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  1. #1
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    Other Nutrition Ideas

    I have tried hammer products (perpetuam/sustained) and they made my stomach upset on hard efforts and I have recently been using infinit with the same results. I am ok for about 4-5 hours, but after that it's not a quite a "gut bomb" but I just feel like I am going to puke, especially when the ride is over. Also, when I get that feeling I can't stand the taste of the product anymore and therefore I quite drinking, not good when I have another 50 miles to go. Gels and stingers seem to work ok for me, along with endurolytes, but I tend to lose focus on keeping up with them and get behind on my nutrition, also juggling a fel flask or package while rolling is not the preferred, so the liquid nutrition in the camelbak seems to be the best if I can find a product that won't make me sick.

    Any other recommendations for liquid nutrition that will provide not only hydration, but 200-250cal per hour, and electrolytes I want to try and go strictly liquid for up to 10 hours with possibly a bananna or two at an aid station.

    Or any other possible ideas on nutrition for long rides.

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    I have stomach issues with hammer (soy in general)

    I've used GU Roctane to good effect on a 12 hour race and a couple century rides to good effect. No tummy issues at all, even on the 12+ hour events.

    I haven't tried the infinit drink mix since the GU seems to work for me. I drink a bottle an hour with a drink every 15-20 mins and a gel every hour
    It's not about being better than others, it's about getting the best out of myself.

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    Last year I was doing my own stuff with Maltodextrin & sea salt. I can't recall the calories so please don't shoot me but 1/4 cup malto per hour (I think ~150 calories) and a pinch of salt. Flavored with whatever I have on hand, lemonade, tang low cal Gatorade...

    I'd only mix 5 hour bottles but would often bring 2 on longer rides along with some real food.

    why? it's way cheaper than any other method.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasiorv View Post
    I have tried hammer products (perpetuam/sustained) and they made my stomach upset on hard efforts and I have recently been using infinit with the same results. I am ok for about 4-5 hours, but after that it's not a quite a "gut bomb" but I just feel like I am going to puke, especially when the ride is over. Also, when I get that feeling I can't stand the taste of the product anymore and therefore I quite drinking, not good when I have another 50 miles to go. Gels and stingers seem to work ok for me, along with endurolytes, but I tend to lose focus on keeping up with them and get behind on my nutrition, also juggling a fel flask or package while rolling is not the preferred, so the liquid nutrition in the camelbak seems to be the best if I can find a product that won't make me sick.

    Any other recommendations for liquid nutrition that will provide not only hydration, but 200-250cal per hour, and electrolytes I want to try and go strictly liquid for up to 10 hours with possibly a bananna or two at an aid station.

    Or any other possible ideas on nutrition for long rides.
    Pretty much all my athletes (road and mtb) are on Infinit (my custom formulas), along with a pile of other athletes that I don't coach who have asked for my formulas, and nobody has had a problem with Infinit once they get used to it. I've been on Infinit for about 5yrs and have over 20 24hr Solo races, along with a pile of 12's, 8's, etc and I race on just liquid nutrition. Maybe you need to tweak things?

    How much do you weigh, how many cals per hour do you race on, and how much protein per hour is in your formula?

    I don't work for Infinit and I don't get anything for posting this, I'm just trying to help out.

  6. #6
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    195 lbs.

    My current formula is 258 cal per serving with 2.05 - 4% protein.

    I have another formula with 270 cal per serving with no protein, I am going to try it next.

    I typically drink close to 100 oz in 4hrs. I have tried mixing it at 8 scoops (4 serv) per 100oz, and I have also tried to mix it light with 6 scoops (3 serv) per 100 oz with similar effects.

    I did one time mix it heavy ( 9 or 10 scoops) and I did a hard effort in the heat and ended up finishing all 100oz in just over 3 hours and when I stopped at the aid station to refill I got sicker than anything (I was OK until I stopped). I decided to fill up with just water and began drinking just water. I was nauseated, light headed, no energy to turn the pedals etc..... until about 20 min after the aid station and then all of a sudden, I started feeling better again and pow I got my energy back and rocked on. It was like a switch was flipped.

  7. #7
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    At 195lbs and 260cals per hr and less than 4gms of protein, you should be ok.

    My suggestion is, and I know this will sound OCD, get yourself a kitchen scale and weigh out your hour doses to the gram and then put them in each bottle. The scoops have a lot of variability based on powder settling, etc and there can be quite a caloric swing from one scoop to the next.

    Slice your bottle consumption into 6-10 slices. So in an hour, don't gulp a quarter of a bottle because you are getting behind in your consumption, stay on top of the steady trickle of cals and slice that bottle up into smaller sips.

    Make sense?

  8. #8
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    staylor,
    makes sense but I was hoping to mix in the camelbak and not use a bottle at all. I am trying to avoid having to reach for bottles, flasks, etc..... but just for training and to see if it improves my stomach issue, I can give bottles a try and mix up a 5 or 6 hour bottle with the gradients added and then sip plain water from the camelbak.

  9. #9
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    I'm not a fan of racing with a cameback, in general. Unless you are practicing a lot of time riding at race pace with a camelback and perfecting your drinking volume, it's easy to misjudge the amount you have consumed per hour because you don't have a visual reference. It's so much easier with bottles.

    That's not to say camelbacks can't be done, it can be done, of course. I sometimes see Elite/Pro riders doing endurance races with camelbacks and they are successful, probably because they've been doing it for a long time and over time they've dialed it in and tested their system during multiple races. The counter-argument to camelbacks would be that nearly everyone I see that's racing for the podium is on bottles.

    On a point to point race I go out with 3 bottles filled with Infinit and have several ziploc baggies crammed in my jersey pocket. Each baggie has a weighed 1hr dose in it. When I get to an aid station with water, or a fresh creek, I'll bite off the corner of the baggie and pour the 1hr dose in a bottle, I'll usually do two bottles at a water stop and it's well under 1min. On lap races it's much easier as you can throw your empty bottles towards your pit support as you approach them and grab a bottle handup on the roll-by.

    Once you get used to bottles they are really simple, there are always multiple spots on a course where you can drink from them. Never a problem.

    I don't recommend mixing up a concentrated bottle and playing it off against a plain water camelback, after several hours of redline racing the simple things can become a bit more complicated. Taking tiny equally measured sips could be a recipe for disaster if the sip is a bit bigger than it needs to be. If you consider there are typically 24oz in a bottle, at your dosing of 260cals over 6hrs, each 1oz sip will equal 65cals which is too many cals at once (if you are at race pace), your stomach will get upset. You would really need to be targeting a half ounce sip from that water bottle and that's some delicate precision if you are really hammering it down the trail.

    Try the 260cals per 24oz bottle. Each hour start a new bottle. Try to slice each bottle into approx 8 drinks per hour.

    Make sense?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TreeFarmer View Post
    I have stomach issues with hammer (soy in general)

    Wurd...

    I took a bottle of HEED in at one of the checkpoints at the 2008 Shenandoah 100...it ended up all over the trail in very short order...just to be sure...tried it again on a training ride when I got home...yup...


    Can't touch Hammer drinks unless I was a castaway...


    I do however, LOVE Hammer gel (Apple Pie...YUM)....great stuff.


    Like others have posted, you have to experiment and see what works best for your guttage.


    .




    .

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    I have had problems in the past with stomach issues as well. I have a very sensitive stomach so I tried multiple brands and formulas to finally get what I thought was best. I am about 40lbs lighter than you but you can tweak this to your likings. I use Tailwind products to get calories and electroyletes. I also mix it with CarboPro to raise the calorie count and get in more complex carbs. I have run this mixture in both my camelbak and waterbottles with great results. The Carbopro is netural tasting while the Tailwind has three flavors (my favorite being berry). the Tailwind also tastes great so its a pleasure to drink. Every now and then I'll eat some Clifbar shot blocks for just something to give a little extra kick. Try this out. It works great. And no I don't work for either of these companies.....I'm just relaying what I have found.

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    Gatoraid works well and you can get it at just about any store so it is convenient.

    I also like Cliff bars for the same reason.

    For many rides some left over pancakes or waffles from a big breakfast can help.

    To return to the original question you may want to try some baby foods. I had a friend who did this because he had a baby and then found this was something he liked and raced well on.
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  13. #13
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    I have been on Infinit for 5 months. I had no problems on it until my first 24 hour solo race where I spent a lot of time in the bushes let's say after about 12 hours. However, since then I have had no problems and completed another 24 hour solo in October with no problems. I really focused on taking small drinks on a regular basis as well as I used Infinit's Jet Fuel product every 4-6 hours which has no protein in it and helps to flush out the system. It seemed to work for me and I have a very sensitive stomach.

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    From my experience and research:

    You might be running too dense of a mix as well. From most research on the subject, more than about 180 calories per 22-24 oz bottles is too concentrated to be absorbed easily. If the mix is too concentrated, the body has to dump water from your plasma back into your gut to absorb it, thereby dehydrating you and slowing absorption rate, leaving a bloated gut. If you need more calories, you need to drink more. Instead of 1 bottle per hour, think 1.5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    From my experience and research:

    You might be running too dense of a mix as well. From most research on the subject, more than about 180 calories per 22-24 oz bottles is too concentrated to be absorbed easily. If the mix is too concentrated, the body has to dump water from your plasma back into your gut to absorb it, thereby dehydrating you and slowing absorption rate, leaving a bloated gut. If you need more calories, you need to drink more. Instead of 1 bottle per hour, think 1.5.
    Uhmmm, that's just plain bad information, either that or I'm totally misunderstanding what you are saying.

    I've got thousands of hours of personal experience on approx 260cals per hour per 24oz bottle - in race, during trg, and on casual fun hours - spread out over multi-hour rides and races. I've seen tens of thousands of hours supporting similar cals/bottle numbers (similar meaning - to be adjusted to each athletes body weight and style of racing, etc but still within an approx 225-290cal per hr, per 24oz range), as reported to me by the hundreds of endurance athletes that I coach or have coached. The numbers that I see on a day to day, simply don't support what you are saying.

    Perhaps those reports you mentioned were based on some unusual cals/bottle/hr control factor that was trying to demonstrate something else unrelated to endurance bike racing?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    Uhmmm, that's just plain bad information, either that or I'm totally misunderstanding what you are saying.

    I've got thousands of hours of personal experience on approx 260cals per hour per 24oz bottle - in race, during trg, and on casual fun hours - spread out over multi-hour rides and races. I've seen tens of thousands of hours supporting similar cals/bottle numbers (similar meaning - to be adjusted to each athletes body weight and style of racing, etc but still within an approx 225-290cal per hr, per 24oz range), as reported to me by the hundreds of endurance athletes that I coach or have coached. The numbers that I see on a day to day, simply don't support what you are saying.

    Perhaps those reports you mentioned were based on some unusual cals/bottle/hr control factor that was trying to demonstrate something else unrelated to endurance bike racing?
    A comparison of the gastric emptying ch - PubMed Mobile
    Here's a quick link to one of the earlier studies on the subject of cho concentration and gastric emptying. Since, higher concentrations merely slow gastric emptying, not stop it, I'm sure you and your athletes do perfectly fine at higher concentrations. However, the research does tend to show that the highest rates if absorption are at lower concentrations. For some, this could lead to a gut bomb feeling, I have found that to be the case with me, as well, with a variety of products. Sorry for a brief response, just a quick iPhone note as I have to get back to work.

    Edit additional:
    I make my own drink products as I've never been super happy with anything out there, and I found that at lower concentrations I can actually consume more calories per hour because of faster gastric emptying. I've found that I can stomach up to 2 bottles/hr at lower concentrations, around 160-180 calories per bottle (about 6% concentration, as reported to be the highest percentage with the fastest absorption rate in the above study) giving me up to 360 calories per hour. While there has been another study that show that concentrations of up to 8% improve performance over a 6% concentration, I believe that study didn't control for total calories (from what I remember and I could be wrong here). So you and your athletes could be doing just fine at higher concentrations, but maybe missing some hydration potential. I think with nutrition, the goal is for consuming both the highest number of calories of CHO and maintaining the highest amount of hydration without creating a gut bomb or hyponatremia. My own drinks have a high ratio of electrolytes to carbs in comparison to most brands to prevent hyponatremia, with the exception of Scratch labs as that is based off of using solid nutrition for calories.
    The two bottles an hour is not unheard of, as I heard of Dr. Lim using that amount with his athletes in the tour. Dr. Lim's approach is that hydration is as important as nutrition for endurance athletes. I tend to agree. I just use liquid nutrition because it is easier on the mtb during racing than eating rice cakes.
    Last edited by Whambat; 11-26-2012 at 08:51 AM.

  18. #18
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    I appreciate everyone's feedback and input. After some thought during a few shorter rides this weekend, I am currently not willing to give up the camelbak, so I need to figure everything out with the camelbak.

    I noticed that with both plain water and with a nutrition mix in the camelbak (and even with bottles on the road bike), that I tend to not drink much the first hour or so and then I start drinking heavily (maybe 12-16 oz in the first hour, and then 28-32 oz the following hours). For a shorter 2-2.5hr ride with just water, this has not been an issue, but with nutrition in the mix, maybe that is what is causing some of my issues. Since I still have 1.5 bags of infinit, before I run out and try one of the other products, I may try to focus on starting to drink right from the beginning with smaller more constant sips. Basically, in lieu on focusing on "what product", focus on "how" I am consuming.

    Unfortunately, I only have the opportunity to get in one long ride per week, so it will take me several weeks/months to figure out if that is working or if I need to just switch to a different product. I understand that most people have been having good luck with infinit, but no matter what product that sick feeling just sucks!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasiorv View Post
    I noticed that with both plain water and with a nutrition mix in the camelbak (and even with bottles on the road bike), that I tend to not drink much the first hour or so and then I start drinking heavily (maybe 12-16 oz in the first hour, and then 28-32 oz the following hours). For a shorter 2-2.5hr ride with just water, this has not been an issue, but with nutrition in the mix, maybe that is what is causing some of my issues. Since I still have 1.5 bags of infinit, before I run out and try one of the other products, I may try to focus on starting to drink right from the beginning with smaller more constant sips. Basically, in lieu on focusing on "what product", focus on "how" I am consuming.
    As your body has a limited ability to absorb both water and nutrients per hour, you want to be staying on top of it early, it's near impossible to catch up on either. Even at max consumption levels, you are never keeping up with what you are depleting.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    A comparison of the gastric emptying ch - PubMed Mobile
    Here's a quick link to one of the earlier studies on the subject of cho concentration and gastric emptying. Since, higher concentrations merely slow gastric emptying, not stop it, I'm sure you and your athletes do perfectly fine at higher concentrations. However, the research does tend to show that the highest rates if absorption are at lower concentrations. For some, this could lead to a gut bomb feeling, I have found that to be the case with me, as well, with a variety of products. Sorry for a brief response, just a quick iPhone note as I have to get back to work.
    Some general observations:

    - The study is pushing 30oz per hour, not 24oz per hour.
    - It only makes general reference to more CHO per hour demonstrates slower gastric emptying vs. less CHO per hour demonstrates faster gastric emptying.
    - It doesn't describe the type of, or the percentages of blend, for the CHO (which could show a large impact on the results).

    The obvious pitch in this report is that more CHO causes slower gastric emptying than less CHO. But practical experience would dictate the need for CHO replacement over the course of an event. So the more CHO you can replace per hour the better from a whole body refuelling perspective. Consider that in a race or trg you can lose anywhere from 600-800cals per hour (more or less), in the perfect world you would be replacing them cal for cal. But that's not really possible for a number of reasons. So finding that optimal CHO replacement rate per hour becomes a key focus and it is a moving target; depending on the racer, their body weight, the ambient temp, the type of event, and the intensity of pace to mention a few things. With that said, it's realistic to absorb much more calories per hour than the 180cals per hour that you mentioned earlier.

    Now, if you or another person is experiencing 'a gut bomb feeling' it might have less to do with the cals per hour, it might be things like intolerance to the form of protein used, the amount of protein per hour, a reaction to an ingredient/preservative/chemical used, or it could be a combination of these things and simply too many cals of CHO per hour. Racing/trg/riding on liquid nutrition isn't rocket science, though it does require some experience/experimentation to nail things down until it finally works well.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    Some general observations:

    - The study is pushing 30oz per hour, not 24oz per hour.
    - It only makes general reference to more CHO per hour demonstrates slower gastric emptying vs. less CHO per hour demonstrates faster gastric emptying.
    - It doesn't describe the type of, or the percentages of blend, for the CHO (which could show a large impact on the results).

    The obvious pitch in this report is that more CHO causes slower gastric emptying than less CHO. But practical experience would dictate the need for CHO replacement over the course of an event. So the more CHO you can replace per hour the better from a whole body refuelling perspective. Consider that in a race or trg you can lose anywhere from 600-800cals per hour (more or less), in the perfect world you would be replacing them cal for cal. But that's not really possible for a number of reasons. So finding that optimal CHO replacement rate per hour becomes a key focus and it is a moving target; depending on the racer, their body weight, the ambient temp, the type of event, and the intensity of pace to mention a few things. With that said, it's realistic to absorb much more calories per hour than the 180cals per hour that you mentioned earlier.

    Now, if you or another person is experiencing 'a gut bomb feeling' it might have less to do with the cals per hour, it might be things like intolerance to the form of protein used, the amount of protein per hour, a reaction to an ingredient/preservative/chemical used, or it could be a combination of these things and simply too many cals of CHO per hour. Racing/trg/riding on liquid nutrition isn't rocket science, though it does require some experience/experimentation to nail things down until it finally works well.
    Yes, there are some factors to be considered as type of CHO, as were not included in that study, and that could have serious impact as the gyclemic index variation between fructose and maltodextrin is huge. However, I've found it with my N of 1 studies that I do better closer to that 6% ratio. I do agree that you want and can have more than 180 per hour, I suggested drinking more at lower concentrations such as 1.5 bottles per hour, bringing it to 270 per hour.
    I did just add some additional to my last post that I was probably typing when you last wrote as well, I covered some additional there. I do feel that lab based research is not the end all as most stuff is discovered in the field and later analyzed in the lab. So, I do appreciate hearing about your experiences and do not discount them. There are many approaches to on the bike nutrition and I think it's often best to find what works for an
    individual, which is why I suggested trying lower concentrations to the OP.

  22. #22
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    what are your goals?

    Quote Originally Posted by gasiorv View Post
    I have tried hammer products (perpetuam/sustained) and they made my stomach upset on hard efforts and I have recently been using infinit with the same results. I am ok for about 4-5 hours, but after that it's not a quite a "gut bomb" but I just feel like I am going to puke, especially when the ride is over. Also, when I get that feeling I can't stand the taste of the product anymore and therefore I quite drinking, not good when I have another 50 miles to go...
    Lots of good information in this thread. But I think a point I'd add:

    Whether to avoid using a camelbak and stick with just bottles makes me think; what are your goals and what types of events will you be doing? Are they events where there are always ample aid stations? Are you in it to win it?

    Personally, unless I'm never more than an hour from an aid station, my rule is that I have clear plain water with me. I like to feed from a liquid source in most situations, so for me that means either camelbak AND bottles, or multiple bottles. I have gotten into the situation you describe, where all I had was liquid with food in it. I got to where I couldn't tolerate it. And then I had nothing. And I was hours away from a source of plain water in the heat of July in the Rocky Mountains.

    I am never in it to win it, and I do both organized and completely self-supported events. In a lap race or one where there are lots of aid stations, I might race with just a bottle of food and no plain water, but I always make sure that I take in a fair amount of fluid that's just water.

    My food liquid I usually mix a bit more concentrated than what is recommended so that I can take a quick slug and get a good dose of calories. I do my sipping to stay hydrated using water in the pack.

    My system is camelbak for plain water, bottles for food. Like somebody else noted for them, my body does not like soy. I like Hammer stuff, but the perpetuum and sustained energy are poison for me. HEED has no soy (or any other protein, just for info sake).

    I'm lucky in that I can fuel on lots of stuff. But that's probably largely because I'm almost never pinning it. My all day pace is just not at that high output. But I like HEED, Acclimate, and recently tried Tailwind during an event and REALLY liked it. Next time I need a re-supply, it's going to be Tailwind.

    In a pinch, I can even do just gatorade (simple sugar). I did WRIAD in October and forgot to bring my drink mix, and a friend gave me some gatorade G2 packets. And I was fine.

    I like Honey Stinger Energy Chews and waffles. But those slow you down lots if you're just trying to keep your head down and grind.

    My biggest problem is protein. I pretty much fall back to bars like hammer or Kate's Real Food, and actual food like breakfast burritos and ham sammiches (get the little croissants from the grocery store and make little three-bite sandwiches) for my protein. So that means I'm going without any protein usually for hours at a time. A trickle of protein is better from what I've heard.

    But again, my goals are different. I do long efforts, 8-24 hours minimum. And I do it at a pace that I can sustain. Lots of times, I'm out away from help. If I pin it and bonk, it can be real trouble. But that's me. Some people wouldn't even call what I do "racing".
    Last edited by TomP; 11-26-2012 at 09:40 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    Yes, there are some factors to be considered as type of CHO, as were not included in that study, and that could have serious impact as the gyclemic index variation between fructose and maltodextrin is huge. However, I've found it with my N of 1 studies that I do better closer to that 6% ratio. I do agree that you want and can have more than 180 per hour, I suggested drinking more at lower concentrations such as 1.5 bottles per hour, bringing it to 270 per hour.
    I did just add some additional to my last post that I was probably typing when you last wrote as well, I covered some additional there. I do feel that lab based research is not the end all as most stuff is discovered in the field and later analyzed in the lab. So, I do appreciate hearing about your experiences and do not discount them. There are many approaches to on the bike nutrition and I think it's often best to find what works for an
    individual, which is why I suggested trying lower concentrations to the OP.
    You are right, there are many approaches to bike nutrition. It sounds like you've done some experimentation and might have found what works for you.

    I just read your edit and I'll quote that and address it right now, if only to offer some more for you to think about.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    A comparison of the gastric emptying ch - PubMed Mobile
    Here's a quick link to one of the earlier studies on the subject of cho concentration and gastric emptying. Since, higher concentrations merely slow gastric emptying, not stop it, I'm sure you and your athletes do perfectly fine at higher concentrations. However, the research does tend to show that the highest rates if absorption are at lower concentrations. For some, this could lead to a gut bomb feeling, I have found that to be the case with me, as well, with a variety of products. Sorry for a brief response, just a quick iPhone note as I have to get back to work.

    Edit additional:
    I make my own drink products as I've never been super happy with anything out there, and I found that at lower concentrations I can actually consume more calories per hour because of faster gastric emptying. I've found that I can stomach up to 2 bottles/hr at lower concentrations, around 160-180 calories per bottle (about 6% concentration, as reported to be the highest percentage with the fastest absorption rate in the above study) giving me up to 360 calories per hour. While there has been another study that show that concentrations of up to 8% improve performance over a 6% concentration, I believe that study didn't control for total calories (from what I remember and I could be wrong here). So you and your athletes could be doing just fine at higher concentrations, but maybe missing some hydration potential. I think with nutrition, the goal is for consuming both the highest number of calories of CHO and maintaining the highest amount of hydration without creating a gut bomb or hyponatremia. My own drinks have a high ratio of electrolytes to carbs in comparison to most brands to prevent hyponatremia, with the exception of Scratch labs as that is based off of using solid nutrition for calories.
    The two bottles an hour is not unheard of, as I heard of Dr. Lim using that amount with his athletes in the tour. Dr. Lim's approach is that hydration is as important as nutrition for endurance athletes. I tend to agree. I just use liquid nutrition because it is easier on the mtb during racing than eating rice cakes.
    Now things are a bit more complicated since you mention your current cals and bottles per hour. All I can say is this... that is a lot of cals per hour. It might be working for you up to, hmmmmm, maybe 5-6hrs of race pace but have you pushed it beyond that timeline at race pace on multiple occasions?

    No doubt, hydration is important and it can be adjusted somewhat based on the environmental conditions. I do it, my athletes do it. You are talking about 1400ml consumption per hour, which I think is a bit high for multi-hour high intensity efforts, you might find this interesting:

    http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/7161/1...ren-K-7161.pdf

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    But again, my goals are different. I do long efforts, 8-24 hours minimum. And I do it at a pace that I can sustain. Lots of times, I'm out away from help. If I pin it and bonk, it can be real trouble. But that's me. Some people wouldn't even call what I do "racing".
    I've seen you post on this subject often enough Tom that I know you have done your own experimentation. Experience drawn from multiple long efforts (8+ hrs) is the only way to be confident in solving the on-bike endurance nutrition puzzle. Some people who read up on this forum subject fail to grasp that point. I know you have a grip on it, so the point below isn't directed at you, it's just another opportunity to try and get the point across.

    A 2hr XC race and a 12 or 24hr endurance race are obviously different things. The point that I've been beating to death on this forum over all these years is a lot of racers can make a lot of things work for them up to about the 5-6hr mark and that's when the racers preceding nutrition choices start to make an impact. At the 8-12hr mark you can't be racing for podium on 12 boiled eggs per hour.

    There is flexibility on what an athlete can eat or drink, the rate of consumption per hour can be adjustable, and the ratios of protein/fat/carbs can be adjustable. No two athletes are the same. With that said, the guys that I see on the podium that are consuming boiled eggs, pastrami sandwiches and leftover cold pizza (or whatever) are far and few between but when they are it's because they have spent years learning their body and fuelling system and know what to adjust when things start going sideways.

    Liquid nutrition isn't the ultimate problem solver, it's just one way of solving the puzzle. Just because liquid seems simpler than trying to race on pastrami and eggs, it shouldn't be guess-worked, it still requires some strategy, experimentation and experience to solve the puzzle for races over 8hrs.

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