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  1. #1
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    Better than Gatorade?

    Hi,

    I keep reading online that Gatorade is actually bad for you because they put junk in it. Is Propel any better? If not, What works? I am starting to go on 2+ hour trail rides and I could use any boost I can get.

    Also, local store sells Clif, POWER, KIND, ZonePerfect, and Larabar. Are any of these any good or are they no better than regular sugar-loaded granola bars? Thanks all.

  2. #2
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    there is nothing wrong with gatorade. at all.

    get the dry powder in 9 gallon bags, mix it up at home
    at whatever strength you need.

    does what it says, provides calories and some useful electrolytes

    there is harmless added crap to it when you buy liquid bottles of it.
    it's harmless.

    only bad for you if you drink a ton of it and sit around, like
    any sugary beverage will do to sedentary folks

    there are other 'sports drinks' out there advertising this and that benefit, and some specific to cycling....all are fine, but gatorade powder is mighty cheap

    ---
    same with all those bars, they are all the same. eat what you can digest easily and not barf on a long grind....tip: oats in the bar are good. more oats the better.

    --
    quick summary: all of that is fine, experiment with what you like and doesn't cause indigestion. you should be able to ride and not think about your stomach working on some 'rock' you just ate, harshing your riding kung-fu

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Ghost View Post
    Hi,

    I keep reading online that Gatorade is actually bad for you because they put junk in it.
    Define "junk". A better definition of exactly what junk means can have a significant impact. Subjectivity excluded.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Define "junk". A better definition of exactly what junk means can have a significant impact. Subjectivity excluded.
    I don't know exactly, mostly it seems like some people think the benefits of Gatorade, electrolytes, can be had in healthier ways, less sugar, no fake color and flavor, etc. It would be the easiest to just grab that when out. I see people having near panic attacks over sugar, same with those bars. Unless you are a diabetic (I am not), I don't know why.

  5. #5
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    Ok, I understand that point. I do use Gatorade and Power-aid. I prefer to buy the bulk powdered stuff to mix my own because I do not like it as sweet as premixed.

    There are plenty of home-made recipes for making your own on Goggle, but I have yet to go there. I would like to try them though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Ok, I understand that point. I do use Gatorade and Power-aid. I prefer to buy the bulk powdered stuff to mix my own because I do not like it as sweet as premixed.

    There are plenty of home-made recipes for making your own on Goggle, but I have yet to go there. I would like to try them though.
    You see, I'm glad I asked because I didn't even know you could buy it powered. Where do you find that? Local grocery store as far as I know might sell the Crystal Light/MIO packets for a bottle or 2. They have protein powder in the health isle but not Gatorade mix I don't think.

  7. #7
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    I'm quite liking the little High-5 tabs these days. I would call a two-hour ride short and you're not going to need much in the way of extra calories. Just eat properly before you go out and you'll be sorted.

  8. #8
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    Wally World for less than $9 for a can that makes 5 gal.

    Better than Gatorade?-thirstquencherpowder.png
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  9. #9
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    Never really found any of those "electrolyte" drinks all that helpful and some make my stomach unhappy. I drink water and occasionally a pre-ride coffee (black) if I'm feeling sluggish. Glucose/carbs I get from some fig bars, dates, granola or a banana.

    As for the bars, pretty much the same thing as granola or a candy bar except some of 'em have protein but those usually taste a little like powdered bones to me so I stick to real food as much as possible.

  10. #10
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    Brawndo!
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  11. #11
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    People are just freaking out by what they don't know and misinterpret at least half the things they "read" (re: skim through) online.

    Sugar is just fuel (carbs). It's the preferential fuel burned up, especially for high intensity exercise.

    Electrolytes are just what facilitates the transport of electrical signals from the brain to the muscles through the nervous system. Electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium. You just need enough--you often replenish more than enough of them from meals. Cramps are believed to be affected by electrolyte levels, but there's no real consistent proof that it's from having too little or that having a lot prevents them.

    Water is just what transports everything.

    If you're sweating a ton, and losing enough electrolytes to cause problems, perhaps address the sweating problem first by doing something that keeps you cooler? You know, not being fully exposed to the sun is 1 method. There's fabrics that are actually cooler than wearing nothing at all, that still allow heat from muscles metabolizing energy to dissipate. Ex. Columbia Omni Freeze Zero fabric.

    Unhappy "stomachs" (assuming you're including intestines) are likely just from chemical reactions from all the stuff you're putting into it... say you have a drink that has various salts in it, like sodium chloride and sodium citrate. Well, the water breaks down the sodium ion from the salt compounds, leaving the rest. Now what does the Cl (from NaCl, AKA table salt) and the citrate (C6H5O7) do? React with other stuff, perhaps even each other. I'm no chemist, but that can include H2O (water), CO2 (carbon dioxide), CO (carbon monoxide), HCl (hydrogen chloride, or hydrochloric/muriatic acid)... bloating tends to be from gases, and bloated guts are unhappy ones. *shrug* The more expensive brands, like Scratch Labs, purposely choose ingredients to limit this. I personally mix my own*, based on reverse engineering Scratch and Tailwind.

    In general, go by the saying, the poison is in the dose. In other words, worry about the concentration/volume of such things, rather than them individually. Too much water can harm/kill you, and too much oxygen can harm/kill you, just like too much alcohol and whatever else you choose to feed your body... it's safe as long as it's consumed as expected. Replacing every sugar in your entire diet with one alternative, such as saccharin, likely doesn't fall under expected consumption, but I imagine if you replaced every sugar with a little of multiple alternatives (aspartame, sucralose, stevia, etc.), you can avoid the issues of higher doses.

    Hopefully this is what you were after, in response against the cries you've read online, from the poorly informed masses.

    * Personally, I only mix my own stuff because I'm don't feel a need to overpay for something I can create myself. That and I like to experiment, to understand the effects of mixing these things up. I got all my ingredients from Amazon. Was simple as typing what I found in the ingredient list in the search field. Requires doing math to match up the nutritional facts, and a bit more in-depth knowledge of what each ingredient does though.
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  12. #12
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    Ok, so powdered Gatorade mix is fine for electrolytes and since I'm not doing an all day race as long as I eat fine before going I should be good. I do like bananas as well.

    I do work out a few times a week as well but I'm no professional body builder or anything. I just wish my limbs didn't feel like sore sandbags the day after.

    Varaxis: I could look into those shirts. I saw the radiation reflecting ones before but they were expensive. I should check again. I do sweat a lot when true mountain biking on more humid days. Many of the trails here are in the woods so sun is an issue but not too bad.

    Thanks all.

  13. #13
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    I switched from regular Gatorade to G2 and then dropped the whole product line completely a few years ago.

    Now, normally, I just drink plain water, before and during. I always try to remember to bring a banana and eat that with water en route to the trailhead.

    In particularly hot temps, and longer non-stop rides, I will also take 2 Hammer Endurolyte capsules every 1-2 hours while riding, if I sense a shortfall in electrolytes.

    If I am bonking on the last half to third of the ride, I will also use Hammer Gel that I carry in a little plastic flask, to get it over the goal line.

    Post-ride, I usually just grab a liter of chocolate milk at a gas station.

    For Moab riding (hot, long, strenuous, multiple daily rides), I have used Heed/Perpetuem during the ride, and Recoverite after.

    I get Hammer products at a good discount so cost is not an issue.

    I have been on a minimum 3000 calorie per day diet for a few months now, so it's not that I am afraid of calories. I simply prefer Hammer products > Gatorade/Pepsi products in terms of how my body reacts to them, but to each their own.

    Short answer - FOR ME:

    • a pre-ride banana + water + Endurolytes + Hammer Gel (if required) > Gatorade

    Endurolytes and Hammer Gel (or any brand) are readily available, relatively inexpensive and super handy. Plus, I stopped putting Gatorade in my bladder about 3 CamelBaks ago. I was not into the crap that inevitably started growing inside.

  14. #14
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    I like Vitalyte, you can buy it at REI or order it from Amazon. It isn't as sweet and is not strong flavored. I've only tried the Cool Citrus, seems like I remember reading people saying the orange and/or punch stained their bottles. But, I haven't bought any in a few years, just been drinking water and eating a Clifbar.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    ...just been drinking water and eating a Clifbar.
    That works beautifully for me too.

  16. #16
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    I usually drink my electrolytes pre-ride and straight water during all rides. More than three hour rides usually involve a gel or two.
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    Actually I didn't know this but there is a GNC in my town. I might poke around there. I'll probably be fine with the banana, powdered gatorade, water, bar route anyway.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Ghost View Post
    Actually I didn't know this but there is a GNC in my town. I might poke around there. I'll probably be fine with the banana, powdered gatorade, water, bar route anyway.
    IDK, my guess is that would be a good place to pay a higher price for the same thing.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Ghost View Post
    I'll probably be fine with the banana, water, bar route.
    Fixed it for ya

  20. #20
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    Tailwind and Skratch Labs are my go to drink mixes on the bike if I feel the need for anything more than water. Generally if I'm riding long enough to need calories but not long enough to eat...I'll use the products. That's generally 3 to 4 hours. Longer than 4 I'll take food.
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  21. #21
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    I used G2 for a long time, switched to Rehydrate three years back. Not a gut-punch improvement, but I definitely am able to hit it longer and harder, and get back to it sooner. My cycling has improved, too.
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  22. #22
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    Realistically... Gatorade and similar "sport drinks" won't give you anything, and 2h ride (even if it's 3, but I doubt you had 5h ride in mind when writting 2+h) is so short you can easily do with plain water. People are obsessed with fueling with electrolytes and god knows what else is Gatorade & Co. marketing departments trying to pump them with. Reality is, you are getting way too much of "electrolytes" (read NaCl or even more simple... plain table salt) and sugars with everyday's food, so there's simply no reason to add extra salt for those 2h of little bit of sweating. So "electrolytes" wise you are fine with plane water (or add drop or two of lemon juice to avoid "bad" taste of water when hot and drinking few liters of water a day to stay well hydrated).
    If you want "boost", I suggest some training, which will benefit you overall not just on 2h ride, and if it gets really bad, some powerbar or gel (basically sugar thing), as that gives you "boost" not electrolytes. But as I wrote, recreational 2 or 3h rides doesn't require any special food or drinks, especially if you have decent healthy food regime over the day.
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    You will survive a 2+ hr ride drinking only water. But you'll feel better and will recover better if you hydrate properly and get appropriate electrolyte replacement. In the extreme case (i.e. very long efforts where you lose liters of fluid), it is dangerous to drink only water without electrolytes.

    The most important electrolytes (at least in mass/concentration) are sodium and chloride. Gatorade actually doesn't even have enough electrolytes to be a proper electrolyte replacement drink (it qualifies as "low sodium"). And regular Gatorade might have more sugar than you need. I prefer to separate the "fuel" (sugar and other foods) from the electrolytes, so that I can separately consume them as needed.

    My favorite electrolyte replacement is SaltStick capsules--cheap, no extra garbage, just the important electrolytes in a reasonable ratio: sodium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, calcium. It doesn't taste good. I break the capsules into my water and then add some sort of flavoring--a little bit of some flavored water powder or liquid concentrate.

    It is also possible to do this all with food if you plan it out well--for example, salted potato chips give you sodium, potassium, chloride, and carbs (and fat).

  24. #24
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    Yes in extreme cases it's dangerous to drink only water without electrolytes. "Problem" is, there's very very little chance you will get into such extremes, and even if someone does, most of people replenish them natural way with everyday food. But yes, it can happen and some 80 people in history of mankind are recorded to die from this. But in reality this is one of myths spread around by marketing industry and "I made 1 week course and now I'm nutrition and fitness expert" guys (yeah you can tell I'm a little bit annoyed by nowadays standards of "sport experts" with 1 week courses, but I guess that has something to do with being pro endurance athlete for decades, being coach in national team for next several years and actually having university degree in this field). For recreational sport you don't need any special drinks. Every single current research (scientific research not sports drink commercial) shows sport drinks don't bring anything to better recovery/rehydration after workout. Sports drinks are just a little bit better then water or beer when it comes to this, while already orange juice or even coke is a whole lot better, and if you want real thing it's skimmed milk That goes for pro athletes who have a bit different training regime as few rides a week Sunday warrior, for who it's actually not super important if he recovers in time to next training or day later. But if someone wants to spend money on overpriced useless plain sugar and pinch of salt packed into fancy wrap drinks, I'm all for it.
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    I use NUUN....I like it because it dont left any trace at my water bag...I'm a guy that sweats a lot (1 kg to 25 minutes running or every 6k)...riding is less hardcore..but about 1 kg x hour, and this thing works ok for me...with plain water I just feel endless thirsty.

  26. #26
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    If you must, Pedialyte. Or one of the many homebrew electrolyte replacement recipes. For 2 hours I'd just drink water. At about hour 5 I'd start with a replacement but everyones different.

  27. #27
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    Where does the hand crafted, double hopped IPA come into the scene?
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by primoz View Post
    Yes in extreme cases it's dangerous to drink only water without electrolytes...
    Same with drinking excessive amounts of straight water. Extreme cases only of course.

    EDIT: Whoops. Sorry. I think we are saying the same thing...water poisoning.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Where does the hand crafted, double hopped IPA come into the scene?
    That often forms part of the immediate post-recovery regime for me and my buddies. I notice many others at the trailhead seem to have adopted the same protocol.

  30. #30
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    Tradition is a good thing sometimes...
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    For Moab riding (hot, long, strenuous, multiple daily rides), I have used Heed/Perpetuem during the ride, and Recoverite.
    This. Hammer makes an almost foolproof line of nutrition if you follow it. In my opinion, not too pricey either.

    I do agree there is nothing wrong with Gatorade if you are working out while using it.

    When I was riding 2 hours at a time, I don't think nutrition mattered. Last year and this I stepped up to 4-6 hour rides as my long day and found out how to fuel my body. Your experience may vary but for me:

    1. Good meal beforehand. Peanut butter, bread, lots of water, and I like mixed nuts (good source of high quality oils and protein)

    2. Water on the way to trailhead (unless riding to trailhead)

    3. Gel (I use hammer or Roctane, BCAA's are where it's at) without caffeine pre ride for long rides. Less than 2 hours I skip this.

    4. Ride: water frequently (iced down in camelback if it's hot) with a gel every 30-40 minutes. If riding over 4 hours I grab a bar or 1/2 a pb&j every 2 hours.

    5. After ride: Hammer recoverite. Haven't found another recovery drink I like as much as their orange vanilla. It gets me back on the bike again sooner. If it's a short ride (< 2 hours, or a run which is always <1 hour) I may skip this.

    6. Massive calories after big rides. Good nutritious food is preferable but people tell me beer and pizza works!

    Again - this is my experience. I am a doc and I focus in sports physiology, and my wife is a nutritionist, so I've got a lot of background here. All athletes do have different needs/preferences though.


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  32. #32
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    Gatorade is the best. It's #1. No other drink mix compares to it.
    I guess. It's the only one I get unlimited quantities of for free, so I haven't actually tried anything else...
    I'm also very fond of Medi-Lyte tablets, though admittedly for the same reason.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinBiker View Post
    This. Hammer makes an almost foolproof line of nutrition if you follow it. In my opinion, not too pricey either.

    I do agree there is nothing wrong with Gatorade if you are working out while using it.

    When I was riding 2 hours at a time, I don't think nutrition mattered. Last year and this I stepped up to 4-6 hour rides as my long day and found out how to fuel my body. Your experience may vary but for me:

    1. Good meal beforehand. Peanut butter, bread, lots of water, and I like mixed nuts (good source of high quality oils and protein)

    2. Water on the way to trailhead (unless riding to trailhead)

    3. Gel (I use hammer or Roctane, BCAA's are where it's at) without caffeine pre ride for long rides. Less than 2 hours I skip this.

    4. Ride: water frequently (iced down in camelback if it's hot) with a gel every 30-40 minutes. If riding over 4 hours I grab a bar or 1/2 a pb&j every 2 hours.

    5. After ride: Hammer recoverite. Haven't found another recovery drink I like as much as their orange vanilla. It gets me back on the bike again sooner. If it's a short ride (< 2 hours, or a run which is always <1 hour) I may skip this.

    6. Massive calories after big rides. Good nutritious food is preferable but people tell me beer and pizza works!

    Again - this is my experience. I am a doc and I focus in sports physiology, and my wife is a nutritionist, so I've got a lot of background here. All athletes do have different needs/preferences though.


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    Since you made this point, can I talk you into providing some studies/evidence to support your routine here? I actually love reading up on all the things Hammer writes up on the subject, but I'm looking for the actual peer reviewed stuff that gets results replicated by other research attempts. I'm sure you've got plenty of them earmarked from reading through them for the past decades... this coming from someone that wants the optimized high performance take, not the "you're fine, there's far worse out there" take.

    Things I'm particularly interested in: pre-loading on food and water before strenuous exercise. Hemoglobin levels and how digesting a meal affects the availability of them during a workout. Effects of drinking ice cold water during relatively high intensity endurance efforts. Fats and proteins vs carbs for training to get performance gains. Importance of food choice and volume of food when refueling after a long strenuous effort.

    I ask since ever since I've been relying on my drink mix to provide calories during rides, I often don't feel any need to pre-load, nor load-up on food afterwards. I'm actually dropping weight, even when I thought I couldn't lose any more. I'm down to 130, when I used to be a little over 140 lbs, and been becoming way more of a climber lately, when I used to think I was more enduro-style. That, and I know from experience that cheating on my usual massive servings of healthier foods like rice/pasta, beans/sardines/eggs, broccoli, tomatoes, etc. with pizza and fast food, launches me back up to 140 instantly (at least when I pretty much have an entire pizza myself), with me gradually losing about 1 lb a day back down to 130 or so.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinBiker View Post
    This. Hammer makes an almost foolproof line of nutrition if you follow it. In my opinion, not too pricey either.

    I do agree there is nothing wrong with Gatorade if you are working out while using it.

    When I was riding 2 hours at a time, I don't think nutrition mattered. Last year and this I stepped up to 4-6 hour rides as my long day and found out how to fuel my body. Your experience may vary but for me:

    1. Good meal beforehand. Peanut butter, bread, lots of water, and I like mixed nuts (good source of high quality oils and protein)

    2. Water on the way to trailhead (unless riding to trailhead)

    3. Gel (I use hammer or Roctane, BCAA's are where it's at) without caffeine pre ride for long rides. Less than 2 hours I skip this.

    4. Ride: water frequently (iced down in camelback if it's hot) with a gel every 30-40 minutes. If riding over 4 hours I grab a bar or 1/2 a pb&j every 2 hours.

    5. After ride: Hammer recoverite. Haven't found another recovery drink I like as much as their orange vanilla. It gets me back on the bike again sooner. If it's a short ride (< 2 hours, or a run which is always <1 hour) I may skip this.

    6. Massive calories after big rides. Good nutritious food is preferable but people tell me beer and pizza works!

    Again - this is my experience. I am a doc and I focus in sports physiology, and my wife is a nutritionist, so I've got a lot of background here. All athletes do have different needs/preferences though.


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    #3 surprises me, gelling before your ride. I would think you would have enough glycogen stored up that you wouldn't need to gel prior to riding.
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  35. #35
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    For those who say electrolytes are not necessary for a sub 5 hour ride, I can tell you that for me, if I ride in temps above 30 degrees celsius for anything longer than 2.5 or 3 hours non-stop and drink water only during the ride, no matter how much water I drink, I cramp like a sonofa b afterwards, usually in my hamstrings. The cramping is so bad that it literally takes me right off my feet for a minute or two. I have had it happen in public and it was the total shits. I never cramp when I make sure I consume a reasonable amount of electrolytes with my water while riding.

    I appreciate that everyone is different but that has been my experience.

    As for Hammer, all of their products are very gentle on my stomach. That is critical as I have been with others who were using other products, which were not so kind to them. Again though, everyone is different.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    For those who say electrolytes are not necessary for a sub 5 hour ride, I can tell you that for me, if I ride in temps above 30 degrees celsius for anything longer than 2.5 or 3 hours non-stop and drink water only during the ride, no matter how much water I drink, I cramp like a sonofa b afterwards, usually in my hamstrings. The cramping is so bad that it literally takes me right off my feet for a minute or two. I have had it happen in public and it was the total shits. I never cramp when I make sure I consume a reasonable amount of electrolytes with my water while riding.

    I appreciate that everyone is different but that has been my experience.

    As for Hammer, all of their products are very gentle on my stomach. That is critical as I have been with others who were using other products, which were not so kind to them. Again though, everyone is different.
    When I was 10 or 11 years old, I would play soccer or run around after school, sweating a lot. Then when I walked home (remember kids used to do that?), there was one short chain-link fence that I climbed over, and I very often would get hamstring cramps while climbing that fence. I later learned through trial and error that drinking water was not enough, and that electrolyte replacement (at least sodium chloride) controlled cramping, as well as the "dehydration" or "exertion" headaches that would follow long rides/runs/games. With proper attention to hydration and electrolyte replacement, I have been able to do a lot of long, hot rides, e.g. a 70 mile MTB ride with 10,000 feet of climbing on a 90 degree day--that was probably a twelve bottle (20 oz) day, i.e. two gallons of fluid replacement on the bike (followed by massive dinner with more hydration, of course).

  37. #37
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    Mineral deficiency
    It's not just water that you sweat out. Lost electrolytes can also contribute to leg cramping. If you're low in certain electrolytes and other minerals, that imbalance can trigger spontaneous cramping. An imbalance in sodium, calcium, magnesium, or potassium could all lead to leg cramping, says Gerardo Miranda-Comas, MD, associate program director of the sports medicine fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Sports drinks can help reduce cramps thanks to their sodium, as can eating wisely. Bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, yogurt, and nuts are rich in those muscle-friendly minerals and may ward off the deficiencies that could cause leg cramps.

    9 Causes of Leg Cramps—and How To Stop Them | Time.com

    As I mentioned, I have just been carrying water and a ClifBar. But I have been thinking about throwing a cage on my bike and carrying a bottle of electrolyte drink to supplement the water in my Camelbak on the super high humidity rides.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  38. #38
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    Sweat generally contains about 1 gram of sodium and .2 grams of sodium per liter of water. A teaspoon holds about 6 grams of salt. An average person gets about 3.5 grams of salt per day. The bottom line is that every option listed works. It's just personal preference.
    I have mild hyperhidrosis (many people do + I ride in very dry conditions at high altitude. I've come home after emptying a 100 oz camelback and lost 2 pounds.) and sweat a LOT on a 2+ hour ride so water is the most important factor for me, but I put some mix in it for taste and for a small dose of NaCl and K. I also take small doses of statins, so I take a magnesium supplement. The important thing is to determine what works for you. Knowing what works for me is only meaningful to me.
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 08-03-2017 at 08:21 AM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    #3 surprises me, gelling before your ride. I would think you would have enough glycogen stored up that you wouldn't need to gel prior to riding.
    Yep generally glycogen stores are good for 1.5-2 hours. That's why I don't use gel on <2 hour rides. Gel is absorbed in about 20-30 minutes depending on a lot of factors. So that 10 minute pre ride is actually 10-20 minutes into the ride before it's available. On long rides, you want to preserve those glycogen stores as long as possible!! I find a gel right before a little better than just a meal an hour before.


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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Things I'm particularly interested in: pre-loading on food and water before strenuous exercise. Hemoglobin levels and how digesting a meal affects the availability of them during a workout. Effects of drinking ice cold water during relatively high intensity endurance efforts. Fats and proteins vs carbs for training to get performance gains. Importance of food choice and volume of food when refueling after a long strenuous effort.

    I ask since ever since I've been relying on my drink mix to provide calories during rides, I often don't feel any need to pre-load, nor load-up on food afterwards.
    Peer reviewed sports physiology literature is few and far between compared to say cardiology. Much of what I do/advise is somewhat anecdotal but is based in a fairly deep understanding of nutrition and physiology and experience as an athlete personally. I also "go with what works" in that I track a number of athletes and listen to what they are doing. You hate to fall into traps of "you did x and y happened so x causes y," but we are all open to bias. I believe much of this info is guarded as "secrets" which makes it hard to find reliable info.

    Hemoglobin doesn't appreciably change with even a big meal, but will change slightly depending on volume status.

    I don't buy into the ice cold water stuff and my intake (while iced on hot days) is generally somewhat warmer by the time I drink most of it. I use it to help me not overheat and believe that is a bigger factor FOR ME.

    I avoid carbs a few hours before workouts (pretty solid evidence this drops testosterone slightly, and thus performance), but may have a small amount within one hour, use carbs during, and eat all types after.

    How long are your typical workouts? If 2 hours or less, I agree, nutrition in those cases is less crucial, most male athletes especially can sustain 2 hour efforts with little more than water.


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  41. #41
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    I have tried some expensive see
    Gatorade like substances.

    I just tried Gatorade for the first time a few months ago, when I was rally in the pain cave on a hot day on a six hour ride. It really worked wonders.

    So, I use two bottles, one water, one Gatorade mix that I bought on Amazon.

    I don't like nuun tabs, but I have a few of their little tubes empty that I fill with powder so I can replenish electrolytes at a dining fountain or other water source.

    Yellow works the best B)

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    I don't like Nuun because the components are all bicarbonate, carbonate, or sulfate salts, no chloride. I have used several tubes of Nuun tablets and can't say that I suffered. However, replacing cationic electrolytes (Na, Mg, K, Ca) without replacing the major anionic component (Cl) doesn't seem sound.

  43. #43
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    I like Biosteel for an electrolyte drink. I also use Vega products. They make powders and gels for pre, during and post ride recovery.

  44. #44
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    Surprised so many people drink gatorade and gels and all that nasty crap. I mean nasty by taste alone too, especially the gels! It feels like eating a tube full of creamed boogers to me, and gatorade has enough HFCS to be basically soda.

    Not commenting on it on a physiological level, just purely taste and being not palatable. Gross.

    On a loooooong ride, after hours of grinding it out, nothing beats stopping in the shade and eating some real fruit and a sandwich or something. It might take 10 or 15 minutes, but it seems most people are riding for fun and not against the clock, so a refreshing break is awesome.

    I always felt like gels and drinks should be reserved for competitive events. You choke down a nasty gel after whipping it out of your jersey pocket while still pedaling, or chug a cup of gatorade (or soda) from a hand-off or prepared cup at a station, just for the quick to-go calories without wasting time. At that point its more about efficiency and time.

    Are you guys eating and drinking this stuff on your resting break??

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Surprised so many people drink gatorade and gels and all that nasty crap. I mean nasty by taste alone too, especially the gels! It feels like eating a tube full of creamed boogers to me, and gatorade has enough HFCS to be basically soda.
    I always felt like gels and drinks should be reserved for competitive events. You choke down a nasty gel after whipping it out of your jersey pocket while still pedaling, or chug a cup of gatorade (or soda) from a hand-off or prepared cup at a station, just for the quick to-go calories without wasting time. At that point its more about efficiency and time.
    As far as taste goes... I somehow agree. Most of gels taste like shit, but there are few that actually taste good... for gels at least My favorite one is Zipvit ZV7 non caffeine gel with Kivi taste and ZV7c caffeine gel with Smooth espresso taste. They are still manageable taste vise as most other gels I have been using before (and in all those years of pro sport it wasn't little) really taste like shit.
    Otherwise I totally agree with you about when to use them. Personally I use them nowadays once a year, during my only race I still do (one single mtb marathon), as for me, and courses we have marathons around here, it's simply impossible to get enough time for my hands off the bar to be able to slowly chew on something else. Gel is fast and efficient, so for racing it's basically must. For all my other rides, even if they are 5 or 6h rides, I have home made "power bars", and bottles filled with water. Much better taste, much less money and more then good enough for recreational ride.
    Primoz

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    I agree that buying things like Gatorade are mostly a waste of money.

    If you're racing, they are the most convenient (and efficient) way to replace spent fuel. However, if you're just riding or training, EAT A BANANA!

    Cheaper, has vitamins and minerals, and is probably better for your teeth!

    In NZ, the kids have it right...they just take a bag of gummy worms along on their races!
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  47. #47
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    To me, most any packaged water-based liquid is a waste of money. Just give me the concentrate version, and I'll use my own water. I go further and think that simple ingredients pre-mixed and put into a small container is also mostly a waste of money, unless it happens to be so cheap that it's not worth my time to go through the trouble of mixing myself.

    I mix my own sports drink mix for every gallon jug I make. I compared serving sizes to nutritional facts and measured/weighed out the ingredients--the Tailwind and Scratch recipes are essentially printed on their packages, just requiring a bit of math to figure it out. It's not very hard... your grandma probably did something more difficult, trying to figure out recipes for baked goods and other food. Having Amazon around to get the harder to find ingredients helps though, like sodium citrate, a form of glucose (ex. dextrose), and citric acid. They even sold me my scale that is accurate to 0.01g (up to 500g) for a tenner.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  48. #48
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    I have always just used water...before, during and after. Granted, I am not running the Divide trail, or racing. I ride my own pace, moderate midwest rooty, rocky trails for 2-4 hours at a time. Summer riding in 80+ and sometimes 90+ temps. Some days I do 20+ miles, some days I do 5 miles (depending on the technicality and the elevation). We have lots of trails that have "short burst" elevations - 6-20 foot climbs at a 60% or steeper grade, and then moderate flow in between.

    In the winter, I have to drink less, but still ride for about the same amount of time. The rare time that we have snow, it adds some resistance to any riding I do, but it is still always just water.

    Recently, my go to snack has been 1 or 2 small multi grain pitas with Krema natural peanut butter. YUM!!!!!
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  49. #49
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    It's the high fructose corn syrup that is bad, and I believe this is the "sugar" in Gatorade. It's a stripped down sugar, that has been found to contain contaminates like mercury. Avoid it if you ask me and find a better way.

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    In my water bladder I use a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of Nu Salt (potassium) and some lemon. I'll bring gels just incase.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Where does the hand crafted, double hopped IPA come into the scene?
    With burritos at post recovery?

  52. #52
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    I suffered for years riding MX with my overly clean diet (no processed foods and no added salt ever) with severe cramping and frankly limited performance and also a thirst that just would not stop. Arm pump was so severe it always limited what I could do.

    Then I read where Lance Armstrong said in an interview "well you have to add back in sugars and salts as the water does nothing but just go right through you.

    He was right. 100% right. I added powdered Gatorade, lots of powdered Gatorade, and for the first time I wasn't dying of thirst, wasn't urinating constantly, and wasn't a cramped up mess. I really was doing too much of a good thing trying to be healthy. At this time I wasn't even a bicycle rider at all but I carried this info to the bike world once I got there where it's even more needed.

    I rode my mountain bike this past Saturday about 90 minutes quite hard with a good buddy with my trusty Gatorade in my camelback. We were dripping with sweat in the TX heat (morning time about 84 degrees and humid) but I felt great. He cramped up severely and froze up like a statue on the trail. This exact same thing has happened several times to me in TX (and him actually) so I already knew what to do. I fed him a couple of salt pills to make it back to the truck and then I fed him some pickle juice I had in my gear bag so he could move again. He is eating too clean and at least needs to add in some serious salt to his diet.

    I have a hard time imagining anyone thinking that they don't need electrolytes and sugars (I have about 8-9% BF) for a 2 hour ride unless you are cruising around a lake in Canada looking at ducks.

    That said, I'd LOVE to find a healthier substitution for Gatorade that continues to feed me at a minimum the electrolytes but also some sugar and caffeine would be nice too.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I have a hard time imagining anyone thinking that they don't need electrolytes and sugars (I have about 8-9% BF) for a 2 hour ride unless you are cruising around a lake in Canada looking at ducks.
    Something I try to hammer in to people, and often gets skipped out, is that everyone responds differently to...everything.

    A 2 hour hammer fest isn't something I need to fuel for. Water is fine for me. It's really just about my glycogen stores, as soon as they are tapped out then I need fuel and and can't run those efforts anymore. 2 straight hard hours will tap that out, which is about the length of an XCO race. I only fuel in an XC race to fool my body into going harder, not for the actual energy.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    That said, I'd LOVE to find a healthier substitution for Gatorade that continues to feed me at a minimum the electrolytes but also some sugar and caffeine would be nice too.
    I am not up on the current selections, but there are a lot of sports drinks that will use quality sugars and ingredients. Gatorade is sort of the McDonalds of sports drinks. They use high fructose corn syrup, which is a cheap crappy sugar and I've seen studies where a lot of it was contaminated with heavy metals.
    So look for one that uses regular fructose or some other natural sugar, which will be as good if not better energy wise.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    I am not up on the current selections, but there are a lot of sports drinks that will use quality sugars and ingredients. Gatorade is sort of the McDonalds of sports drinks. They use high fructose corn syrup, which is a cheap crappy sugar and I've seen studies where a lot of it was contaminated with heavy metals.
    So look for one that uses regular fructose or some other natural sugar, which will be as good if not better energy wise.
    Powdered Gatorade uses sucrose and dextrose, not HFC.

  56. #56
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    Better than Gatorade?-glycofuse_info.jpg
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