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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 07-07-12, 08:32 AM   #1
Road Fan
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Electrolyte drinks?

The recent thread on riding in high temperature makes me wonder about electrolyte drinks. I haven't been using them very much because of the usually high sugar content and common acidic content, but in this weather I am sweating like the proverbial pig. The gel I was given in my ride the other day seemed to be effective, but it tasted like Hershey's chocolate syrup eaten by the tablespoon. As an ice cream freak I was happy, but I am trying to reduce my sugar intake due to LDL concerns.

Does any one know of effective electrolyte drinks or foods that are not very sugary? Maybe any good home recipes?
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Old 07-07-12, 09:31 AM   #2
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The main electrolyte you need is sodium which you can get from table salt. Potassium is available in Morton's lite salt.

I'm not sure why you want to limit the sugar as any ride long enough to worry about electrolytes also needs carbs unless you're riding slowly.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:36 AM   #3
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I'd rather do less simple carbs with a more favorable glycemic index.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:42 AM   #4
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For potassium, bananas. Useful for carbs, too. Not sure why you'd be worried about GI while exercising, you won't get much of an insulin spike if you're burning them up as you go. That's my understanding, anyway.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:45 AM   #5
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Thanks, Chasm! I don't know a lot about training or athletic nutrition, I usually just eat, work, ride, and whatever else. But the heat we have here in the US and the northern Midwest is amazing and unusual.
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Old 07-07-12, 03:20 PM   #6
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I'd rather do less simple carbs with a more favorable glycemic index.
For cycling you want high GI. There is no benefit to low GI. You can control the rate of carb intake by how much you drink.
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Old 07-07-12, 03:22 PM   #7
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Thanks, Chasm! I don't know a lot about training or athletic nutrition, I usually just eat, work, ride, and whatever else. But the heat we have here in the US and the northern Midwest is amazing and unusual.
You could also get Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. Plenty of good information on nutrition for athletes.
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Old 07-07-12, 07:20 PM   #8
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I recently started using Salt Stick capsules, with really great results. http://www.saltstick.com/

I have to keep my electrolytes up, because when they get too low it triggers a migraine. And I was getting sick of drinking foul tasting electrolyte beverages. The pills are a god-send, and my electrolyte levels feel so much more balanced. I take one before a ride, and then one every 45 minutes or so.

When I do drink replacement beverages, I use the "G2" level of Gatorade. This has a much lower level of sweetener (only about 30cal per serving vs. 80cal for the regular kind). It's just enough carb content for me. And I try to stay away from the zero-calorie drinks that have artificial sweeteners. They taste nasty, and I'd rather not put artificial sweeteners in my body.
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Old 07-07-12, 07:29 PM   #9
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Nuun tablets might fit your bill. Pop one in a bottle of water, wait a couple of minutes until it stops bubbling, and drink. Electrolytes, half decent flavors (except cola), and low/no carbs.
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Old 07-07-12, 07:32 PM   #10
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When I head out for longer rides, I take a bottle with diluted Gator/Powerade in addition to my Camelbak, which just has water. I did recently try out some Elete Electrolyte supplement in my water, but the *ades are much less expensive and available everywhere.
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Old 07-08-12, 09:15 AM   #11
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ZipVit uses no sugars but maltodextrin and an electrolyte forumula.
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Old 07-08-12, 04:34 PM   #12
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I use Skratch Labs for longer rides.
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Old 07-08-12, 05:28 PM   #13
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Try Endurolytes.
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Old 07-08-12, 11:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Thanks, Chasm! I don't know a lot about training or athletic nutrition, I usually just eat, work, ride, and whatever else. But the heat we have here in the US and the northern Midwest is amazing and unusual.
lol you do the right thing, the problem with knowing a lot about training and nutrition is everyone who knows, knows something different lol I like your point of view better than that of the nutrition "experts".
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Old 07-08-12, 11:41 PM   #15
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Here's my take but of course YMMV, study's show that exercising for 1.5 hours or greater is required before the use of a sports drink to replace electrolyte and carbohydrate.

For the most part when I exercise (2h/day) I usually drink plenty of water before to stay well hydrated and replenish as needed during the course of the workout and at about the three quarter point I dilute 4oz of a sports drink (carbs + potassium) with 4oz of vitamin infused water and use that to push me through till the end.

Everything is YMMV though, find something that works for you and stick with it!

I.e I train during fasted state (haven't eaten in 12-14 hours) and only take some BCAA's mixed with a low calorie orange juice 30 minutes before a workout and find I get my optimal results. My sister tried this once and vowed never to do it again!
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