How much energy drink should you have ?

sherer
sherer Posts: 2,460
edited January 2012 in Road beginners
Last weekend I was on the turbo trainer. I did a 1 hour 45 min ride and had about 1.5 litres of energy drink. Afterwards I felt a bit light headed and tired which I would assume would be the signs of dehydration. I also had 3 energy gels during the ride.

I've felt the same after some sportives as well so assume this is a sign I should be drinking more.

A) Am I correct with the above
B) How much should I be drinking.

I know the gels say take about 4 an hour can't remember how much it says to have on the drink. How much are others consuming on rides ?

On the turbo it's easier to stock up with more drink but out on long solo rides in training that isn't always that easy to keep stocking up

Comments

  • Seems a bit odd to me I use the turbo all winter and i don`t need gels ??on 2 hour sessions.. Electrolite replacement maybe required if your sweating like hell.Do you have a fan?
    You should have enough energy from your normal diet and your muscles glycogen stores.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,885
    depends how hard you are going on the turbo

    if it was gentle, then maybe you were buzzing your nut off on a sugar rush

    1.5l of energy drink plus 4 gels, maybe around 800kcal, but you need to check specific info on what you are using

    any idea how many kj your turbo session is? if you do, simply call it kcal (this works because people will be 25% efficient at worst, not because 1kj == 1 kcal), and look at what your intake was

    for a hard session, you should fuel up 1-2 hours before, so when you start your body is ready

    if you are really going hard, do a proper warm-down afterwards, that might help reduce the spaced out feeling from a hard turbo session, i have a recovery drink soon afterwards and a decent carb meal within 2 hours

    check weight before/after, if you are significantly lighter after, then you dehydrated by 1litre per kilo lost
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    1 hour 45 min on the turbo should be possible with water and maybe just a single gel or a bite to eat after an hour. Electrolyte powder as well I guess if you sweat a lot (but you should definitely be using at least one BFO fan).

    Turbo sessions must be costing you a fortune!
    More problems but still living....
  • jibberjim
    jibberjim Posts: 2,810
    I think it's unlikely that your diagnosis of dehydration is correct. Especially as the amount you drank would be very much on the high side (people differ, it's impossible to know, and weighing yourself before and after is not any good as the weight doesn't just change through water loss.)

    What did you have immediately after the session? Are you sure it wasn't lack of calories then and you essentially "bonked" later whilst walking around, although that is also unlikely with the amount of energy drink you had, although maybe it was a diet one ;-)
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • DavidJB
    DavidJB Posts: 2,019
    jibberjim wrote:
    I think it's unlikely that your diagnosis of dehydration is correct. Especially as the amount you drank would be very much on the high side (people differ, it's impossible to know, and weighing yourself before and after is not any good as the weight doesn't just change through water loss.)

    What did you have immediately after the session? Are you sure it wasn't lack of calories then and you essentially "bonked" later whilst walking around, although that is also unlikely with the amount of energy drink you had, although maybe it was a diet one ;-)

    I've seen a few 'lite' versions of energy drinks around now lol...what's the point. I assume they are aimed at people that do 30 minutes at the gym once a week and want to feel like they've had a 'proper' workout by using an energy drink.
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    Unless it was a full on tempo ride, for that duration just water would have been fine, you shouldn't even need to take on food if you have eaten prior to the session. I will go through 1.5 litres of water during a 2 hour tempo turbo session, and possibly some food (that just depends on food intake prior to the session though).
  • Pseudonym
    Pseudonym Posts: 1,032
    sherer wrote:
    I know the gels say take about 4 an hour can't remember how much it says to have on the drink. How much are others consuming on rides ?

    They only tell you that so you will buy more of them. No wonder you feel like sh1t if you've been taking that many gels on each ride. Ditch the gels and take real food - cereal bars, welsh cakes, bananas, fig rolls - and eat about once every 45mins - 1 hour....
  • JohnBoyUK
    JohnBoyUK Posts: 206
    The OP seems to be consuming an awful lot.

    Compare the two sessions I've done in the last 24 hours.

    I done 40 miles in Z2 last night 8-10pm. Had 500ml of Hi5 4:1 energy drink and 500ml of water.
    This morning at 5.30am I done 20 miles between Z2-Z3 and only drank around 400ml of Hi5 4:1 as I was doing the session before I'd eaten breakfast.

    On Sunday when I rode 60 miles on our club ride, I drank 1000ml of Hi 5 4:1, had a cup of tea at the cake stop and ate 3 cereal bars.

    Each individiual will be different. I have to keep drinking otherwise I dehydrate badly. Everyone has their own tolerance levels but there is no way on this earth I'd use energy gels in a turbo session.

    One very important tip. I learnt very early on to plan a schedule. If I know I'm coming home from work to do a turbo session in front of the tv, I will make sure the central heating is turned off so the living room will be nice and cool. With the windows open and fans on, there's plenty of air flowing.
  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    1.5lts for 1hr45mins sounds way too much to me.

    For TT'ing, I use 750ml per hour in events 50 miles and upwards, on other rides / audaxes / training, I take 1.5lts, which for me is enough for rides up to 4hrs.

    Obviously its down to the individual, but I would say that the OP is using is excessively
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    danowat wrote:
    1.5lts for 1hr45mins sounds way too much to me.

    For TT'ing, I use 750ml per hour in events 50 miles and upwards, on other rides / audaxes / training, I take 1.5lts, which for me is enough for rides up to 4hrs.

    Obviously its down to the individual, but I would say that the OP is using is excessively

    On a turbo you tend to sweat a bit more, I use 1.5 litres on a 2 hour session, so not that abnormal. Don't nearly as much as if I did a similar effort 2 hour road ride. I ride the turbo in an unheated garage with a fan on as well, so not a warm enviroment at all.

    Still for that duration water is all that is needed to be honest, unless it really was an all out session where you are burning through alot of glycogen.
  • Wrath Rob
    Wrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    Sherer, these comments about "too much" go back to your body's natural energy stores. Assuming you're not hungry when you start your ride, your body should have approx 1.5 to 2 hours energy stored in your blood, fat and muscles. Hence you should be able to do a work out of around that duration without having to resort to energy gels/drinks. You'll need something to keep you hydrated, just without loads of sugars in it. You're probably eating the same or more energy than you're expending on the ride! Save yourself the cash and don't bother.

    Go longer than 1.5-2 hours and you'll need to start taking on additional energy otherwise your body will have used all of the available energy stores that can be quickly metabolised (i.e. glycogen, you can't metabolise fat quickly enough) and your blood sugar will crash, known as bonk. It takes your body 15-30 minutes to release and use energy you ingest, hence the common cyclists refrain "eat before you're hungry". Personally I start eating after 1.5 hours to keep my energy levels topped up as I run out at around 1hr 45 mins. Depending on intensity figure 500 kcal per hour. Make sure that what you eat isn't pure sugar as this won't provide a sustained energy release. Something with sugar is good, as this is released quickly, but you want something to keep your levels up to avoid a spike-dip-spike-dip roller-coaster!
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd probably just do the sessions with two bottles of water. No real need for gels etc.

    You will be sweating a lot more with it being a turbo - and even in a short 45 min spin class I can down a 500 to 750ml bottle of water, so thats about the same as me. I only ever use water though, and sports drink for long rides.

    There's no need to take 4 energy gels an hour on a turbo.
  • sherer
    sherer Posts: 2,460
    think i'll have to experiment and work out what is best for me. I am eating before rides but don't take on any extra fluids. I've got quite a slim build and no real fat on me at all to burn up. I was doing what was quite a hard workout for me and being first ride of any kind for about a month it was a bit of a workout.

    Afterwards I just had a cup of tea and finished off the bit of energy drink I had left. Liketo have a bit of amtl loaf bit didn't have any in stock
  • Wrath Rob
    Wrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    sherer wrote:
    I've got quite a slim build and no real fat on me at all to burn upk
    You're confusing body fat, stored in fat cells, with glycogen stores that are held in your muscles, blood and internal organs. The metabolic process to release energy stored in fat cells is a very slow one, where as the process to release energy stored as glycogen is much faster. I'm no expert but its worth reading up a little on this to help you understand how to fuel and re-fuel your body properly for the kind of exercise (intensity & duration) that you're doing. Something like the [utl=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cyclists-Training-Bible-Joe-Friel/dp/19340302/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326112300&sr=8-1]Joe Freil book[/url] would be a good place to start.

    Think about it though, top level (i.e. very slim) pro's have very low body fat but still carry enough to ride for a couple of hours before re-fuelling.
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    You will have plenty of fat to burn up still, even if you are as low as 8% bodyfat for example.

    As for energy substrate used, at endurance pace you will be using fat and glycogen so should be able to go longer than 2 hours without food if really needed, though for rides/sessions longer than 2 hours I would suggest eating food after about the 1st hour. It is only when you start going high tempo and threshold that the vast majority of the energy used will be glycogen, and you may run out before the 2 hour mark, depending on how much glycogen you have actually got stored ( repeated heavy training will probably leave you with depleted stores, even if you eat beforehand).
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Blimey 4 gels an hour! That would mean I'd have to carry 20-24 of them with me on a 100mile ride :shock:

    Usually only carry one gel with me on a 50mile ride(for emergencies as I hate them at any time), 750ml of squash and maybe a couple of fruit bars to see me around. The OP is well overdoing it and must be compromising his ability to ride any distance. Lord knows what he'd do on a 1 hour fasted morning ride?
  • jibberjim
    jibberjim Posts: 2,810
    *markos1963* 4 gels an hour is about the minimum for me for an all out exercise above 2 hours (below 2 hours the intensity is too high to really ingest that much) and I have no problem doing other rides barely eating. If you cannot ingest 4 gels an hour at all out intensity, you are almost certainly failing to perform your best, not surprisingly due to the fact that the sugars - from glycogen and sugars you ingest) are more efficient fuels, so the more you can use the faster you'll go. The amounts you can digest appears to be trainable, and in long events the studies show quite a correlation between perfomance and calories ingested.

    Of course, that's got nothing to do with the OP's original question of how much he should he have - but it's why gels say 4 an hour - 'cos for the average sized guy, 3-400 calories is about all they can ingest in the 4hour+ intensity.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • sherer
    sherer Posts: 2,460
    thanks to everyone for the replies. I think I need to do a bit of reading and then work out what is best for me.

    Not sure if I will be outside or on the turbo this weekend, depends on the cold.

    One difference I do notice between turbo sessions and out on the road is on the turbo I can't freewheel and so have to do more work in an hour that I would if I was on the road.

    Will try taking on a bit more fluid before I start exercising this weekend