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Workout drinks

Old 01-25-21, 08:57 PM
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Workout drinks

Hi guys my wife and I recently purchased an echelon ex-5 spin bike. We were wondering if there is any special type of drink or shake or anything to do pre, during and post workout? We drink lots of water but just want to see if anything else is recommend? Thanks guys
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Old 01-26-21, 08:13 AM
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Old 01-26-21, 08:30 AM
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Water-diluted milk for me during workout. The mixture hydrates, refuels, and replenishes electrolytes lost during intense aerobic exercises.

I don't trust any sports-specific liquid drinks or powdered drinks which I think is simply overhyped to get you to buy their overpriced products. But milk I trust!
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Old 01-26-21, 09:30 AM
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You've pretty unlikely to need anything other than water for shorter durations. Something like gatorade or powerade or even some juice is fine if you feel like you need extra calories. On long, hard rides I used half a bottle of water, half a bottle of cranberry or grape juice, and a few spoonfuls of brown sugar. Cheap, effective, tasty enough.

But damn, I'd for sure say don't do anything with milk on the bike. That's just an awful idea all the way around.
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Old 01-26-21, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
But damn, I'd for sure say don't do anything with milk on the bike. That's just an awful idea all the way around.
I don't have digestion issues with milk. I use considerably more part water than milk as my cycling drink than a regular milk drink, the mixture is good as hydration, fuel, and electrolyte in the same drink.

I've been looking for carb/fuel and electrolyte source I can mix with water and milk showed up as one of those sources. Quite good for me, better than water + sandwich in my experience and it's very cheap if you're using powdered milk.
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Old 01-26-21, 10:24 AM
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How long do you ride them at a time and how intense?

If you don't ride but <2 hours you don't have to have anything. Though if you are riding < 2 hours at very intense efforts, some carbs while you are riding will probably help with how you feel afterward.

IMO, consuming proteins and fats won't do much for you while riding, though a little protein sometimes helps make the carb mix taste or feel smoother going down...... assuming you put them in your water bottles.

If you ride more than about 2 hours at high intensity efforts or with intervals of high intensity, you should probably use carbs in some form, in bottles or eats, every ten of fifteen minutes from the start of your exercise. If you are consuming a lot of water, you might need to make certain you get some electrolytes. But don't get the idea if a little is good a lot is better. It's not.

It doesn't take much carbs though. Too many and you might feel bloated or just not perform well. Try and find what works for you. 100 Calories per hour might be a good start. 200 Calories per hour is way high for me. Typically I consume 120 to 150 per hour. But I'm only riding on the road. I don't do indoor training.

I'm not an expert though. This is just my understanding from what I've read and what I have done for many years.
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Old 01-26-21, 10:29 AM
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Milk has some carbs, fat, and protein, but only a very small amount of sodium, which is the only electrolyte that needs to be replenished during exercise of non-extreme duration. Not an optimal choice for an exercise drink.
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Old 01-26-21, 02:16 PM
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Milk also goes very bad, very fast, in the heat. Blecch. :
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Old 01-26-21, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
You've pretty unlikely to need anything other than water for shorter durations. Something like gatorade or powerade or even some juice is fine if you feel like you need extra calories. On long, hard rides I used half a bottle of water, half a bottle of cranberry or grape juice, and a few spoonfuls of brown sugar. Cheap, effective, tasty enough.

But damn, I'd for sure say don't do anything with milk on the bike. That's just an awful idea all the way around.
Flat, diluted Pepsi.

But yeah, if it's less than an hour, all you need is water.
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Old 01-26-21, 03:10 PM
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This is probably too much data for you...........but......just so you don't wind up drinking too many calories........

-at a pretty raucous 277w for a whole hour you'd burn 1000KJ (raucous for a beginner or low level amateur)

-your body typically is topped with 400-700 g of glycogen (liver plus muscle), this at 4.2KJ/g equates to about 2000KJ work using just glycogen assuming starting at 500g

-meaning you'd have to ride at 277w for just over 2 hours to deplete your body's starting glycogen

I would say if you're starting out and likely doing an hour or less, simply be sure to have your last full meal about 2 hours before. Then, a small snack with light carb some 30min before. Water on the bike. If you really need electrolyte for indoors heat, look into Nuun tablets. Those are electrolyte without adding unneeded calories. Then off the bike at end, sip some water and maybe have a small snack.

For what you're after I would:
-eat standard meal at least 2hrs before
-hydrate normally before during day
-small snack with a little carb before workout (maybe a Kid's Cliff Z-bar, lower calorie and carb, but has something)
-Nuun tablet in your water for the ride
-hydrate after, maybe a light snack to stave off cravings later

By all means, don't go for the carb amounts in many full strength sports drinks or "race day" drinks.

Good luck!
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Old 01-26-21, 04:57 PM
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Cold water - maybe with a little salt, sugar and vinegar for a hard workout.

Cold beer - Natures perfect post workout drink.

Last edited by billridesbikes; 01-26-21 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 01-26-21, 05:14 PM
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If your body is well fed then you don't need any pre-workout drinks...During you workout all you need is water...You also don't need any special ;post-workout drinks. The best thing after a hard workout is to eat some "real food" and drink a beer.
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Old 01-26-21, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Milk also goes very bad, very fast, in the heat. Blecch. :
I only use milk powder and that hasn't happened yet. My last 6 hour ride, I had the "return leg" bottles in an insulated bag. They were no longer fridge cold at the 5th hour, still tiny bit cold though despite the 90F temps that day and still smelled and tasted the same as the first bottle at the first 30 minutes
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Old 01-26-21, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
You also spin at 200 rpm in flip flops and ride 20 hours a week as hard as you can and tape things to your handlebars and all sorts of completely random and/or made up things, so...

I'm going to stick with "no" on this one.
I don't do those things by choice but due to extremely limited budget (I am financially strapped overall) and sometimes weather and also "dressing down" to the occassion when my route takes me to very poor neighborhoods which is almost unavoidable in my longer rides.

I'm not recommending anything I do differently. I'm only sharing I observed works good for me. The milk for example. Only one data sample which is me. Up for anyone to try whether it works for them or not if they have no digestion issues with milk.

I sometimes sprint 200 rpm seated. NOT the right way to sprint. But with my cheap $250 bike, it doesn't build confidence to sprint in it at full power while out of the saddle.

I have "heel dropper" pedaling technique which gives very secure footing even without any pedal retention system. Having no pedal retention actually contributed to my adopting of Heel Drop technique because I found it to be most stable and least effort footing.
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Old 01-26-21, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Milk has some carbs, fat, and protein, but only a very small amount of sodium, which is the only electrolyte that needs to be replenished during exercise of non-extreme duration. Not an optimal choice for an exercise drink.
Good info. I can add tiny bit of salt to the mixture. Just a teeny tiny amount to see if it improves performance a bit.
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Old 01-26-21, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
This is probably too much data for you...........but......just so you don't wind up drinking too many calories........

-at a pretty raucous 277w for a whole hour you'd burn 1000KJ (raucous for a beginner or low level amateur)

-your body typically is topped with 400-700 g of glycogen (liver plus muscle), this at 4.2KJ/g equates to about 2000KJ work using just glycogen assuming starting at 500g

-meaning you'd have to ride at 277w for just over 2 hours to deplete your body's starting glycogen

I would say if you're starting out and likely doing an hour or less, simply be sure to have your last full meal about 2 hours before. Then, a small snack with light carb some 30min before. Water on the bike. If you really need electrolyte for indoors heat, look into Nuun tablets. Those are electrolyte without adding unneeded calories. Then off the bike at end, sip some water and maybe have a small snack.

For what you're after I would:
-eat standard meal at least 2hrs before
-hydrate normally before during day
-small snack with a little carb before workout (maybe a Kid's Cliff Z-bar, lower calorie and carb, but has something)
-Nuun tablet in your water for the ride
-hydrate after, maybe a light snack to stave off cravings later

By all means, don't go for the carb amounts in many full strength sports drinks or "race day" drinks.

Good luck!
That's all good, as far as it goes. I see folks here saying, oh, you don't need pre or post, or even during fuel for most workouts, because your ordinary diet will supply the carbs and calories. But think about that for a minute. I have a daily diet which keeps me within a pound of the same weight week after week. The food is different every day, all 3 meals, my wife likes it that way and it's fine with me. She cycles through about 400 different dinner recipes.

Then I add in workouts, 6 days/week, week after week, totaling only ~3Mj/week, but guess what happened? After a couple weeks at that level, I couldn't do it anymore. I wasn't overtrained, felt fine, slept well, it was just that the pedals felt heavy and I didn't have any endurance. Obviously enough, that works for one ride, but not for a lifestyle unless you're going to start counting calories or increasing the size of every meal recipe to suit whether or not you're working out that day and how many calories you expect to burn. For me, that's insanely complicated. My wife cooks a big pot of something and we eat it for 2-4 days, not consecutively of course because we eat different food every day, but spread out over the week and planned ahead for for 2 weeks, partly because Covid, and partly because that's how we've done it for decades.

The by far more rational approach is to simply add calories to each day according to the energy expenditure or some approximation to that, and mostly carbs with a some protein. We've gone back to doing what we've always done successfully: we have a startup drink and a recovery drink every day we work out. The startup drink is always the same, but the recovery drink varies in carb calories depending on the workout. No more problems, steady energy every day, very slow weight loss, no more dropping by a pound the next day.

Chris Carmichael is full of it, that one has to put out 1700 kj before one deserves a recovery drink, much less a startup. Sure, once a week one can do that fine, but do that every day and you're going down the drain and real fast. It doesn't work, not even at my miserably low power output unless all you do is work out and plan and create meals.
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Old 01-27-21, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That's all good, as far as it goes. I see folks here saying, oh, you don't need pre or post, or even during fuel for most workouts, because your ordinary diet will supply the carbs and calories. But think about that for a minute. I have a daily diet which keeps me within a pound of the same weight week after week. The food is different every day, all 3 meals, my wife likes it that way and it's fine with me. She cycles through about 400 different dinner recipes.

Then I add in workouts, 6 days/week, week after week, totaling only ~3Mj/week, but guess what happened? After a couple weeks at that level, I couldn't do it anymore. I wasn't overtrained, felt fine, slept well, it was just that the pedals felt heavy and I didn't have any endurance. Obviously enough, that works for one ride, but not for a lifestyle unless you're going to start counting calories or increasing the size of every meal recipe to suit whether or not you're working out that day and how many calories you expect to burn. For me, that's insanely complicated. My wife cooks a big pot of something and we eat it for 2-4 days, not consecutively of course because we eat different food every day, but spread out over the week and planned ahead for for 2 weeks, partly because Covid, and partly because that's how we've done it for decades.

The by far more rational approach is to simply add calories to each day according to the energy expenditure or some approximation to that, and mostly carbs with a some protein. We've gone back to doing what we've always done successfully: we have a startup drink and a recovery drink every day we work out. The startup drink is always the same, but the recovery drink varies in carb calories depending on the workout. No more problems, steady energy every day, very slow weight loss, no more dropping by a pound the next day.

Chris Carmichael is full of it, that one has to put out 1700 kj before one deserves a recovery drink, much less a startup. Sure, once a week one can do that fine, but do that every day and you're going down the drain and real fast. It doesn't work, not even at my miserably low power output unless all you do is work out and plan and create meals.
If you exercise consistently there isnt really any more planning involved than what you do for your baseline 3 meals/day. How did you decide how much to eat for each meal? Like most, you likely arrived at reasonable portions based on your natural hunger and satiation levels. If youre consistent with exercise those meals, or the number of them, would get bigger or more frequent to compensate. You dont need to get out the scales and weigh every gram of food if you werent already doing that for your baseline.

Pre-Covid I used to commute about 60km day. Mon to Fri I would burn an extra 1400kJ/day so I naturally just ate more frequently. I couldnt (or didnt want to) eat that much extra during or immediately after the rides but had no problem eating more frequently during the day. I couldnt make it to lunch without a mid morning snack and usually had something mid afternoon as well. These days I ride inside at the end of the day, maybe 700-1000kJ. Im consistent and end up eating more during normal meals and snacks so I dont go to bed too hungry. I just have water on the bike and prefer real food to sugar drinks. Longer rides on the weekend Ill eat and drink on the ride but it doesnt come anywhere close to replacing the calories burned while riding.

if you exercise consistently, its not difficult to eat enough during the day to compensate for your normal exercise routine. It might get a little more complicated if you exercise less frequently or only occasionally but in those cases it also doesnt matter as much if you dont compensate for every calorie burned while riding.
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Old 01-27-21, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Shor0402 View Post
Hi guys my wife and I recently purchased an echelon ex-5 spin bike. We were wondering if there is any special type of drink or shake or anything to do pre, during and post workout? We drink lots of water but just want to see if anything else is recommend? Thanks guys
I'm curious to know what is the OPs training goals, time allotment, exercise intensity and current state of fitness.

I ask because when I started riding bikes 2 years ago I wanted to get in better shape although I wasn't a basket case and not really to lose weight either. But as things have progressed I have added fitness goals and started paying attention to things like diet and hydration. For me, an interest in hydration and electrolyte replacement is more out of necessity because I was getting leg cramps galore.
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Old 01-27-21, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That's all good, as far as it goes. I see folks here saying, oh, you don't need pre or post, or even during fuel for most workouts, because your ordinary diet will supply the carbs and calories. But think about that for a minute.
Allow me to qualify that....

It's directed at folks starting out who think they need a bunch of nutrition to go do a 250KJ or 300KJ workout. The work load needs to be at least as great as the nutrition one used to fuel the work! If you down 300 calories of sport drink before and after a 250KJ workout..........yeah.......no bueno.

When the workout was 35min and you only burned 200KJ...............yeah, I really really hope you're not compensating for that with a bunch of extra calories. A single drink or bar probably totals 200KJ.

If I had to put it more bluntly: fuel like an athlete if you're training like an athlete...........don't fuel like one if you're not.

If a person is confused about whether they fall into "fitness" or "athlete" territory for that.............one major difference is having very specific performance goals. It's not a specific performance goal to just say "I'm going to ride my bike more" or "I want to lose a couple pounds". Specific is "I want to reach X.X w/kg for that mountain fondo" or "I want to hit 300w for 20min" or "I want to break 25min for a 5k run". Or, I want to achieve the Then, the nutrition is specifically meant to meet the demands of workouts that challenge the body to meet those goals.

It is my opinion that from a profit and marketing perspective, companies have intentionally blurred the line between the noble pursuit of general fitness...........and athletics. In order to sell more stuff.

There's a bargain basement level of KJ expenditure in an hour to necessitate that kind of nutrition. And it isn't 200 KJ in 30min of spinning.
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Old 01-27-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
For me, an interest in hydration and electrolyte replacement is more out of necessity because I was getting leg cramps galore.
Cramping was more likely an issue of physically exerting yourself beyond your limits rather than hydration or electrolyte replacement.

Your body has plenty of minerals; however the body can protest in various ways in unfavorable or unfamiliar conditions.
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Old 01-27-21, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Cramping was more likely an issue of physically exerting yourself beyond your limits rather than hydration or electrolyte replacement.

Your body has plenty of minerals; however the body can protest in various ways in unfavorable or unfamiliar conditions.
A good illustration of this is when people who "ride bikes" a lot randomly go out without any running volume and decide to do a 5k at max pace OR take on a ton of intensity and volume without building up to it.

They wind up either injuring themselves or getting horrible cramps and issues.

And........that would have zero to do with whether you ate or drank enough. No, the body doth protest the beating you just gave it!
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Old 01-27-21, 10:04 AM
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Studies in trained athletes have not found an association between cramping and serum electrolyte levels. The most popular current theory is overactive signaling in the stretch reflex circuit between the muscle and spinal segment due to some fatigue related factor.

Last edited by MoAlpha; 01-27-21 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 01-27-21, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Allow me to qualify that....

It's directed at folks starting out who think they need a bunch of nutrition to go do a 250KJ or 300KJ workout. The work load needs to be at least as great as the nutrition one used to fuel the work! If you down 300 calories of sport drink before and after a 250KJ workout..........yeah.......no bueno.

When the workout was 35min and you only burned 200KJ...............yeah, I really really hope you're not compensating for that with a bunch of extra calories. A single drink or bar probably totals 200KJ.

If I had to put it more bluntly: fuel like an athlete if you're training like an athlete...........don't fuel like one if you're not.

If a person is confused about whether they fall into "fitness" or "athlete" territory for that.............one major difference is having very specific performance goals. It's not a specific performance goal to just say "I'm going to ride my bike more" or "I want to lose a couple pounds". Specific is "I want to reach X.X w/kg for that mountain fondo" or "I want to hit 300w for 20min" or "I want to break 25min for a 5k run". Or, I want to achieve the Then, the nutrition is specifically meant to meet the demands of workouts that challenge the body to meet those goals.

It is my opinion that from a profit and marketing perspective, companies have intentionally blurred the line between the noble pursuit of general fitness...........and athletics. In order to sell more stuff.

There's a bargain basement level of KJ expenditure in an hour to necessitate that kind of nutrition. And it isn't 200 KJ in 30min of spinning.
Yes, exactly. A performance goal for every ride if one is training. And as you say, if you're not training, you don't need extra calories because you don't have a performance goal.
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Old 01-27-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
If you exercise consistently there isnt really any more planning involved than what you do for your baseline 3 meals/day. How did you decide how much to eat for each meal? Like most, you likely arrived at reasonable portions based on your natural hunger and satiation levels. If youre consistent with exercise those meals, or the number of them, would get bigger or more frequent to compensate. You dont need to get out the scales and weigh every gram of food if you werent already doing that for your baseline.

Pre-Covid I used to commute about 60km day. Mon to Fri I would burn an extra 1400kJ/day so I naturally just ate more frequently. I couldnt (or didnt want to) eat that much extra during or immediately after the rides but had no problem eating more frequently during the day. I couldnt make it to lunch without a mid morning snack and usually had something mid afternoon as well. These days I ride inside at the end of the day, maybe 700-1000kJ. Im consistent and end up eating more during normal meals and snacks so I dont go to bed too hungry. I just have water on the bike and prefer real food to sugar drinks. Longer rides on the weekend Ill eat and drink on the ride but it doesnt come anywhere close to replacing the calories burned while riding.

if you exercise consistently, its not difficult to eat enough during the day to compensate for your normal exercise routine. It might get a little more complicated if you exercise less frequently or only occasionally but in those cases it also doesnt matter as much if you dont compensate for every calorie burned while riding.
I don't decide. My wife decided 2 weeks ago. I'm not in this alone. It's not based on my "natural hunger and satiation levels." It's based on what we would like our natural hunger and satiation levels to become, and over time, that's worked.

I remember a reporter once asked Lance how he knew how many calories he was taking in. His reply: "It says right on the box!" I think a lot of people are like me and don't live in that world. I have no idea how many calories or grams of carb are in my 3 meals diet and I'm not going to waste my time calculating it every day. I log my kj and drink calories to replace 1/2 of that. Takes 3 minutes, works perfectly, no stress on the family, and no change in portion sizes, thus no increase in hunger. Otherwise, we eat a Med natural foods diet and have done for 47 years. I have no interest in taking control of that, no no.

I had an employee who started bike commuting 5 days/week. It was 16 miles each way and rather hilly, He was a strong guy anyway, didn't bother him, except that in his second week he said he had to give it up, it was making him too tired. I taught him about recovery drinks, one here, one at home. He started doing that, never had another problem.
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Old 01-27-21, 12:07 PM
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