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Sports Drink or Water?(22 posts)

Sports Drink or Water?Like2bike
Aug 22, 2001 6:26 AM
Ok, im sure this issue has been up before. I know its important to drink lots of water during rides but at what point in a ride should you be switching to a sports drink? Is there like a general rule that rides under 30 miles are fine with water and over 30, bring sports drink? Last thing, is it a rumor that Gatoraid actually dehidrates you more than it rehidrates?
Don't rule out Coca-Cola on long rideswink
Aug 22, 2001 6:44 AM
Coke almost instantly puts sugar (fuel)into our systemd when we are riding. The cafiene keeps us alert. I think sport drinks are a lot of hype. One mans opinion.
Aug 22, 2001 7:30 AM
I put a 12-oz Coke in my water bottle, fill the rest with water. The diluted Coke is great for quick sugar burst & mild caffeine buzz, especially before big hills.
re: Sports Drink or Water?jagiger
Aug 22, 2001 6:48 AM
I used to do alot of running before I decided to take the summer off to bike. I rarely went out of my way to drink if it was under 1 hour.
However, I have found that sports drinks (Gaterade, Excelerade,etc.) do work & help with recovery so I'll be using them whenever I'm out more than an hour.
You have to learn what works for you but,MB1
Aug 22, 2001 6:48 AM
some feel that Gatorade is a little low on sodium. I figure for anything more than 2 hours on a hot day I am going to drink straight Gatorade and eat salty food. Cooler weather and/or shorter rides water works fine. Your results may vary.

A purse strings note, buying Gatorade in convience stores can get pretty expensive. We buy powdered Gatorade and mix our own, all you need is a source of water on longer rides.
I fill my camalbak with PBR nm,dirtbag
Aug 22, 2001 8:25 AM
Beer through a straw??? You sir, are no redneck!! nmMB1
Aug 22, 2001 8:31 AM
Would you believe Corona w/lime wedges then?dirtbag
Aug 22, 2001 12:41 PM
I do both...MrCelloBoy
Aug 22, 2001 6:52 AM
Carry a Camelback full of H20 and a 20oz. of Gatorade or similar. This is on rides over an hour.
I wash the Gatorade down with water. I'm not sure of the technicalities of Gatorade "dehydrating" you. It does seem to make one thirsty, but the other goodies in it are needed sometimes to avoid getting too low on electrolytes, Pottasium, Sodium, Etc.
I prefer Cytomax for longer rides and racing (nm)jjay
Aug 22, 2001 6:57 AM
What about Cytomax?Chris Zeller
Aug 22, 2001 7:01 AM
How about cytomax? I've been drinking gatoraide for years for all physical sports (cycling, climbing, and backpacking) but I've been hearing a lot lately about the more technical (and expensive) drinks like cytomax. Mark Twight, an extreme endurance climber, talks about it in his book. I even broke open my wallet the other day to buy a can of the stuff. Anyone have experience with it? Is it really better than gatoraide/poweraide etc.?
Cytomax is better than Gatorade because...PdxMark
Aug 22, 2001 7:47 AM
Cytomax, and I suppose other "fancy" sports drinks, get significant amounts of their energy from complex carbohydrates, which are the "good" carbohydrates for long-term activity. Gatorade and its ilk get energy from simple sugers, like sucrose or fructose, which can be hard to digest (in the case of fructose) and do not provide the sustained energy that the complex carbs do.... (Can anyone explain why simple sugers are bad? It seems to be widely accepted, but I'm not sure I understand why....)

In the case of Cytomax, not all carbs are complex, but if you read the nutrition info label, it will tell you how many grams of carbs there are, and also how many of those are sugers... Then it's simple subtraction.

As for other minerals, like potassium, a banana does alot better than any of these, I think... But for me the sports drink is a calorie source more than anything...

Like a post above, I use water in a hydration pack and Cytomax in bottles for long rides. The Cytomax gives about 160 calories/tall water bottle... and it goes down very easily... Keep Cytomax OUT of your hydration pack, and wash/rinse your bottles after using Cytomax... it seems good at growing something if left to its own over a long period...

And, if you wanna believe the Cytomax marketing stuff, it'll help you "beat the burn" of lactic acic and climb hills easier... blah, blah... it's a good calorie source...
Aug 22, 2001 8:01 AM
From my experience Cytomax does seem to hold off the burn a little longer. It doesn't eliminate it, but does seem to help. I experimented with Cytomax at a local race series and it seemed to make a difference for me.
What about Cytomax?MB1
Aug 22, 2001 7:55 AM
Cost can get to be an issue with some of these drinks if you ride a lot. For years the promoters of OATBRAN gave out Cytomax at the rest stops. Most riders liked it but like any of these drinks if mixed too strong gas results.

We settled on Gatorade since it is available pretty much anywhere and for us it works well. Miss M dilutes hers a little more than I do.

Coke and the like are way too strong and the caffeine is a diuretic but when I used to race we took coke syrup about 1/2 hour before the end of the race. Talk about upset stomachs, ooh. (I guess that makes me a druggie.)

The best thing is to experiment on your training rides and discover what works best for you. Don't quit experimenting since there is always something that can be improved with you, your bike and diet. No matter what consume lots of liquids, your body can always dispose of excess but if you get dehydrated your body takes a long time to recover.
re: Sports Drink or Water?VictorChan
Aug 22, 2001 7:33 AM
I use Accelerade Drink Mix and ordered from Performance. Been drinking it almost everday and morning since I try to ride everyday. No ill effect. I like the taste. It tastes like Gatorade. It does help. I just do away with water. I may take water for a less than 40 minutes ride.
Gotta be careful, though.look271
Aug 22, 2001 12:57 PM
I got some Accellerade too, and like it. The orange sort of tastes like Tang. Howerver, on long rides on hot days, you may want to supplement the Accelerade w/ H20 or something like Cytomax. The Accelerade doesn't hydrate as well as H20 or other sports drinks. Found this out the hard way-got dehydrated a couple of times with it.
Gotta be careful, though.VictorChan
Aug 22, 2001 1:13 PM
Thanks. Will keep that in mind.
Sometimes water has handy other uses.Brian C.
Aug 22, 2001 8:07 AM
Like flushing your eyes when you put too much sun block on your forehead.
Or dousing your head on those hot afternoons.
Like squirting a chasing dog in the face!wink
Aug 22, 2001 8:13 AM
I picked this tip last week on this board and used it yesterday. Big dog chasing me, just got out my water bottle and and thpthpthp... right in the face, Adios Fido!
Good idea. Thanks. nmBrian C.
Aug 22, 2001 8:34 AM
Tang - lot of vitamans and calories (nm)UncleMoe
Aug 22, 2001 8:28 AM
I think length of ride and intensity shouldLive Steam
Aug 22, 2001 8:39 AM
guide what you consume. I have noticed posters stating how they treat rides of different lengths according to time, but that is very subjective. Riding easy for an hour on flat terrain, one should need maybe one 20oz water bottle. Riding the same terrain for that same hour at a much higher pace and you could certainly double that.

As for what to drink, some form of sports drink for me, is a must on training rides. I need more than just Gatorade when we do our Saturday morning hammerfests. I was using Gu for a while, but I find Cytomax or Endurox to be a better solution. It is ready and waiting in my bottle for easy access and unlike the Gu gels, I don't have to ride no-hands to tear open the pack and down the stuff. You still need to drink something to wash the Gu down, so it is just an extra step. The powders I mentioned can be mixed to different strengths depending upon your power output. And, as a few others mentioned, it seems to help alleviate some of the effects of lactic acid buildup on climbs and sprints. Recovery also seems to be a bit faster with less fatigue.

Also, as someone already stated, being a powder, it can be brought along in a pouch on longer rides. Just add water :-)!