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  1. #1
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    Cytomax vs. Gatorade

    I just recently started using Cytomax on my rides. The guy at the lbs said the berry flavor tased just like Hawaiian punch. Uh.....not really. Anyway, I drink the stuff on my rides and it makes my stomach a little crampy and on my last ride it almost came up on me. I also play ice hockey have been drinking water along with Gatorade during my games. It seems to help. The one thing I notice about Gatorade is the amount of sugar - 45 grams/16oz! Does it contain sugar that is easily burned off during the ride? I have gotten used to the foul taste of the Cytomax, but puking during a ride is a deal breaker. I'd like to do the Gatorade, but like I said I am worried about the sugar.

  2. #2
    OTB is imminent travis200's Avatar
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    I have used both Cytomax and Gatorade. Have you tried mixing the Cytomax a little weaker to see if that helps.
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  3. #3
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I love cytomax, and not because we are sponsored by them and it is cheep but it works. I have always had intollerance to gatorade in large amounts. Cytomax seems to keep me from getting dehydrated as easily...

    Your results may vary
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  4. #4
    Senior Member CycleFreakLS's Avatar
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    The problem with Gatorade (and drinks like it) is that it uses SUGAR as its main source of fuel. Drinks like Cytomax use maltodextrin. Gatorade is a thirst quencher, not an endurance drink. That's why they came up with Gatorade Endurance (I think it only comes in the gross lemon-line flavor). Now, don't get me wrong. In HS wrestling, all we had was Gatorade, LL or orange flavor.

    I use Cyto grape ... which doesn't really taste like grape to me. I don't really care for any of the Cyto flavors but it does work better than Gatorade (for me) and I don't have a problem with it "coming up". Here's how I mix it:

    8 scoops (enough to make 1 gallon)
    3 T table sugar
    1 t salt
    1/2 t salt substitute
    1 packet Kool Aid unsweetened (I use Berry Blue)

    Kool Aid increases the "yum" factor. Kool Aid unsweetened is so tart it'll curdle your tongue so you have to add sweeteners. 3T sugar plus the sweetness in Cyto is enough. The salt and salt substitute adds more sodium and potassium to the mix. I use 3.5 T per 24 oz bottle

    Now, depending on the the ride, I also add 2-4 T of pure maltodextrin powder.
    The second bottle is ALWAYS plain water which I use to rinse after drinking the Cyto mix.

    I know the formulation works because on an 80+ route, I used to use 2 Clif Bars, 1 Fig Newton package plus 2-3 bottles. Now, I use 1 Clif Bar so the extra Malto in the Cyto is compensating.

    Best.

  5. #5
    Faith-Vigilance-Service Patriot's Avatar
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    I use regular Gatorade in powder. I have found it is the best thirst quencher, and the sugar does provide a quick energy boost, along with some electrolytes in the sodium etc. However, it is not the best endurance drink. For long term energy needs, I just rely on taking along a few easily digestible energy bars. The kind that don't have big globs of oats etc, but are processed so they dissolve and digest more quickly. I have found personally, the PowerBar Protein bars work pretty good for me (cheap too). I take those along with Gatorade as a thirst quencher. Those two seem to be a good combo for me, but everyone is differant.

    All you can do is experiment a bit till you find what you enjoy eating, and what works best for your performance needs to boot.
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  6. #6
    Gitchur SUV Away From Me
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleFreakLS
    The problem with Gatorade (and drinks like it) is that it uses SUGAR as its main source of fuel. Drinks like Cytomax use maltodextrin. Gatorade is a thirst quencher, not an endurance drink.
    Sorry, I have to disagree on these points.

    Sugar is a good source of energy and so is maltodextrin. Your body burns glucose, and it can quickly convert either sugar or maltodextrin into glucose. The only advantage maltodextrin has is that it has a very high glycemic index, meaning it is absorbed from the digestive tract quickly. Therefore malto is better if you need energy *right now.* The glucose and sucrose in Gatorade have a medium-high glycemic index and are metered a little slower into the bloodstream than a malto based drink. If you're on a long endurance ride, it can actually be better to not have a drink with a super-fast glycemic index because it will meter slower into your system and give you an energy boost over a longer period of time.

    Gatorade is a good endurance drink -- with sucrose, glucose, sodium and potassium as its main ingredients, it will work to extend a long ride, help prevent a bonk and provide basic electrolytes to prevent salt depletion. Cytomax is also very good and may very well be a little bit better than Gatorade, but not so much better as to be justify spending 3x or 4x the cost, IMHO.

  7. #7
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    "After exercise begins, however, sympathetic nervous system hormones inhibit GI impact on insulin release. Unless your caloric intake exceeds the maximum that the liver can return to the body in the form of glycogen (about 280 calories per hour) glycemic index is not a major factor in choosing energy sources. During exercise, it's a nutritional error to value GI above saccharide profile."


    source: "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success" Page 30. I downloaded this from the Hammer Nutritional website.



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  8. #8
    Gitchur SUV Away From Me
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    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog
    "After exercise begins, however, sympathetic nervous system hormones inhibit GI impact on insulin release. Unless your caloric intake exceeds the maximum that the liver can return to the body in the form of glycogen (about 280 calories per hour) glycemic index is not a major factor in choosing energy sources."
    Sheldon - that's interesting. Thing is, a cyclist doing a century ride will need well over 280 calories per hour. Even at 17mph on flat ground a 160-lbs cyclist needs over 600 calories an hour.

  9. #9
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesV
    Sheldon - that's interesting. Thing is, a cyclist doing a century ride will need well over 280 calories per hour. Even at 17mph on flat ground a 160-lbs cyclist needs over 600 calories an hour.
    It's my understanding that you don't need to (or want to) replace all the calories that you're burning while you ride. For most of us, it would be difficult to ingest the 600-800 calories we burn per hour on the bike. But, replacing 250-350 calories per hour ensures your body won't run out of glycogen (i.e., you won't bonk).
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    Gitchur SUV Away From Me
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    It's my understanding that you don't need to (or want to) replace all the calories that you're burning while you ride. For most of us, it would be difficult to ingest the 600-800 calories we burn per hour on the bike. But, replacing 250-350 calories per hour ensures your body won't run out of glycogen (i.e., you won't bonk).
    You're right, I neglected to consider fat burning. At 60% VO2max the body burns about half fat and half glycogen. One-half of 600+ from my example is 300, same as your number. Thanks for catching that.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bontrager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog
    "After exercise begins, however, sympathetic nervous system hormones inhibit GI impact on insulin release. Unless your caloric intake exceeds the maximum that the liver can return to the body in the form of glycogen (about 280 calories per hour) glycemic index is not a major factor in choosing energy sources. During exercise, it's a nutritional error to value GI above saccharide profile."


    source: "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success" Page 30. I downloaded this from the Hammer Nutritional website.



    Sheldon
    I wouldn't want my liver sending glycogen into my bloodstream. My cells like glucose. I'd also want a little glucagon floating around so my liver knows to break own glycogen and send it to my muscles to use.

    There's a little more to exercise nutrition than a few lines in a laypersons book....
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmixer
    Anyway, I drink the stuff on my rides and it makes my stomach a little crampy and on my last ride it almost came up on me. .
    I am with sherpa.

    I have much better success with cytomax when I mix it weak.

  13. #13
    Upgrading my engine DXchulo's Avatar
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    I'd say if you can drink Gatorade without puking and it tastes good (I love the lemon lime Gatorade), then stick with it. Everyone is different, but I drink Gatorade and only Gatorade because it's cheap and I've been drinking it ever since I played basketball as a little kid. If you're worried about the sugar you could dilute it a little bit. Or you could carry two bottles- one for Gatorade and one for just plain water.

  14. #14
    Maglia Ciclamino gcasillo's Avatar
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    Gatorade works for me. Considering that it's just reconstituted sweat, it does its job just fine: put back into me what I lose from persperation. If I'm riding long enough where endurance is tested, I'll put something else in my body for that purpose.

  15. #15
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    replacing 250-350 calories per hour ensures your body won't run out of glycogen (i.e., you won't bonk).
    It's my understanding that about 250-300 calories/hr is all your body can process into usable energy during moderate to difficult exercise, thus more doesn't really help and can cause problems.

  16. #16
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    Not to throw a wrench in the works, but cramping has been an ongoing issue for me. The drink I found that provided the best solution...taste, effect, formulation, is Cranksports sport drink. Both their gel and drink products have proven to be the best for me. Gatorade is relatively garbage. Old science. Cytomax tastes like s--t. Check out the Cranksports site.

  17. #17
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bontrager
    I wouldn't want my liver sending glycogen into my bloodstream. My cells like glucose.
    Glycogen IS glucose, just chains of it; makes for efficient transport. Once it enters into the muscle-cells, it's taken apart into glucose to generate ATP in the kreb's cycle. All glucose-storage in muscle cells themselves is glycogen as well. The liver can only store about 200-300 calories anyway, not a significant amount.

    It really doesn't matter what you drink, that really only affects the digestion and absorption rate. Once Cytomax, Gatorades, sugar-water, etc. crosses the intestinal walls into the bloodstream, they're all the exact same stuff, glucose and some fructose. Although maltodextrin is absorbed fairly fast and its amylose-amylopectin structure is very similar to glycogen.

    Due to the rates of activity, 500-800 calories/hr, there's no way you can keep up with consuming calories of any kind, simple or complex. So it's best not to consume solutions of more than 200-250cal/hr since that can lead to cramping and slow absorption of water. Your blood-sugar will always be a little low while exercising, so there's absolutely no insulin being pumped in like if you drank Cytomax or Gatorade while sitting on the couch watching a game. If anything, you've got the insulin analog, glucagon being pumped in to make your adipose tissues convert fat into glucose for energy. Also triggers your liver to dump its supply of glycogen in. Adrenaline and epinephrine, which is responsible for the dopamine-effect of the runner's high, also has a similar fat-conversion effect. Perfectly normal metabolism.

    Note that there's absolute nothing you can drink or eat to actually improve your performance above your current physiological state. If your VO2-max is a certain value, and you weigh a certain amount of Kg, and you have a certain power-output at LT, you're going to be doing a certain ride at a certain max speed/time based upon your fitness. Nothing you can drink/eat will improve that on any certain day. However, you can hurt your performance and do worse than that by not having proper nutrition and hydration. The worse thing you can do is to drink/eat nothing resulting in a bonk. Speeds and times suffer tremendously when you're crawling along at 9-10 mph, desperately scanning the ground for half-eaten candy-bars and other carbs to eat. And your body will be tearing apart good muscle for fuel, negating your workouts for the past week or so...
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 12-26-05 at 09:55 PM.

  18. #18
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    Maltodextrin with Crystal Light Lemonade rocks! It's easy and cheap to mix up a bottle with 300 calories, 'dex is about $1/pound and doesn't sludge out in the bottle. I haven't tried adding protein to it yet. I was using Hammer Perpetuem and Sustained Energy for double centuries and training. Both worked well for me, 'Dex is the main ingredient in both.

    Arnie Baker Cycling is a good source for info on nutrition.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by biorider
    Maltodextrin with Crystal Light Lemonade rocks! It's easy and cheap to mix up a bottle with 300 calories, 'dex is about $1/pound and doesn't sludge out in the bottle. I haven't tried adding protein to it yet. I was using Hammer Perpetuem and Sustained Energy for double centuries and training. Both worked well for me, 'Dex is the main ingredient in both.

    Arnie Baker Cycling is a good source for info on nutrition.

    I've found that for summer, when it's hot, Cytomax works much better for me than Gatorade. Try the Citrus. It doesn't stain water bottles and you can mix it full strength without stomach problems.

  20. #20
    Stooge thebankman's Avatar
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    I cannot take CytoMax as it has extremely high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. Dropping elecrolytes into tap water works just fine along with real food or Gu gel before/during/after as needed.

    Also there is a CytoMax Lite which has low sat. fat/cholesterol but it's harder to find in stores.

  21. #21
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebankman
    I cannot take CytoMax as it has extremely high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. Dropping elecrolytes into tap water works just fine along with real food or Gu gel before/during/after as needed.

    Also there is a CytoMax Lite which has low sat. fat/cholesterol but it's harder to find in stores.
    You sure about that? I can't find anything about fat/cholesterol for Cytomax at all. Scroll down each link for nutritional info:

    Nutrition Geeks - Cytomax Tropical Fruit 4.5 Pound
    Nutripeak - Cytosport Cytomax 4.5 Lb
    FlexYourMuscles - Cytomax by Cytosport

    It's also not easy to dissolve fats in water... I usually mix it double-strength (3-scoops in 24-oz bottle) and dilute it on the ride with water from a 2nd bottle.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 01-02-06 at 09:43 PM.

  22. #22
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    They all taste like s**t after heating up in that bottle on a long, hot ride. Gatorade leaves my mouth, lips, even fingers sticky and, for want of a better word, with a mouth full of "thick" spit. Cytomax normal strength works better than Gator. for me. I also like Endurox at the end of hard rides.
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  23. #23
    lillypad
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    One of the best lessons that I have learned is that if your ride is short enough that you don't need to take any rest breaks then you can get away with just pure water in your water bottle and make up the lost carbs at the end.If you do need to take rest breaks take them at a convenience store where you can get some cold Gatorade (for you short term energy needs) and some complex carbos as well such as a granola bar (for your longer term energy requirements).

  24. #24
    Senior Member doctorSpoc's Avatar
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    grabbed this from my other post... i dumped gatorade last summer and started mixing my own...
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I put about 30 grams of Carbo Gain in a large water bottle... pure maltodextrin and really cheap. $20 for a huge 7lb tub. I hate the sweet stuff too.

    $12.99 for 7lbs here


    Now Sports Carbo Gain

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