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sport drinks(13 posts)

sport drinksBRO
Feb 8, 2002 8:49 AM
On this site or possibly another I read a post about sport drinks. A critic of Gatorade commented that its largest ingredient is fructose, he suggested that fructose is bad. Another reply also commented about fructose. In my investigation of drinks I've found that most use fructose and a couple use maltodextrin. What is the scoop on fructose and if its the first (therefore largest qty ingr) in most products (including Gatorade) why is gatorade not taken as serious as the more expensive products?

Feb 8, 2002 11:14 AM
I think sports drinks are subject to the same marketing-hype as any other product. I personally use Gatorade spiked with added salt and/or protein powder, as appropriate, for the type of ride I'm doing (long, hot, Etc). I'll swallow an additional Potassium capsule on really hot days.
Feb 8, 2002 3:06 PM
I do the same thing, sometimes I throw in some salt substitute which is potassium chloride.
re: sport drinksEames
Feb 8, 2002 11:55 AM
This all depends on what you want from an energy drink and your body type. Fructose has either a high or low ( I forget which ) glycemic index. It enters the blood stream faster than other things with the opposite. This is going to cause more of a spike and crash in your energy level much akin to simple table sugar, but to a lesser degree. Maltodextrin is the opposite. It is a complex carbohydrate that enters the blood stream slower and provides more sustained energy. Hence no spike and crash.

That's the science the real results depend on what you like. My wife and I used to use simple Safeway Pink Lemonade watered down. Did centuries on the stuff and never had a problem. One day my wife tells me the stuff has always spiked her energy and she wanted to avoid it. She is borderline hypo-glycemic and therefore more prone to spiking and crashing. We finally settled on a malodextrin based product called HammerGel.

For me it simply comes down to what you can keep drinking for 200 miles.
re: sport drinksweiwentg
Feb 8, 2002 5:47 PM
fructose's glycemic index is low, which means it enters the bloodstream very slowly. however, it is not metabolized as per normal sugar - after being broken down it goes straight to the liver to be stored as glycogen. basically, during exercise, you want glucose entering the blood at a controlled rate. you don't want to restock liver glycogen.
after the liver glycogen stores are full, the excess gets stored as fat.
this shouldn't dissuade anyone from eating fruit. we'll burn the fat off, no problem. but this is the reason fructose shouldn't be used in a sports drink. certainly it should not be the primary ingredient.
Feb 8, 2002 12:06 PM
I've used Gatorade exclusively for centuries (rides, not years), training, races (way back when) and virtually every other activity I do that requires sweating.

Before there was Gatorade powder, I used to cut it with water because it was too sweet for me and sometimes caused problems. Now, with powder, I have my required measurements down to a science. Some friends say it's too watery, but it's perfect for me.

I am also a cheap b*st*rd, and when I see that Extran or CytoMax or WinTheTourAde costs about $1 or more per serving, I quickly remember that I am not a sponsored professional and have to pay my own health insurance bills.

Therefore, Gatorade. I don't know whether cutting it reduces fructose problems, if there indeed are any, but there you have it.

I also only use lemon-lime powder. I'm old-fashioned. Never got a taste for any of those new-fangled flavors.

yellow is the only gatoradecollinsc
Feb 8, 2002 12:09 PM
as far as im concerned
Gatorade and TangSoftrider
Feb 8, 2002 12:56 PM
I can't see spending so much more money for some of the stuff on the market, when Gatorade works just as well. I've tried various things, and can't tell much difference.

Tang is another thing that I really like, especially on my morning commute.
re: sport drinksfishwheel
Feb 8, 2002 1:47 PM
I guess it depends on your physiology and training /riding goals. I am also cheap, but not a bastard. I find Hi-C works well for me, but I rarely ride more than 100 miles at a time (usually much less). Your body can digest and use fructose faster (which can be good) but that can lead to a spike/ crash pattern. Maltodextrin is more complex and gets released in your body slower (sustained energy) which is much better for endurance sports like cycling. A lot of the hype surrounding sports drinks is just that, hype. I find some sports drinks to just be salty Hi-C, and I'm not sure why they're called sports drinks.

From what I've read lately, I'm not sure if there are any real benefits to salts added to sports drinks. I've read conflicting info on the benefit of added salts to drinks from them being good for you, bad for you , or have no effect. The earlier articles tend to be more in the salt is good category. I haven't made up my mind yet, but I don't think I need to replace any electrolytes for my training, perhaps they are called for in extreme circumstances.

Why doesn't gatorade get respect? Because of all those guys with belly's playing B-ball for 1/2 hour and downing a half gallon of gatorade (yeah, they need to replace those electrolytes, and make sure they don't burn off too many calories) or maybe it's just too common. Also, people like to pay more for things sometimes, it makes them feel like they are getting something better that they need or deserve.
Feb 8, 2002 3:30 PM
I use a lot of Hydrafuel (lemon-lime flavor). It seems to be a lot like Gatoraid but with more potassium, the flavor is similar. I buy it in the economy sized powder can. I learned my lesson about electrolytes at the Hotter'n Hell Hundred. There you need more salt than you can get from a sports drink. Cramps are rampant. The medical tents are full of riders on IV's. On the HHH ride I add a small envelope of salt to each bottle of sports drink, one large bottle for each 10 miles. On this ride I don't drink straight water because it just dilutes the electrolytes. I also use powdered Gatoraid (lemon-lime flavored).
Sports Drink Rip OffOzzie
Feb 8, 2002 4:03 PM
Sports drinks are expensive. You are paying big bucks for water, salt and a little sugar and other bits and pieces.

I make my own with Glucose, Maltodextrin and a little fructose.

Fructose has a low glycemic index of 20, its slowly absorbed. Glucose has an index of 100 and Maltodextrin comes in around 17-23 dependant of which type you get.

I flavour mine with a little fruit juice or blackcurrant cordial.

I buy the powders in 25-kg bags and mix them monthly throughout the year. Around a 10% solution is OK, maybe a little more, maybe a little less dependant on what you like.

NOW get this. The sacks cost as little as $15 per 25kg. I’m onto a good thing here and so could you be! All the info you need on this type of thing is in Optimum Sports Nutrition by Colgan ISBN 0 9624840 5 9 Lots of details, lots of good stuff.
I don't believe sports physiology is as black and white as someBarnyard
Feb 9, 2002 1:26 AM
of you put it. All this talk about glycemic index leads me to believe that some of you out there believe our bodies all function exactly the same. We're not clones. To many theorys become fact. We don't have all the answers.
I have reactive hypoglycemia.MondiaMan
Feb 11, 2002 12:36 AM
I don't get any sugar high before crashing. When I tried Gatorade, I bonked just a couple of minutes after each drink. I could slowly recover by drinking water and eating nuts and whole-wheat crackers while trying to keep going.

Since then I have learned a lot about hypoglycemia and have more-or-less gotten control of it. I might do ok with Gatorade now if I stayed off it for the first half hour of a ride, and then took lots of short drinks after that to introduce it to my body more evenly instead of drinking a lot at once.

Still, if you're going to pay sports-drink prices, you might as well get something with more than just sugar and an insignificant trace of salt. For rides under 50 miles, our family just drinks water. Above that, we use Revenge from Champion Nutrition, which helps recovery and joint health, fights free-radicals, etc, etc. Although it has a lot less sugar than Gatorade has, I still drink just water before the ride. Adrenaline seems to act as an insulin binder, and I don't usually seem to have enough of it built up to handle some sugar until I'm thoroughly warmed up.

Obviously, not everyone is the same.