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Energy drink options?

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Old 10-24-05, 09:27 PM
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mathmo
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Energy drink options?

Typical I've never ever brought these in bulk, generally if and when I go training I don't bother too much about nutrition during the ride/run. Although last summer during the longer rides I might bring along a few bananas and museli bars. Then come race day I'd just take heaps of whatever they are offering (because it is free!) powerade, pro4 etc... (whoever the sponsors are). Yes I know I shouldn't be doing this because you never know if they are going to be suitable for you etc... but I seem to have a cast iron stomache and it has worked fine for me, plus this way it is cheap as for me because I have spent money to buy them before and try them out.

Anyway... my main question now is: I'm going to be doing an ultra-long race next year and there is going to be basically no support during it. Meaning I'll need to supply my own drinks/food. Should I go along with using museli bars and bananas (plus of course water!) or is there some cheap option I can take for energy drinks? Or any homebrew ideas? I've heard of drinking salty water when you get back from a long run, and I've tried that from time to time(it tastes very nice!). So would that be an option for taking during the race? Although it still wouldn't be covering the liquid energy stuff that the commercial drinks supply etc...
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Old 10-24-05, 09:56 PM
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You may think you've got a cast iron stomach so far for the distance you currently do ... but from my experience, and from seeing other ultra-distance riders in action, when you start getting up toward that 24 hour mark, it's a whole new game. You may still be fine out there ... or you may not.

To make it easier on yourself, I'd advise experimenting with various products on the shorter distances, and as you start to build up your distance, to see what sits the best.

I can handle gatorade or powerade for about 300 kms, and then I can't stand to even look at it anymore. After that, I find I can drink Nestea Iced Tea, orange pop, and pure orange juice all right. In fact, I start to crave pure orange juice in particular. But for some people it is way too acidic, and it would be their last choice.

Bananas and museli bars are all right, and if they sit well with you definitely bring them along. But neither is very high in calories - I believe bananas are about 80 calories and museli bars are about 100 calories. You'll probably want to be consuming about 250 calories (give or take) while you ride ... starting pretty much as soon as you start the ride. With bananas and museli bars, that would be two museli bars and a banana each hour.

You might want to look into higher calorie options. Most energy bars are about 250 calories. Pastries and things like that are usually more. I usually use a combination of solid food and liquid nutrition, and my liquid nutrition of choice is Ensure Plus - 350 calories per can. But again, you'll want to experiment to see what works for you.

The idea of taking salt is good, especially on hot days. Personally the idea of drinking salt water is absolutely repulsive to me, but it seems to be fine for some people. However, in order for me to get enough salt, I opt for things like small packets of salted almonds - you'll get both salt and potassium that way, along with some protein. Potato chips are another favorite of mine - salt, potassium, and calories. And this year I started eating beef jerky on a couple of my long rides ... I was highly skeptical because I'm not much of a meat eater, but it was really good and sat very well. If all else fails though, you might consider electrolyte pills.

Take a look around your local grocery store and see what's there - you're after small things with lots of calories that you think will sit well on a long ride. And it's a bit amusing to go on that hunt because invariably I end up standing next to someone who wants to lose weight, who is looking at the packages complaining how many calories there is in everything ... and I'm standing there complaining that nothing has enough calories in it!
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Old 10-24-05, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
You may think you've got a cast iron stomach so far for the distance you currently do ... but from my experience, and from seeing other ultra-distance riders in action, when you start getting up toward that 24 hour mark, it's a whole new game. You may still be fine out there ... or you may not.
Hmm... I'm not a completely bumbling novice, have done one Ironman. Admittedly in a very slow time of exactly 15 hours because I didn't train. So will it really change that much when I get up 24 hours? Is "just" another nine hours. Although on the other hand I'm looking at doing a 400km bike ride and 100km run, and I'd be hoping that I'd be able to do each of those in well under 24 hours!!

Originally Posted by Machka
To make it easier on yourself, I'd advise experimenting with various products on the shorter distances, and as you start to build up your distance, to see what sits the best.
But if at the longer distances it is a whole new ball game of how much help can it be to test stuff at shorter distances?

Originally Posted by Machka
I can handle gatorade or powerade for about 300 kms, and then I can't stand to even look at it anymore. After that, I find I can drink Nestea Iced Tea, orange pop, and pure orange juice all right. In fact, I start to crave pure orange juice in particular. But for some people it is way too acidic, and it would be their last choice.
Well i'd say gatorade might be a little on the expensive side, however iced tea and orange juice sounds like possible ideas. What do you mean by orange pop?

Originally Posted by Machka
Bananas and museli bars are all right, and if they sit well with you definitely bring them along. But neither is very high in calories - I believe bananas are about 80 calories and museli bars are about 100 calories. You'll probably want to be consuming about 250 calories (give or take) while you ride ... starting pretty much as soon as you start the ride. With bananas and museli bars, that would be two museli bars and a banana each hour.
Yup, most certainly will be bringing them along. Just casting about for other options because like you said I expect they wouldn't be enough.

Originally Posted by Machka
You might want to look into higher calorie options. Most energy bars are about 250 calories. Pastries and things like that are usually more. I usually use a combination of solid food and liquid nutrition, and my liquid nutrition of choice is Ensure Plus - 350 calories per can. But again, you'll want to experiment to see what works for you.
Engergy bars are insanely expensive, by pastries you mean things like doughnuts?

Originally Posted by Machka
The idea of taking salt is good, especially on hot days. Personally the idea of drinking salt water is absolutely repulsive to me, but it seems to be fine for some people.
It does taste very horrible if you are not short on salt, however if you are... yummmy yum yum!!! It will be a very hot day for me I expect, it is in canberrea (inland australia) in high summer. Madness I think, plus those two k loops... Heh, maybe I shouldn't.

Originally Posted by Machka
However, in order for me to get enough salt, I opt for things like small packets of salted almonds - you'll get both salt and potassium that way, along with some protein. Potato chips are another favorite of mine - salt, potassium, and calories. And this year I started eating beef jerky on a couple of my long rides ... I was highly skeptical because I'm not much of a meat eater, but it was really good and sat very well. If all else fails though, you might consider electrolyte pills.
Potato chips sound like a very good idea (due to the combination), had a couple of handfulls of those as I running past the aid stations in Ironman NZ. I'd worry however about eating too much of them, because I'd doubt too much salt would be a good idea. So what would be too much?

Originally Posted by Machka
Take a look around your local grocery store and see what's there - you're after small things with lots of calories that you think will sit well on a long ride. And it's a bit amusing to go on that hunt because invariably I end up standing next to someone who wants to lose weight, who is looking at the packages complaining how many calories there is in everything ... and I'm standing there complaining that nothing has enough calories in it!
LOL!! Got to keep my eyes open when I'm at the supermarket next, must remember to also make sure I complain out aloud that something doesn't have enough calories in it!!

Oh, simply counting calories isn't enough is it because say coke has heaps but that is mainly simple sugars. While I'll be needing complex sugars?
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Old 10-24-05, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mathmo
Hmm... I'm not a completely bumbling novice, have done one Ironman. Admittedly in a very slow time of exactly 15 hours because I didn't train. So will it really change that much when I get up 24 hours? Is "just" another nine hours. Although on the other hand I'm looking at doing a 400km bike ride and 100km run, and I'd be hoping that I'd be able to do each of those in well under 24 hours!!

Well, when I was starting out, I found that I could eat anything set in front of me till I reached the 300K point (which for me is about 16 hours) and then my appetite vanished and nausea set in. I've worked on it, and I can now make it through a whole 1200K randonnee without much digestive upset at all ... but it has taken several years to get there. However everyone is different. I know some people who have always been able to sail right through the long events with no digestive difficulties at all. I've envied them!


Originally Posted by mathmo
But if at the longer distances it is a whole new ball game of how much help can it be to test stuff at shorter distances?
Most people can stomach some sort of liquid nutrition at the longer distances when they can no longer tolerate solid food. As I mentioned, I can handle Ensure Plus all the way through a ride even when other things don't sit well. BUT not everyone can handle Ensure Plus. Some people have very adverse reactions to it, even when they are just sitting at home drinking it. So ... assuming that you might not be able to handle solid food all the way through, you can experiment with the liquid options in the shorter distances to make sure you're not going to have a bad reaction to it right away .... and then you can save it as an option if/when you just can't look another museli bar or banana in the eye.

Also, you can try a particular energy bar on a longish ride, like a century, to see how it sits and if all is well and you still like it by the end of the century, you can add it to your list of possible foods for the century-and-a-half you'll do in a couple week's time, and so on. However, if by the end of the century you despise that particular energy bar, it gets scratched from the list.

On my long rides, I like to have a fairly broad option of energy bars and things with me so that if I start to dislike one, I've got several other choices.


Originally Posted by mathmo
Well i'd say gatorade might be a little on the expensive side, however iced tea and orange juice sounds like possible ideas. What do you mean by orange pop?
You can get powdered Gatorade in a can for $5 which will make enough Gatorade to take you through a whole 400K and then some. Isn't the same thing available in NZ?
Orange pop is like ... Fanta. I know Australia has Fanta, and some great flavors ... does NZ have the same thing?

Originally Posted by mathmo
Engergy bars are insanely expensive, by pastries you mean things like doughnuts?
Yes, doughnuts, but also things like danishes and fruit-filled pastries. When I was in Australia I didn't see much in the way of that sort of thing, so maybe you don't have a lot of it either.


Originally Posted by mathmo
It does taste very horrible if you are not short on salt, however if you are... yummmy yum yum!!! It will be a very hot day for me I expect, it is in canberrea (inland australia) in high summer. Madness I think, plus those two k loops... Heh, maybe I shouldn't.
Canberra is a beautiful city - very bicycle friendly.


Originally Posted by mathmo
Potato chips sound like a very good idea (due to the combination), had a couple of handfulls of those as I running past the aid stations in Ironman NZ. I'd worry however about eating too much of them, because I'd doubt too much salt would be a good idea. So what would be too much?
On a 400K, I might eat one small bag about halfway through. And if it is really hot, one small bag of potato chips will not be too much salt. If anything you might need an additional salt source.


Originally Posted by mathmo
LOL!! Got to keep my eyes open when I'm at the supermarket next, must remember to also make sure I complain out aloud that something doesn't have enough calories in it!!



Originally Posted by mathmo
Oh, simply counting calories isn't enough is it because say coke has heaps but that is mainly simple sugars. While I'll be needing complex sugars?
Yes, you'll be needing complex sugars, and also some fat and protein (one of the reasons why I like those almonds!). Things like oatmeal cookies with raisins are a nice choice for a long distance ride. Or bagals, if you can handle how dry they can be. I've downed those packets of instant oatmeal, or ramen noodles in the middle of long rides (just add boiling water, if it is available).

And if I can get ahold of it in the middle of a long ride, I like a real meal too ... like a chicken sandwich with french fries or a baked potato, or something ... but that's not always possible, especially in race or remote conditions.
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Old 10-25-05, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Well, when I was starting out, I found that I could eat anything set in front of me till I reached the 300K point (which for me is about 16 hours) and then my appetite vanished and nausea set in. I've worked on it, and I can now make it through a whole 1200K randonnee without much digestive upset at all ... but it has taken several years to get there. However everyone is different. I know some people who have always been able to sail right through the long events with no digestive difficulties at all. I've envied them!
Weeelllll.... got no plans now to be doing something as long as 1200km! Besides don't think we even have something that long in nz. Oh, there might sometimes be a race from auckland down to wellington. Maybe.

Originally Posted by Machka
You can get powdered Gatorade in a can for $5 which will make enough Gatorade to take you through a whole 400K and then some. Isn't the same thing available in NZ?
I've heard of gatorade, but never seen it sold in powdered form.


Originally Posted by Machka
Orange pop is like ... Fanta. I know Australia has Fanta, and some great flavors ... does NZ have the same thing?
Ah yes, that we have. Is basically the same as coke. Except kind of orange flavoured. So why use orange pop/fanta over coke, just because you like the flavour?



Originally Posted by Machka
Yes, doughnuts, but also things like danishes and fruit-filled pastries. When I was in Australia I didn't see much in the way of that sort of thing, so maybe you don't have a lot of it either.
Only in some specialist bakery shops.




Originally Posted by Machka
Canberra is a beautiful city - very bicycle friendly.
At the very least I hope the course will be dead flat because it is in inland australia.


Originally Posted by Machka
On a 400K, I might eat one small bag about halfway through. And if it is really hot, one small bag of potato chips will not be too much salt. If anything you might need an additional salt source.
So then I shouldn't be using as my primary scource, as I'd have expected.


Originally Posted by Machka
Yes, you'll be needing complex sugars, and also some fat and protein (one of the reasons why I like those almonds!). Things like oatmeal cookies with raisins are a nice choice for a long distance ride. Or bagals, if you can handle how dry they can be. I've downed those packets of instant oatmeal, or ramen noodles in the middle of long rides (just add boiling water, if it is available).

And if I can get ahold of it in the middle of a long ride, I like a real meal too ... like a chicken sandwich with french fries or a baked potato, or something ... but that's not always possible, especially in race or remote conditions.
That seems like a good idea, a couple of meals of fish n' chips!! Would have plent of complex sugars, fat, and protein!

Here is some stuff which seems like a very good idea that I came across in another thread:


"Make your own. Diluted fruit juice + salt for an easy fructose based drink. Staminade is essentially glucose + salt + water. Try these

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sportacademy/...000/2132209.stm
http://www.dissidents.com/articles/sportsdrink.htm
http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf641006.tip.html
http://www.cptips.com/gelown.htm"

"If you're properly carb loaded then I can recommend the super simple Up and Go as a pre-race 'meal'. Have one about 45mins before the start, and another just before you start. The low GI will help you power throught the first hour. Use your sport drink and bars as normal to top up along the way and help stave off the lactate in the second hour and then hit the snakes/jelly beans from 30mins before the finish to power home.

Don't forget more high carb stuff straight after the race to help the muscles & liver 'reload'"
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