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Old 05-11-05, 09:36 AM   #1
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Was curious if anybody could validate what a friend of mine told me. He said that drinking soda, especially in large quantities, decreases your overall endurance and causes you to get winded much quicker. Any truth to this? Obviously, soda is not the best thing in the world for a person with all the chemicals and sugar, etc. But I've never heard specifically that it decreases stamina.
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Old 05-11-05, 11:06 AM   #2
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Your friend does not have a promising nutritionist career in his future. Aside from the weight gain aspect of drinking large quantities of any high sugar solution, there is no performance decreasing substance in soda pop.
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Old 05-12-05, 07:44 PM   #3
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Ok, well ... I'm a Randonneur, and I do ultra distance cycling. I also LOVE my diet coke.

If your friend is right, maybe I could do the RAAM!!
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Old 05-12-05, 10:51 PM   #4
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Soda does nothing for me... performance wise. It actually does help though if I bonk... other wise no difference.
Just your average club rider... :)
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Old 05-12-05, 11:07 PM   #5
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When it's hot and thirsty out, I sure like dilute soda, but dilute fresh orange juice is even better!
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Old 05-12-05, 11:14 PM   #6
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Check out this article:
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Old 05-12-05, 11:52 PM   #7
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The article DXchulo posted states it pretty well and confirms my own personal experience. I have counted to date 7 experiences where I was "in trouble" and Coke / Pepsi has "saved" me, whereas Gatorade, Cytomax, sports gels, energy bars, V8, Cup-O-Noodles, etc. could not. Most of these experiences have been during double centuries or some of the longer triathlons. Note however that I completely abstain from cola or coffee otherwise (even when training or during endurance events where I'm not "in trouble") so my caffeine sensitivity is very high and good for "emergencies"...

I also have 3 friends from the local tri club who are also pretty hardcore and they swear by Coke / Pepsi too. The official Ironman triathlons will always have cola available during the run leg.

I first read about the Coke phenomenon in Greg Lemond's book (written in the 80's). (Unfortunately I gave away my book so I can't put down an exact quote.) I also seem to recall Lance Armstrong saying (in the early 90's, before he became a spokesman for Coke's Dasani) that Coke is what he would reach for first when he was in trouble. Miguel Indurain was particularly famous for having this big red Coke water bottle (which looked rather unaerodynamic!) attached to the downtube of his time-trial bike but wait, maybe Coca-cola was one of his or Le Tour's sponsors...

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