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What is best to drink while training and riding

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  • Are you being serious dennis?
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

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  • jacsterjacster Posts: 177
    You might find this, and several of the other items on this website to be of help in sorting the wheat from the chaff (or the water from the sports drinks):
    http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition ... o_needs_it

    Good to see they put emphasis on strength and conditioning Alex. :wink:
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    edited January 2010
    dennisn wrote:
    THE most important thing is to get have a balanced hydration of water and electrolites. Miss one or the other and you are scuppered.

    I agree. You're preaching to the choir on that. You must have noticed though, that ALL
    of the drink mixes that are out there require a lot more water than anything else. Also ALL of the energy / hydration drinks contain mostly water. Although for some reason
    most manufacturers seem intent on putting foul tasting flavoring in them.
    Why is it that they do this(put lots of water in their drinks)? I can't believe that anyone couldn't just look around themselves and determine that plain water is pretty much on a par with air in the cycle of life. I think you have way underestimated water and it's importance to human life. Also if all these electrolytes are so good for you why can't you
    survive being lost at sea by drinking sea water? Plenty of good salt there. It's what you need??? Right???? Plain, fresh water won't help you if you're shipwrecked??? It's got to
    be Gatorade??? Sorry about the sarcasm. Couldn't resist. It's a problem with me.


    A. You're an idiot.
    B. You're an out of date idiot.
    C. Sea Water has far too much salt in it to be consumed. See point A again.
    D. Being shipwrecked and cycling for 2 hours have distinctly different physiological needs. Please see point B.
    E. Sports drinks taste funny because they have the correct amount of salt added to them. See point B. yet again.
    F. You're becoming very tiresome now.
    G. It seems we have to point out to you yet again that no one is denying the magical healing powers of water. But add certain ingredients to that water and recovery and performances improve.
    H. No offence intended. Although I stick by points A. and B. :lol:
  • TempestasTempestas Posts: 504
    The reason people drink primarily as well as eating food periodically on a ride is that the body absorbs fluids quicker than it digests food. Food also uses fluid to digest, a prime example of this it he oats in Go bars which soak up the water. Water alone at a higher effort will result in an onset of fatigue, add some minerals and the body will not fatigue as quickly. But if you are happy to ride around at 50% for an hour or so drinking plain old water, go ahead, I actually like a lot of the flavours of energy drinks...becaue after 4 - 5 hours tasting road dust anything tastes good :wink:
  • BikerbaboonBikerbaboon Posts: 1,017
    dennisn wrote:
    Also if all these electrolytes are so good for you why can't you
    survive being lost at sea by drinking sea water? Plenty of good salt there. It's what you need??? Right???? Plain, fresh water won't help you if you're shipwrecked??? It's got to
    be Gatorade??? Sorry about the sarcasm. Couldn't resist. It's a problem with me.


    Nope but when i was an outward bound instructor i had a student stuck out at sea for 1 day drank too much water plain on as good for you as air water and ended up in hospital.
    trying to say water is more important than salt and energy to take in during any activity is wrong. Saying that all you need for a bike is a frame runs along the same lines.
    Nothing in life can not be improved with either monkeys, pirates or ninjas
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  • CXXCCXXC Posts: 237
    just to bring some PH balance to the H2O debate :lol:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication
    _______________________________________________

    www.redlightjump.co.uk

    FCN 3 (FCN 4 if I'm carrying clean pants)
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Hate to say it, but I'm kind of with Dennis on this one. You really don't need fancy electrolyte drinks at this time of year in the UK, as you probably won't sweat enough. A normal healthy diet will provide enough salt, and you don't need extra unless you are going for a long time on a very hot day. Why do you think sweat is salty? The body actually regulates itself pretty well by getting rid of salts when its overall level of fluid is reduced.
    I did a hard 85 mile ride on Saturday with two 750ml bottles of plain water, bananas and malt loaf. Old school I know, but that's fine for training. If I'm racing I get energy and electrolytes from gels, and still use plain water, or maybe one bottle of sports drink and one of water. I found if I drink just sports drink and take gels as well, then it's actually too much carbs for the amount of fluid. This will actually dehydrate you as it draws water out of the rest of your system and into the gut. I wondered why I always felt thirsty in races until I gave this a bit of thought.

    The original post mentioned training in a class, with weight loss being an objective. This sounds like spinning to me, in which case it's probably only an hour or two, and plain water or squash would be a perfectly valid recommendation. We're not talking about the TdF here.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,463
    Are you being serious dennis?

    Even the sarcasm is serious. Who can live without fresh water? What does your body tell you it wants most if you're thirsty? Water or a salt tablet? Drink all the sports drinks you like, but what you're really doing is consuming water. Read the ingredients.
    By the way, you'll probably die drinking if all you drink is sea water. If that's what you're thinking I wasn't being serious about.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    This Dennis bloke's off his rocker...;-)
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Edwin
    How do you explain conditioned athletes sweating more volume but less salt. Sweat is salty because the body can only move water by altering concentration gradients rather than any sort of bulk transport from within. (other than peeing)

    Most excess dietary electrolytes are removed by the kidneys and leave in urine.

    You can drink seawater rectally.

    You cannot drink seawater orally due to the levels of salt being very high and so it completely ballses up your homeostatic balance.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,463
    A.You're an idiot.
    B. You're an out of date idiot.
    C. Sea Water has far too much salt in it to be consumed. See point A again.
    D. Being shipwrecked and cycling for 2 hours have distinctly different physiological needs. Please see point B.
    E. Sports drinks taste funny because they have the correct amount of salt added to them. See point B. yet again.
    F. You're becoming very tiresome now.
    G. It seems we have to point out to you yet again that no one is denying the magical healing powers of water. But add certain ingredients to that water and recovery and performances improve.
    H. No offence intended. Although I stick by points A. and B. :lol:[/quote]

    A. Could be. I disagree with you - therefore I am....
    B. See above
    C. I know
    D. I thought both of them would dehydrate you.
    E. I thought it was because of the nasty *ss flavoring they use. I kind of like the taste of salt. Lemon - lime sucks no matter what it's in.
    G. Magical healing powers??? Sounds like something I would really consider taking a lot of on a ride.
    H. None taken. I've been so bored here at work that even arguing sounds good. :oops:
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Erm, I'm not a physiologist so I can't explain any of this properly. My point was merely that you do not need extra salt to ride in the UK at this time of year.

    As for 'altering concentration gradients', I'm not entirely sure what that means, but would have thought that salt is excreted in sweat so the concentration is in the right range for normal cell function. I might read up on this instead of spouting off without knowing what I'm talking about, although that doesn't seem to stop anyone else :)

    If you get back to the original question, concerning whether water was suitable to train in a class a few times a week, my answer would be yes. Without knowing more about the training the OP intends to do, none of us can really advise properly. What I would say is ports drinks are generally a bad idea if you are trying to lose wight, as basically it's a load of empty calories.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,463
    Edwin
    How do you explain conditioned athletes sweating more volume but less salt. Sweat is salty because the body can only move water by altering concentration gradients rather than any sort of bulk transport from within. (other than peeing)

    Most excess dietary electrolytes are removed by the kidneys and leave in urine.

    You can drink seawater rectally.

    You cannot drink seawater orally due to the levels of salt being very high and so it completely ballses up your homeostatic balance.

    Tell me more about the seawater rectally thing. I've never heard that before. Or anything even remotely like it. Not trying to be weird, but that statement just sort of struck me
    with one word - REALLY?
  • You can drink seawater rectally.

    So what you're saying is, for all the good it does, you might as well stick it up your ar$e?
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    I'll take his word for that. I'm not interested in trying a seawater enema, and if that was my thing I wouldn't post about it on a cycling forum!
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I cannot remember where i heard it unfortunately, but it has something to do with ion transport in the colon (i think, my biology is a bit sketchy) so you don't absorb the salt, but you get the water.

    Basically, cells/your body is in a range of salt concentrations, but water is free to go wherever it wants, ions cannot, they are generally trapped unless specifically moved.

    To move water about your body moves ions and the water moves to make the concentrations the same over membranes. I'm assuming that sweating occurs via a similar process, purely because the water cannot be moved, hence you effectively pump out salt in order to draw the water out of your body onto your skin.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Edwin wrote:
    Erm, I'm not a physiologist so I can't explain any of this properly. My point was merely that you do not need extra salt to ride in the UK at this time of year.

    I can firmly attest to the fact that regardless of time of year - you CAN get dehydrated. Any exercise causes you to sweat which causes you to lose water and electrolytes.

    Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you don't sweat and lose significant amounts of salt. More in the summer? Possibly. But as someone who is just coming off a nasty bout of dehydration, I can assure you that outside temperature is not the only determining factor in how much you sweat and how much you lose from that sweat.

    It's naive to think or say that you 'only' need extra salt during the summer heat wave (all 2 weeks of it). ;)
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Here's what you lose per hour:

    calcium 20 mg
    potassium 100 - 200 mg
    magnesium 40 mg
    sodium 0.8 - 4 g
    water 1.5L - 3L

    Edwin, you do sweat, you just aren't aware of it.

    The maximum water your body can absorb per hour is 0.8L - 1.3L, the higher numbers only achievable when isotonic drinks are used. Pure water will be 0.8. The maximum number (1.3L) is below the minimum water loss (1.5L) when cycling, so you're fighting a losing battle with hydration. You'll never be able to replace your losses unless you stop for a break and drink like mad. Fortunately, adding the right ammount of salt to water turns it into an isotonic drink and allows you to absorb more water. Other electrolytes do not have to be added to the drink and can be found in a lot of foods, although sports drinks contain them in order to make things more convenient for you. When in a drink form, you'll absorb them slightly quicker, compared to getting them from solids. With real food, you have to be one step ahead and eat about an hour before you'll need the electrolytes, to account for digestion time.

    Personally, I blend up fruits to make smoothies with added salt, which contain all needed electrolytes except potassium, which I get from bananas. (1 banana contains 422 mg - enough potassium for just over 2 hours of hard riding.)
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Bhima - enough of your legendary banana consumption. I'm not going to ride along drinking smoothies, that would make a right mess and probably make me feel sick.

    And Pokerface, weren't you doing a lot of turbo work? (i.e. indoors, which would be warmer, so you'd sweat more?) If you were just dehydrated then you didn't drink enough. Presumably you could have drunk more plain water and been perfectly fine, unless you suffered with hyponatremia, which I still think is unlikey in the UK in the middle of winter. I still don't think you needed specific sports drinks.
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Also, Bhima - the word isotonic refers to the level of carbohydrate in the solution, not sodium.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    The strict definition of an isotonic drink says it contains 4-8% CHO as well as sodium, yes.

    However, this is not relevant if you're eating other foods and is not essential in promoting hydration at all. It will replace fluid at a greater rate than water as it is at the same concentration as body fluid, and also has sodium to promote water uptake. You can't really argue that water alone is "better" in this respect, compared to water with a bit of salt added. :shock:

    Did anyone read the thread I linked to in the first few replies? :roll:
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,463
    On average the body is 57% water. Maybe that's why I thought it was important.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Edwin wrote:
    Bhima - enough of your legendary banana consumption. I'm not going to ride along drinking smoothies, that would make a right mess and probably make me feel sick.

    And Pokerface, weren't you doing a lot of turbo work? (i.e. indoors, which would be warmer, so you'd sweat more?) If you were just dehydrated then you didn't drink enough. Presumably you could have drunk more plain water and been perfectly fine, unless you suffered with hyponatremia, which I still think is unlikey in the UK in the middle of winter. I still don't think you needed specific sports drinks.

    It's pretty damn cold in my flat with the big fan blowing!

    Does your sweat not contain salt in the winter time? Mine does. Therefore, time of year is irrelevant. I sweat the same in the winter as I do in the summer.
  • jacsterjacster Posts: 177
    One (including Colin unless he exercises indoors at a set temperature all year round!) WILL sweat more in the summer months.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Someone better warm all the Winter Olympians that they don't need sports drinks 'cause it's not warm enough in the winter to sweat.


    I know of entire Ice Hockey teams that are gonna be GUTTED. :roll:
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    My garage is freezing at the moment but I'll still sweat buckets, and nobody seems to have mentioned that you lose fluids through breathing hard as well as sweating. Personally I will hydrate plenty whether it's summer or winter.
  • jacsterjacster Posts: 177
    Pokerface wrote:

    ... time of year is irrelevant. I sweat the same in the winter as I do in the summer.

    The point, Colin, is that you don't sweat "the same" in the winter as you do in the summer.
    You will sweat more in the hotter, summer months.
    Of course you sweat throughout the year - as you found out to your cost recently! :wink:
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    jacster wrote:
    Pokerface wrote:

    ... time of year is irrelevant. I sweat the same in the winter as I do in the summer.

    The point, Colin, is that you don't sweat "the same" in the winter as you do in the summer.
    You will sweat more in the hotter, summer months.
    Of course you sweat throughout the year - as you found out to your cost recently! :wink:


    The hotter, summer months?!?

    Don't know about you but I live in the UK.
  • jacsterjacster Posts: 177
    Pokerface wrote:
    The hotter, summer months?!?

    Don't know about you but I live in the UK.

    I'm sure they'll be hotter than the temps at the moment Colin.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    jacster wrote:
    Pokerface wrote:
    The hotter, summer months?!?

    Don't know about you but I live in the UK.

    I'm sure they'll be hotter than the temps at the moment Colin.

    I know in theory you will sweat more in the summer. But when you take into account the amount of thermal clothing you wear in the winter - and the fact that cycling through the air at speed keeps you cool in the summer (when you are wearing less clothing) - it's not guaranteed that you'll sweat more in the summer - in the UK.

    If I was living in Spain, then yes.

    Sweat is, after al, just the body cooling itself - and with all the thermal clothing I get just as warm in the winter as I do in the summer when just wearing short sleeves, etc.

    It's when you slow down (like on the big climbs) that you notice the temperature difference more.

    I was just trying to point out that just because it's winter and cold doesn't mean you don't sweat enough to warrant a sports drink and electrolyte replacement. Unless you wear the same gear to cycle in the winter as you do in the summer! :shock:
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