Protein in energy drinks for races > 8 hour- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Protein in energy drinks for races > 8 hour

    As ever overloaded by the the data, opinion, etc., out there. I use Infinit, plus occasional gels etc, which allows me to adjust the mix at order time: how much flavor, carb, protein etc. My reading tells me I need protein for longer endurance efforts (I'll do both the Leadville 100s next month) yet protein can interfere, cause nausea, slow absorption.

    Curious for what other people find in events > 8 hours.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokay View Post
    As ever overloaded by the the data, opinion, etc., out there. I use Infinit, plus occasional gels etc, which allows me to adjust the mix at order time: how much flavor, carb, protein etc. My reading tells me I need protein for longer endurance efforts (I'll do both the Leadville 100s next month) yet protein can interfere, cause nausea, slow absorption.

    Curious for what other people find in events > 8 hours.
    I use infinit as well, but have two formulas: one with protein (Chris Eatough's 24 hour formula), and one without (Chris Eatough's 100 miler formula). On long endurance races (>8) I use the formula without protein in my camel back, and a bottle with protein. At the Wilderness 101 I did the following:
    Started the race with my camelback with the no-protein formula and one bottle with protein.
    At aid station two, three and four I refilled both the camel back (infinit w/out protein) and bottle (infinit w protein).
    At the last aid station (aid station 5) I refilled my camel back with water and the bottle with inifinit with protein.

    This has worked for me in several endurance races ranging from 8-13.5 hours. In addition, I also take 2-3 endurolytes per hour to make sure I don't cramp.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, this sounds a sensible strategy and can see it working on the bike which I guess is what this forum is about. On the run I just want to use a 2L nathan and avoid bottles but I'm going to test this broad idea out. I need to buy some Infinit anyway. I may tweak the taste a bit and will think about whether to add caffeine to the 24hr mix

    (I use SCaps v Endurolytes but not so much since I switched to Infinit, easy to carry anyway. Ended up giving some to a rider in Silver Rush who was cramping up)

  4. #4
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    most people can't handle protein in there drinks, it caused GI issues, bloated stomach and gas. If it works for you, and it helps you, then use it. I wouldn't try it in a race, though. Try it during a few training rides that are of the longer distance. you won't notice the GI issues untl later in the the workout/race.

    good luck.
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  5. #5
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    ^^^^ Careful there. I would argue that most people actually REQUIRE some protein to perform well in the latter stages of endurance events of any kind. I know it was a huge improvement for me.

    But the minority that can NOT tolerate protein are the most vocal. After all, not much chance that those who have no trouble at all will make sure to race back here and post that "hey, everything worked fine with the protein"!

    But I totally agree with the advice not to try this experiment during a race. Heck, I wouldn't try a new brand of bottle cage during a race, let alone monkey around with my nutrition plan on race day!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  6. #6
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    I think it depends on the individual. If you can handle protein, it makes sense to take it during a race. If not, you should skip it.

    I originally tried Perp, which didn't agree with me at all. The Infinit protein was a little better, but still felt queasy during hard efforts once it got hot. Now I use the Chris Eatough 100 mile mix with no problems. It does contain amino acids, to help process the carbs. I had someone with a PhD on the subject tell me it does actually contain protein due to the ingredients used to get the amino acid contents from.

    I have also switched between the mix with protein and without depending on the temperature and effort, but I don't know that it is worth it. For me, the lack of protein doesn't seem to make much difference.

  7. #7
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    Found this on the NIH's website regarding a study of a 24 hour race

    Additionally, although protein is not considered a primary energy source for athletes, it has been suggested to play an important role during longer events. An adequate ratio of carbohydrate/protein may reduce a negative protein balance (16, 17) and may enhance aerobic endurance performance (18). An optimal rate (g) between carbohydrate and protein intake seems to be 4:1 (18). Applying these recommendations in the present case study, and assuming that the athlete had ingested the recommended carbohydrate rate (∼1.1 g/min), protein intake would have had to have been ∼400 g (4.7 g/kg of body mass), representing more than threefold the actual amount of protein intake by the cyclist during the event. Accordingly, this amount of protein seems to be excessive and, independent of the supposed benefits of carbohydrate and protein combination, it should also be taken into account that protein intake is associated with greater satiety and a reduced ad libitum energy intake in humans. Thus, higher protein consumption during longer events can be associated with a reduction of food intake, as well as an increase of the risk of gastrointestinal disturbances. Further studies are needed to analyze whether an increase of protein intake above the current recommendations (1.21.7 g/kg of body mass/day) may induce benefits in longer and high-intensity sport events.

  8. #8
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    I don't check the Hammer website regularly, so this may be old news, but it was new to me. I recently read in a brochure of theirs I picked up at my LBS that they've been collecting general data (not just from their customers) over a decade from endurance event participants, looking for patterns. Two conclusions: many people eat too much and many people drink too much. The patterns of who had bonking and/or stomach issues were pretty clear. The key, for a normal-size (not huge) athlete, was to consume no more than 270-300 calories per hour, and no more than 30 oz of fluid per hour. No point in consuming it if you can't process it, and folks who consume too much almost always have issues.

    I used to have problems whenever I consumed protein while riding, but it seems I was just consuming too much when I added protein. When I started adjusting my intake to add protein and keep my calories at ~300 per hour, gut issues went away. Not only that, I had more energy on less consumption. The point, if protein seems to bother you, maybe it's not the protein itself but another factor causing the problem.

  9. #9
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    Yes Mudge good points. There seems to be more and more evidence pointing to drinking *less* or rather that many people drink too much. Tragically mid packer death is not unknown in events even as short as the marathon due to hyponatremia. Admittedly this is not purely dependent on how much liquid you consume but the mix.

    A secondary benefit is reducing the weight of water or the number of aid stops. I ran for 10 hours on Sunday on 5.5L, felt good, and recovered surprisingly fast. I'm consuming about 260/hr with an occasional 100 cal gel (GU) thrown in every few hours. That said I'd like to drink more.

    On the protein debate as ever there seem various opinions including that during long events lack of protein will lead to muscle cannibilization. For the 100 bike not so much a concern, but perhaps more so for the > 28 hours of the run.

    Take the point re not not trying it first in the race, however the bike is a B race so I may play a bit there before the run. I am going to carry 2 formulas, basically the one I've used before and a no protein version of it. I'll also stash extra of both in my dropbags though I have no plans to actually use the dropbags - they are just backup.

    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    I don't check the Hammer website regularly, so this may be old news, but it was new to me. I recently read in a brochure of theirs I picked up at my LBS that they've been collecting general data (not just from their customers) over a decade from endurance event participants, looking for patterns. Two conclusions: many people eat too much and many people drink too much. The patterns of who had bonking and/or stomach issues were pretty clear. The key, for a normal-size (not huge) athlete, was to consume no more than 270-300 calories per hour, and no more than 30 oz of fluid per hour. No point in consuming it if you can't process it, and folks who consume too much almost always have issues.

    I used to have problems whenever I consumed protein while riding, but it seems I was just consuming too much when I added protein. When I started adjusting my intake to add protein and keep my calories at ~300 per hour, gut issues went away. Not only that, I had more energy on less consumption. The point, if protein seems to bother you, maybe it's not the protein itself but another factor causing the problem.

  10. #10
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    I find that I need a little bit of protein otherwise I get really hungry. Either in perpetuem or in a bar, I eventually need some protein otherwise my body is wondering why I skipped lunch.

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