that you can handle a denser mix than with simple sugar so you can get more calories without impacting your ability to absorb water. It's got about the same glycemic index as sugar.

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Apple juice is mostly fructose.
    Fructose is a simple carbohydrate, and is also unusual in that it is metabolized by the liver, rather than the usual path.

    Maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate, and is excellent as a long-distance fuel.

    There really isn't much comparison between the two.
    Fructose is no substitute for maltodextrin, although it is sometimes used as a supplement to maltodextrin-based mixes.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    100% pure apple or orange juice can be a nice break from sports drinks on long rides. I'll usually have a bottle of HEED and a bottle of water on my bicycle, and then drink either sugared Coke, sugared orange pop, or some sort of 100% pure fruit juice at the rest stops just for something different.

  7. #7
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate, and is excellent as a long-distance fuel.
    well, it's a polysaccharide of glucoses and is absorbed at about the same rate as monosaccharide glucose...
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

  8. #8
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    How far I ride... my longest ride is 4 hours. I have been doing mostly apple juice and doing fine with it. I do about 50/50 mix with water. I would probably not race with apple juice, but not sure. One thing to consider is that I am riding hard and racing, not taking leisurely rides.

    I am not sure what all of the above means. E.g. it's metabolized by the liver (as opposed to how and what does that mean to me?)

    Applejuice has a very low glycemic value of 40 which I would have thought would be good for long steady fuel? Maltodextrin according to Hammer is 130 GI.

    can anyone explain what this means to me in english. If maltodextrin is a complex carb, but it has a very high glycemic index then wouldn't that just provide a spike of energy? if the GI of applejuice is so low, why wouldn't it be good?

    As for reasoning, I just prefer to consume as many natural foods as possible.

    Some quotes from hammer http://www.hammernutrition.com/hnt/1275/
    People often ask about the Glycemic Index (GI) of various carbohydrates and how those figures relate to fueling for endurance exercise. Here’s the scoop: GI rates the speed at which the body breaks down a carbohydrate into glucose. The lower the GI, the slower the process, and therefore the more stable the energy release. For food eaten at times other than exercise and recovery, GI is an important dietary factor, and we recommend eating foods with a low–to–middle GI rating.

    Long–chain, high–GI maltodextrins have a GI value of about 130, compared to glucose (100) or sucrose (62). This means that maltodextrins raise blood insulin more effectively than simple sugars, but without the rapid and precipitous drop that is a common (and deleterious) effect of simple sugars. Also, as mentioned earlier, maltodextrins allow you to absorb a greater volume of calories than you can from simple sugars.
    Last edited by pjcampbell; 04-25-10 at 07:04 PM.

  9. #9
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Are you sure that HEED's maltodextrin is made from GMO corn? Maltodextrin can also be made from rice or potato starch.

    You could make a drink using honey and lemon for flavor. The advantage of maotodextrin is that you can handle a denser mix than with simple sugar so you can get more calories without impacting your ability to absorb water. It's got about the same glycemic index as sugar.
    according to HEED yes. Most maltodextrin in the US I would imagine is made from GMO corn.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    Applejuice has a very low glycemic value of 40 which I would have thought would be good for long steady fuel? Maltodextrin according to Hammer is 130 GI.

    can anyone explain what this means to me in english. If maltodextrin is a complex carb, but it has a very high glycemic index then wouldn't that just provide a spike of energy? if the GI of applejuice is so low, why wouldn't it be good?
    Are you sitting on the sofa watching TV, or are you out on the road cranking the pedals?
    If it is the former, then yes a low GI is desirable.
    If it is the latter, then the exercise is already driving your blood sugar down, and the purpose of nutrition is to bring it back up.

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

  11. #11
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    I am a bit dense here but don't understand how can something with such a high glycemic index provide a steady source of fuel? Isn't that contrary to the definition of glycemic index?

    From these readings - it sounds like a combination of maltodextrin + fructose would actually be absorbed better than straight malto?

    BTW here is another interesting article.

    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/spor...hydrate-drinks

    BTW - have found a source for organic maltodextrin in the US ... will try this 2:1 idea.
    Last edited by pjcampbell; 04-26-10 at 05:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    I am not sure what all of the above means. E.g. it's metabolized by the liver (as opposed to how and what does that mean to me?)
    Your muscles use glucose for energy.

    Here's what happens with maltodextrin (simplified version):
    You drink it. It goes into your stomach. It goes into your small intestine. It's absorbed into the blood as glucose and is now ready to be used... in the muscles, liver, or whatever.

    Here's what happens with fructose (simplified version):
    Same as above, EXCEPT it's absorbed into the blood from the intestines as fructose. But, your muscles can't use fructose. So the fructose is delivered to your liver where it is metabolized/converted to glucose, at which point it is now available for use by the muscles. This is a significant delay. And there is a significant limit on how fast your intestines can absorb fructose.


    When you're riding your bike long and hard you need a lot of energy and you need it now. The fastest and most efficient way to get it if from foods and drinks with dextrose (i.e., glucose) and maltodextrin, and a limited amount of fructose. Foods with a high GI are probably best in these situations. No matter how high the GI is there is still a significant delay until the energy is available. And there is a limit on how much energy you'll be able to absorb. I think the limit is about 240 calories an hour...

  13. #13
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    Thanks... sounds good. I will try this 2:1 thing... 2 parts malto to 1 part fructose, and see how that goes. I just ordered a few # of organic maltodextrin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    Thanks... sounds good. I will try this 2:1 thing... 2 parts malto to 1 part fructose, and see how that goes. I just ordered a few # of organic maltodextrin.
    If you're going to make your own, be sure to add some salt. Otherwise you'll be peeing it out almost as fast as you drink it. Without the salt you'll be diluting your blood (reducing the osmolality) and your body will compensate by removing water from your blood and producing urine. You will be getting the additional energy from the glucose in the drink but it'll be kind of inconvenient to have to stop every few miles to pee.

    There's a whole science to this stuff.

    I make my own and it's a LOT cheaper to make your own then to buy it. I add some Koolade mix for flavoring. It helps a lot.

  15. #15
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    I will make sure to do that - I'll have to figure it all out when i get the malto and weigh it all out and subtract the existing amount of sodium naturally occurring in the apple juice. Any guidelines for sodium intake per hour in mg for racing in hot weather for 160# rider?

    I notice HEED is very very low = 40mg per 100 kcal
    GU is 240 mg per 100 kcal.

    Huge difference there...
    I don't know if I should be looking at this in terms of sodium intake per hour or sodium intake as a ratio of water or what...
    Last edited by pjcampbell; 04-26-10 at 12:24 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    I will make sure to do that - I'll have to figure it all out when i get the malto and weigh it all out and subtract the existing amount of sodium naturally occurring in the apple juice. Any guidelines for sodium intake per hour in mg for racing in hot weather for 160# rider?

    I notice HEED is very very low = 40mg per 100 kcal
    GU is 240 mg per 100 kcal.

    Huge difference there...
    I don't know if I should be looking at this in terms of sodium intake per hour or sodium intake as a ratio of water or what...
    Btw, let me state that I'm no expert on this stuff, although I have read a bunch of stuff and put 2 and 2 together on some other stuff.

    Let me revise what I said above, about peeing out the water as fast as you drink it if you don't add any salt. That's not quite true. When you sweat a lot, you are losing more water than electrolytes (salt/sodium, etc). The electrolytes in your sweat is not as concentrated as the electrolytes in your blood. The consequence of this is that even though you are losing electrolytes, the CONCENTRATION of electrolytes in your blood increases. You have less electrolytes but it is more concentrated because you're losing so much water. So, if you drink just plain water, then to a certain point you are diluting the concentrated electrolyte back to normal (although the total volume of your blood will still be below normal)... if you drink after that, then you begin to dilute it below normal and that is when your body will start to compensate by removing the water and creating urine.

    From what you've said, you need to address 3 problems:
    * dehydration
    * electrolyte loss
    * energy intake

    I think it's easiest to look at dealing with dehydration first (although I really don't have too much to say about it) because that is what should be driving how much you drink and then look at the other 2 areas in that context.

    Dehydration: In hot weather and when you are working hard (i.e. sweating a lot) you need to drink early and often. But you don't want to drink too much, although that probably won't be a problem in hot weather. Last winter, I was all gung-ho with my bottles of home made sports drinks. I needed the energy but it turned out I didn't need all the water. That was when I had to stop to pee frequently. And that was when I started making my own energy gels. I had a single bottle of sports drink and a flask of gel. That did the trick. But now that it's warming up I need to drink more and more fluids just to remain hydrated and don't need to rely on the gels as much.

    So, rehydration (and fluid intake) is dependant on fluid loss. Fluid loss results from several factors. Sweating. Even in cold weather you may have sweat loss. When you first start exercising fluid flows into your exercising muscles from your blood. Respiration - you breath out water vapor. Normal metabolism and urine production.

    Electrolyte loss: These are the electrolytes that you lose in your sweat. Remember, that in reagrd to electrolytes, your sweat is less concentrated than your blood. Above, we talked about restoring the lost fluid. You drink enough to restore the lost fluids. You also need electrolytes (mainly sodium/salt) to restore those that have been lost. But how much, you might ask... Basically, it should be a similar or somewhat less concentration as in your sweat which is less than the concentration in your blood. It actually has nothing to do with the carbohydrates or how much you weigh or anything like that. And it actually has little to do with how much you sweat. If you sweat a lot, then you need to drink more, but because you are drinking more you will be getting more electrolytes. So to answer your specific question, the concentration of sodium should be a ratio to the water... but if you are sweating more you will actually be consuming more per hour because you will be (or should be) drinking more.

    How much? After all that, I've got to confess that I really don't know. I've looked at the nutritional information for a lot of sports drinks and I see a wide variation. And I think that it varies a lot by individual. Some people have saltier sweat than others. In my mixes, I use 1/5 of a teaspoon of salt per 24 fluid ounces of drink. I also add a dash of Morton's Lite Salt which provides potasium and magnesium (as well as sodium). It seems to work for me, but I will continue to look for additional information in this area. At this point, I know that it's important to restore electrolytes, but I suspect that an amount like I am using is 'good enough' and even if it isn't perfect the consequences aren't going to be significant.

    Energy intake: This is actually pretty much independant of the other 2 problems. Except if you aren't drinking enough to get the energy you need, as I experienced last winter. In that case I supplemented my fluid intake with gels. Energy bar s can be used too. Or whatever... I used to eat pretzels.

    Remember that a maximum concentration for your maltodextrin in the water is between 6 and 8 percent. With higher concentration, the water from your blood will be sucked into your intestines to dilute the sports drink before it is absorbed, delaying the absorption and leaving you with a very uncomfortable bloated feeling.

    Also, you might also want to use dextrose (glucose) in your mix. I'm not sure why, though... I never even considered not using it. I think it will be absorbed faster than the maltodextrin. And I suspect it will provide a better tast that just maltodextrose and fructose. You might want to get a small bag and experiment.

    Incidentally, here's the ratios of the main ingedients (by weight) in my bulk mix:
    - Maltodextrin - 13
    - Dextrose - 9
    - Fructose - 10
    I don't think there is anything special or magic about these ratios, other than the fact that I read a bunch of stuff and adjusted the ratios here and there... I don't think anything needs to be precise. It seems to work for me but I may adjust them in the future.

    I also make a recovery drink, the same as above but adding protein (whey protein isolate... or something like that) in the following ratio:
    - Protein - 6

    To make 24 fluid ounces of sport drink, I use 2 ounces of my bulk mix and add the following:
    Salt - about 1/5 teaspoon
    Morton lite salt - dash
    calcium - about 1/8 teaspoon
    Vitamin D - a few drops
    unsweetened Koolade - a tiny bit

    I'm still experimenting, so I still actually weigh out the 2 ounces of mix, but in the future I'll probably use some kind of scoop that is an accurate approximation of 2 ounces. It's not rocket surgery.

    (I add the calcium and Vitamin D because I have osteoporosis... but some/many (?) sport drinks do add calcium because it is lost in our sweat and it can be significant.)

    When I make the recovery drink, I use a little less than 2 1/2 ounces of the mix with the protein.

  17. #17
    Young Fred jediphobic's Avatar
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    Fructose is very sweet, sweeter than glucose, and much sweeter than maltodextrin. Oddly enough, that makes it less palatable on the bike in large quantities, kinda leads to a sticky mouth feeling.

    Studies seem to show that some fructose in a sports drink makes your body replenish glycogen faster. That's why coke is such a big pick-me-up at the end of a long ride. In a situation where you aren't working hard, however, fructose has a big down side. Because of the way it's metabolized (through the liver), it turns to fat much easier than glucose. It actually follows almost the same pathway as ethanol, so there's an exact equivalent to beer belly.

    So, fructose is a trade-off. Personally, I choose not to deal with the stuff, and especially make an effort to avoid the stuff when I'm off the bike. High fructose corn syrup is a killer.
    2012 Eastern Chief - 2010 Raleigh Record Ace - 2010 Surly Big Dummy - 2009 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo e Koo - 2009 Trek Allant

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