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Recovery Drinks(18 posts)

Recovery DrinksRockyMountainRacer
Apr 16, 2002 2:13 PM
Sorry, I've got a posting problem today--veeery slow day at the office, but I will be (recovery) riding soon! Anyway, I'm stopping by the LBS this weekend to get some new bibs and I'm planning on maybe grabbing some Endurox R4 because I've read good stuff about it. Anyone else use this or another recovery drink and think it actually helps? Currently I just start shoving carb type foods (crackers, pop tarts, goldfish, granola bars, raisins) in my mouth as soon as I get back from the training ride while I cook my pasta. This seems to work.
Apr 17, 2002 7:32 AM
I think that Endurox probably provides nothing that the right foods don't already provide. That said, I do use it. Quite often my end-of-ride is too far away to get home before the glycogen window closes. In those cases I snarf down a fistful of Fig Newtons and a bottle of Endurox.

For me, it's insurance and peace of mind.
Careful of the BUZZZZ....riney
Apr 17, 2002 10:54 AM
Endurox has an ingredient called Cuwijia which is a stimulant similar to Mau Haung or Gurana. These give a pretty good caffine or ginseing like buzz that can last for a few hours. I avoid taking it after 6pm but have had pretty good results otherwise.
Proper nutritionThe General
Apr 17, 2002 12:06 PM
Endurox R4 and others like it help replinish your body with what it needs to recover. Using something like it within 20 minutes of excercise will make a difference. Endurox uses a 4:1 ratio of carbs:protien which is suppose to help in recovery.

My experience is that it does work, for me it works vary well. Of course I prefer real food to the liquid stuff. I usually try to make a turkey sandwich, bring some yogurt or something with me for after the ride. But in case I forget I have some Endurox in my bag.

Give it a try, like anything else you will need to try it with and without under the same conditions to see if you notice a difference.

Best of luck,
The General
The theory and the realityKerry Irons
Apr 17, 2002 5:30 PM
Recognize that the "glycogen window" stuff has been shown to only have an effect on near term (8 hour) glycogen levels, not long term (24 hour) levels. IMO, food works just as well, if not better than the high priced drinks with sometimes questionable theories behind them. YMMV.
Malto 17LeGrimper
Apr 17, 2002 11:11 PM
Maltodextrin is available if you look around in 25kg sacks that cost next to nothing, maybe around $20 a sack. This is the major ingredient of a good recovery drink.

Read the label of a few flash sports 'recovery' drinks and see whats in them, read a few texts on sports drinks and studies. Its all there if you look.

Then get some Whey Protein or whatever your into, a bit of glucose and then mix your own for a fraction of the cost.

All the info is out there. The theory and the practice are well established. It just the business ethic that mucks it all up.

200g of state of the art recovery drink for $2.

Food, the right food is good but this stuff, easily digested and just what the Doctor ordered, Phd Sports Science doctor at that, is better.

Faster, stronger, cheaper.

Le Grimp

P.S. If anyone is interested I will happily give you the full list and breakdown.
How about during the race/ride...Wayne
Apr 18, 2002 6:09 AM
Le Grimper,
I typically use just skim milk with table sugar for a recovery drink and it seems to work fine with me, no upset stomach, etc. and CHEAP!
You seem up on this subject, what do you use during a race/ride? I typically use gatorade, which I believe is formulated to maximally hydrate while still supplying carbs.
Then Powergels (primary ingredient is maltodextrin but also contains some simple sugars) for more carbs. Last week I did a 3.5 hour race and also used a couple of Extrans. Legs were still good at the end but for the first time I had "race gut", which I've read is attributable to consuming the wrong kinds of sugar (like sucrose/fructose) while racing. When I looked at the Extran ingredients those simple sugars seemed to be it's major ingredients.
Would a maltodextrin based drink be good for carb comsumption during racing?
I'm Interested!RockyMountainRacer
Apr 18, 2002 7:11 AM
Yes Le Grimp, would you please post the full list and breakdown for that home-made recovery drink? I would love to make my own drink for cheap if it helps, and someone earlier mentioned that there is caffeine (or some other stimulant) in most store-bought drinks. That would be no good for me as I always train after work and sometimes get back pretty late (I ride with a light a lot).
bring it onmtber
Apr 18, 2002 7:11 AM
Hi LeGrimper,
I would be interested in checking out your recovery drink ingredient list. Also, what do you use for flavor and where do you purchase 'raw' maltodextrin? Thanks.
Always could use tips! nmWannabe
Apr 18, 2002 9:26 AM
DIY RecoveryLeGrimper
Apr 18, 2002 3:47 PM
First off, these are my levels arrived at over the last three years. They are optimal for me. Different body types require more/less protein, more/less carbs, depends on your periodisation and blah blah blah

However as a starting point.

160g Maltodextrin
40g Whey Protein
10g Glucose
15g Fructose

Build up to taking a full 225gs over a number of weeks. Mix in these quantities (4:1 ration of protein /carbs) and maybe only take 100g in multiple sips over 30 mins or so post race to begin with. Once that is digested get your normal post ride food and meal into you. The above comes in at around 1000 calories and will boost your cal intake some. More carbs means more energy for training. Use them. Over the weeks your energy levels should increase and therefore your miles too.

On the bike

Again experiment with ratios, but the starting point.

50g Glucose
45g Maltodextrin
5 g Fructose

100gms mixes with 1000 ml of water or MORE, NEVER LESS. So a 75ml bottle will have 50-75g of powered mix. If you try the more is more approach then you will get an upset stomach especially under hard effort. The body doesnt like a 10% or stronger solution. Less is more.

Flavour with juice or my fav is Blackcurrant syrup.....any flavour you like will do as long as it is not full of preservatives and other nasties.

For shorter, more intense races I up the glucose and put less malto in. Malto is slower to digest and in a crit or short TT is not as available to your system as glucose, your bodies NO.1 energy source after glucogen. Keep a steady flow going in.

DO NOT pump yourself full of the on the bike mix until you are riding and warmed up as too much sugar will spike you and upset you chemistry. This is where malto scores post exercise with its low DE rating.

Things like gatorade are OK but they are expensive for sucrose (table sugar) water and some colour and salt.......I think you can find these lying around the house for less than they charge.

Finally, just because you have lots of cheap drink mix now dont go crazy, feel you way into it and reap the benefits.

Ride fast guys.

Le Grimp.

P.S. When you track down you Maltodextrin get DE17. It comes in lots of grades, the higher the number the more sugary it is. 17 is the one!
DIY RecoveryThoth2
Apr 19, 2002 6:25 AM
For the on the bike mix, how much NaCl and K should go in for electrolytes? Besides table salt for the NaCl, what can you use to get K? Have you tried adding B12 to this (I think that's the one that is suggested for enegery metabolism)?
Apr 21, 2002 6:38 PM
For sodium, I use table salt. For potassium, I use Morton Salt Substitute. It is KCl (potassium chloride). I also use Morton Lite Salt which is roughly a 50/50 mix of Na and K salt. I found all of these at the local grocery.

Good Stuff Le GrimpRockyMountainRacer
Apr 19, 2002 6:49 AM
But where do I get Maltodextrin and Whey Protein? Health food store? Or a supplement place like a GNC? Also, what is Blackcurrant syrup and where can you get it?
Where to buyLeGrimper
Apr 20, 2002 5:10 PM
Sorry have to be quick.

Whey can be bought at a heathfood shop or GNC. Get a brand you trust and like the taste of.

Malto in bulk will have to come from a flour or starch mill. Try a local search on the internet.

Blackcurrent syrup is available in the Supermarket.

I dont put NaCL or K into my race bottle. Peloton will probably take me to task, however, it is my understanding the under hard load in warm weather, which we have plenty of here in Australia, that you will loose fluids. Therefore at the end of a race or hard session you have less h20 in your body and too much electrolytes. Adding salt only puts the balance to far the wrong way. Instead get a recovery drink made with water into you, plenty of h20.

Food these days has plenty of salt in it already.

Off for a weeks riding (with car support too) in the Snowy Mountains.

Ride fast.

See you next week.

Le Grimp
Where to buypeloton
Apr 21, 2002 4:04 PM
If you aren't getting adequate H2O to maintain hydration in the body than you could have an imbalance with too many electrolytes depending on your level of exertion and fitness. If you are getting enough water, than it's more likely that the reverse situation could occur. I'll post a couple of articles here on sodium intake and exercsie. The first is from Nothing too tech here, but some good simple tips.

"Sodium and Dehydration"

by James Raia

Advice based on experience by Karl King. Karl isn't a physician, registered nurse or emergency medical technician. But as a veteran long-distance runner and director of races five kilometers to 50 miles in length, he's seen his share of salt-depleted and dehydrated runners suffering and staggering along wilderness trails.

As the president of a sports drink company, King also has a vested interest when it comes to matters of sodium and dehydration. And when spring turns to summer and runners' needs increase, the Wisconsin developmental engineer's concerns are particularly keen. "After a long cold spring and no chance to acclimate to heat, runners should push a lot of water and sodium from the very start of an ultra," King recently offered in the first of an ongoing series of opinions on an ultramarathon forum on the Internet. "Drink water and take some salt before the race begins. And race directors, please provide water and cups at the start line." King, the race director of the Ice Age 50 - the country's third-largest 50-mile race - and a finisher of the Vermont 100, warns entrants about the dangers of low sodium levels. But he also knows that even experienced runners sometimes don't practice common sense guidelines - even if they're aware of the potential dangers.

Therefore, with the ultra-marathon season in full swing and temperatures rising as summer approaches, consider (with his permission) King's gospel of sodium and hydration:

* Runners need 400 to 800 milligrams of sodium per hour during warm and hot weather conditions.

The average pretzel or saltine has only 30 milligrams of sodium. Most sports drinks have more sodium, but still may not have enough sodium because they would taste like sea water if they had sodium levels equivalent to 800 milligrams per hour.

* Cola drinks typically contain little or no sodium. A steady diet of half water, half cola could lead to inadequate sodium after only a few hours of running.
* Don't be fooled by running in dry weather. Sweat may evaporate so fast in dry weather you may think you're not sweating much when you're actually sweating a great deal and losing water through your lungs as you exhale.
* Don't assume you're hydrated if you urinate late in a run. If you're low on sodium, your body will be forced to dump water to keep you from going into a state of hyponatremia (low sodium). Thus, it is possible to be dehydrated, but still be urinating.
* If you do get dehydrated, take salt and water together. Your body will not properly rehydrate in you don't take in sodium. Therefore, avoid soda and sparkling water unless you also take sodium.
* Don't trust your sense of thirst in a long run. Most people are actually dehydrated by the time they acknowledge their thirst. Use the standard refrain, "eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty" as a guideline.
* If you do get dehydrated, your blood pressure will be low. If you take hot shower after the run, the blood vessels near the skin will dilate and your blood pressure will drop so low that your heart will not be able to push blood to the brain for a few seconds and you will faint in the shower.
* If you feel dizzy or have a queasy stomach during a run, slow down or sit for a while. If it is really hot, you weren't going to have a record time anyway, so why kill yourself to finish a few minutes sooner?
* The runners most in danger of dehydration are not the speedsters at the front of the race, but those
Hypnonatremia, Part IIpeloton
Apr 21, 2002 4:10 PM
This article is from It touchs on the subject of hyponatremia (low sodium). For rides under an hour this isn't going to make much of a difference. For rides in hotter weather and longer durations electrolyte balance becomes a factor.

Hyponatremia -- what is it?

Hyponatremia means a low concentration of sodium in the blood. When it occurs in triathletes, it usually happens during long or ultra-distance races in the heat but may occur anytime. It is estimated that approximately 30% of the finishers of the Hawaii Ironman are both hyponatremic and dehydrated. The longer the race, the greater the risk of hyponatremia.


What causes it?

The exact mechanisms are not fully understood and I won't go into the complex physiologic pathways of sodium and water balance. The simplest answer is that lost sweat (salt and water) is replaced by ingested water (no salt). This dilutes the sodium in the bloodstream, and hyponatremia results. Longer races carry a greater risk of hyponatremia because of the total amount of sweat lost. During exercise in the heat, more salt is lost in sweat per hour than is usually replaced by food and fluids, including sports drinks. Your body can tolerate a degree of imbalance for a short period of time, but it may decompensate if this continues for too long.

Sweat contains between 2.25 - 3.4 grams of salt per liter, and the rate of perspiration in a long, hot race can easily average 1 liter per hour. So, for a 12 hour race, one could lose approximately 27 to 41 grams of salt. If the athlete replaces only the lost water and has minimal salt intake, hyponatremia can result.


Medications and hyponatremia

Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents interfere with kidney function and may contribute to the development of hyponatremia in triathletes. The same applies to acetaminophen (Tylenol). I have seen many athletes taking these drugs during Ironman races, and I strongly recommend against this practice. They won't make you faster and may hurt you. Under tough conditions, your kidneys need to function at 100%. Other drugs that may contribute to hyponatremia are diuretics, narcotics, and certain psychiatric medications.
Household ingredientspeloton
Apr 18, 2002 5:43 PM
During the ride the best way to get energy is from glucose like LeGrimp says. That's the reason Gatorade uses glucose as their main ingredient. Gatorade patented it in their formula, so other commercial drinks can't use it. Fructose is used in some other sports drinks, and it isn't as quickly availible to the body for energy as is glucose. Fructose takes a few more steps to break down, basically. Sucrose is a mixture of glucose and fructose, and most of us would know it as the basic white sugar we have around our houses. Sucrose isn't quite as good a pure glucose, but is a better choice than fructose. Gatorade develpoed their drink with a 6% glucose solution that was designed to be consumed at a rate of 8oz per 20 minutes. Gatorade did a lot of testing to develop these somewhat general ratios of consumption based on keeping a steady blood sugar level. Any less didn't keep blood sugar levels adequate, and more caused an insulin spike. We can make a drink at home that uses a lot of this research to maintain our blood sugar levels, and help recovery. For during exercise, simple drink of:
-1 quart water
-5 teaspoons of white table sugar
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
This is very cheap. helps to hydrate, maintain electrolytes, and blood sugar levels. Works at least as well as a lot of the overpriced junk out there.

For recovery (like Wayne said):
-8oz milk
-5 teaspoon white table sugar
This drink helps to replace liver gylcogen stores, and has enough high quality protein to replace what has been broken down during exercise.

If you have to go with a commercial energy drink, Gatorade is still probably the best. The other two here are good replacements, and you can make them from things you have in your house right now.