High energy drinks - to use or not?

1 to 20 of 24 messages
23/12/2002 at 15:51
My wife and I are training for our first London marathon. She thinks we should be using high energy sports drinks, while I don't. I want to lose weight, and at 15.5 St. and 5'7'2, I have plenty of potential. We always drink plenty of water, before, during and after a run. At the moment we do one long run at 12 miles, one mid-length at c. 5-6 and one at 4 each week.

Very interested in your opinion
23/12/2002 at 21:40
I agree with you for the training - except maybe worth trying a little occasionally so you can use them in the race itself. I sometimes use one in trainnig if I am doing a long run and haven't had time to eat much that day - not noticed any real difference just seems to make sense.
23/12/2002 at 22:21
Andy, well done, I know what it's like running with some weight. I was 17st when I started running and I'm now down to 15.5 st. I too am running in FLM so I am trying to lose further weight. The long runs will help greatly. I do take energy drinks with me on long runs, I think they have helped me. I tend to drink water before a long run but take the energy drink with me.
23/12/2002 at 23:00
I don't think I would have made it to a strong finish in my fist marathon if it hadn't been for the sports drinks. I didn't hit the wall and had felt great at the finish (apart from my aching feet). My dietician friend advised me to use a sports drink if my runs were going to be any longer than about 45 minutes. You need to replace the various things, especially electrolytes that you lose through sweat, that plain water can't. If you are going to use them though make sure you use the one that they will be handing out at the marathon so you are confident you won't have a bad reaction. Good luck!!
23/12/2002 at 23:15
Even if you're aiming to lose weight you need enough energy to fuel your run!

I can't even run round the block without an energy drink. It's probably psychological on a short run, but best thing to do is try with and without and see what works best.

You can heat energy drinks too . . . sounds wierd, but it's a nice handwarmer for a few cold miles on a rotten cold morning!
24/12/2002 at 00:10
One more thing I forgot to say is that your body can only store about 18 miles worth of glycogen (fuel), so you need to think about what you will do to see you through to 26 miles. Some people don't have a problem with this at all, but many talk about hitting the wall around this time. This is no fun at all and can make or break your marathon experience.
24/12/2002 at 09:58
expensive sugary water - but maybe helpful on the very long runs?
24/12/2002 at 11:13
Energy gels work for me whilst I'm out but I usually have a Lucozade sport in the hour before I go out on a long run and sometimes when I come back to aid recovery. I don't know whether it's psychological but a gel at nine miles always gives me a lift.
24/12/2002 at 12:00
I think it will become more important as you get onto longer runs - as Paula mentioned earlier (had to check it wasn't THE Paula after all the talk of first marathons and strong finishes!!) you can only store so much glycogen, and as you run further those stores will run out.
26/12/2002 at 12:49
Iain - I wish I ran like THE Paula! But alas I'm a mere midpacker.
26/12/2002 at 13:50
If you are going to use sports drinks then you should also look at using caffeine. It is a mild diuretic but research suggests it offers sufficient advantages to make it worthwhile. I read that on a cycling web site anyway.

Then of course you might want to try blood doping :)
26/12/2002 at 16:49
Try making your own isotonic energy drink with 50/50 fruit juice/water and a pinch of salt. Much cheaper than commercial drinks and works just as well, I feel. 1 pint per hour delivers about 30g of carbohydrate, which is what you need if you're running more than 2 hours. Start drinking 1/2 hour into your run, at the latest, and then drink at least 1 pint per hour. You can condition yourself to do this during training - don't just try and do this on marathon day. Not only does it keep you hydrated/energised during your run, it also helps you to recover faster too. If you're trying to lose weight, not drinking during your run is an inadvisable way of doing it. Weigh yourself before you start running and then again immediately afterwards (assuming you don't drink anything during). The difference in weight is fluid loss which you will regain as soon as you take a drink. What you need to lose is fat, which can best be achieved by a calorie controlled diet with the correct ratio of carbohydrate/protein/fat. I know proper hydration/carbo loading works. My marathon PB of 3hrs 16mins stood for 10 years when I drank only water. After advice from an old cycling/triathlon friend and a switch to the 50/50 juice/water, on about the same training I ran a 2 58. Suck it and see. A great book on sports nutrition and weight loss loss is Anita Bean's Sports Nutrition. I trained hard for many years, but finally discovered that it's training smart that gets results. Good luck with losing weight.
26/12/2002 at 20:50
Is that real fruit juice or squash?
27/12/2002 at 09:08
Fruit juice. Squash has a lot of added sugar but you can use it if you dilute it about 1:8 with water.
27/12/2002 at 10:42
some people would call that "anecdotal evidence" Zorba - I would call it an n=1 Clinical Trial - well done!

...wonder how much it would knock off my 5 38 pb?
29/12/2002 at 18:04
Heard about a girl who drank lots of these drinks during the FLM, never having tried them during training. Apparently she had severe stomach cramps for the last few miles followed by violent bright orange diarhoea (sp?) afterwards!
01/01/2003 at 12:12
Very useful info Zorba - thanks.
02/01/2003 at 09:26
Just like to say thanks to you all. At the moment I'm using them on runs over 2hrs and not on shorter runs. Going ok, but I may try to make my own.

Only 14 weeks to the FLM - I can't believe it

Cheers
Gez
13/10/2003 at 13:21
I need advice. I did a 8 mile race yesterday just drinking water and eating breakie two hours before the race. In the last mile or so I felt exhausted and slightly faint. I made it to the end but spent the whole day with no energy.
Do you think that I should start trying to have sports drinks before and after my run. I worry that it will give me cramp when running and prevent weight loss. I need advice! Anyone?
cougie    pirate
13/10/2003 at 13:27
How long did it take you Geraldine ?

I find I can run Half Marathons (90mins) fine without any extra energy taken on in the race.

You should eat after the race though - you can't expect to eat nothing to help increase the rate of weight loss.

If you look at the calories in a sports drink - it's pretty minimal - not a replacement for a meal.
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