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RACING SUPPLEMENTS(10 posts)

RACING SUPPLEMENTSDman
Dec 16, 2001 4:44 PM
Do any of you use racing supplements? I am interested in Endurox R-4 or Accelerade or Cytomax. Do these really work? Any increase in endurance as claimed?
An alternative to foodKerry Irons
Dec 16, 2001 4:52 PM
Of course they work. They work just like food. If you don't want to bother with a balanced diet, and don't mind paying a lot for nutrition, they are just what you're looking for. In a long race, you obviously need to get some food in, so liquids are a reasonable alternative to solid food. You'll note that the pros are always eating solid food on the bike, so you don't have to have a liquid nutrition source while racing, but it can be convenient (despite the sticky stuff you'll get on your bike). Sorry, but there are no miracles in these things that you can't get with actual food.
An alternative to foodmorey
Dec 17, 2001 8:09 AM
All these things rely on the axiom "bullshit baffles Brains"
re: RACING SUPPLEMENTSpmf1
Dec 17, 2001 5:31 AM
I do think there's something to cytomax energy drink. If I drink it all day while on a long ride, my muscles do feel less sore the next day.

Endurox had this ingredient which is nothing but Siberian Ginseng. I used the ginseng for a while and did feel a little of a rush -- kinda like a strong coffee.

Whether any of this stuff works or not is in the eye of the beholder. None of them are very expensive, so give them a try. I think as someone else here says, there's really no substitute for riding lots and eating a well balanced diet. None of these things will turn you into a significantly better athlete. Might help on the margin though.
re: RACING SUPPLEMENTSMcAndrus
Dec 17, 2001 6:45 AM
First off, something is better than nothing. From my personal testing, a bottle of Gatorade or some other simple sports drink, is much better than just water.

I do use Endurox for an after-ride drink. As Kerry says, these things are just a substitute for food but quite often I'm more than a half-hour from home when I'm done riding so I drink an Endurox on the way home.

I also use Accelerade while riding but I honestly couldn't tell you if it works better than simple Gatorade. I've just developed a taste for the lemon-lime version.

A couple of my riding buddies swear by Cytomax, particularly for the perceived reduction in lactic acid buildup. But that evidence is only anecdotal.
very complexDog
Dec 17, 2001 7:52 AM
These issues are very complex. First, it matters what sort of racing you are talking about, primarily length, but heat, hills, speeds, support, all matter.

Like someone said, almost anything is better than nothing. Beyond getting water, carbs, electrolytes into your system, there are diminishing returns from all the refined super-whatever products.

I think you need to look at the ingredients and understand what each does. For example, I used some Endurox R4 in the 508, thinking that the combination of carbs and protein would be good for something that long. Well, I got the runs, partly because it has lots of magnesium, and too much magnesium (we are taling about mass quantities here, though) in some people gives them the runs. Learned the hard way.

Cytomax makes me nautious after about the 3rd bottle. It's so bad for me, that I end up bonking and dehydrated because my stomach gets too upset to drink or eat more. Good theory, bad in practice.

Experiment. Try using in training what you expect to race with. Take a supplement in a baggie and use it with water at stops on your long training rides.

BTW, I think you get about 95% of the benefits of any sports drink with Gatorade. That last 5% is very complex, though. Just my estimation, though.

If you simply took water and added Karo syrup and salt, you'd probably be just fine for most races.

Nonetheless, for ultra races, I'm now using Sustained Energy by Hammer Nutrition. It has complex carbs and protein, which matters for long distances. Go to http://www.hammergel.com/site/home.cfm for more info.

Dog
second Hammer Gelpmf1
Dec 17, 2001 9:02 AM
Just got some and used it on an 80 miles ride this Saturday. It tastes great, worked well and is reasonably priced.
Yeah, they work, but there's no miracles.jw25
Dec 17, 2001 11:44 AM
I really like the "Bull$#*@ baffles brains" quote above; I might adopt it on the bike somewhere. I think hydration drinks have a very real place in cycling, since you lose more than water. After an hour or two, you can develop muscle cramps from electrolyte loss, so replacing those makes sense. All the other additives (herbs, vitamins, etc) make varying amounts of sense.
Personally, I like the taste of some sports drinks, and that helps me stay hydrated. I use gels in races, because they're faster to get down, and start to work faster than solid food. For long races, or training rides, solid food lasts longer, and it's a lot cheaper.
Like others said, recovery drinks like Endurox or Smartfuel Biofix (gotta plug the team sponsor) are great for 24 hour races, or any time you can't eat after a hard ride. Otherwise, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will provide carbs and protein, just like Endurox, and probably tastes better.
Now, I do take vitamins, mostly as insurance against an unbalanced diet, and I also take a ginseng supplement and flaxseed oil. Ginseng has been studied enough that there's proof of benefits, and the american diet is pretty low in fatty acids, hence the flax oil.
I'd be taking these even if I didn't compete, though, the same way I try to watch my diet, so the only "racing supplements" I use would be hydration drinks and gels, and really, those are just sugars and water, at the core.
I'd say most of us are better off eating better quality food, and training smarter, than expecting a pill or drink to work miracles. The pro's might use stuff, but 1. they're sponsored and 2. they're looking for any legal edge.
There is a difference Virginia!allervite
Dec 17, 2001 2:02 PM
First of all they are convenient in that they are made to digest quickly without upsetting your stomach and they are concentrated meaning it is easier to fit five gels and three bars in the back pocket than three sandwiches, two cans of juice and half a chicken.

And there is a huge difference between the supermarket, sweet soda like substances (Gatorade, Powerade, MarketingBandaid) and real hydration drinks like Cytomax et al. The crap is just simple sugars and some salt. The good stuff is simple sugars, complex carbs, a little protein, vitamins, complex electrolytes and various other performance enhancing additives.

Will any of this stuff allow you to whoop Lance in a time trial or even your little sister for that matter? Probably not, but it's better than getting stomach cramps from Sucrose Syrup or packing the four food groups around in your jersey pockets for a couple of hours.

Karo Syrup! Come on!
supplements=the power of suggestionBernie
Dec 17, 2001 10:20 PM
Of course you can get the same thing from food, but hey, if it pumps you up, maybe it works.