Are sports drinks really usefull or is all in the mind?

15 messages
06/07/2011 at 14:11

I was wondering if those sports drinks do really work.............or is all in the mind.

You know, the placebo effect.

The thing is that i have run using those drinks and using only water, and i personaly don't notice big diference.

I have been testing it, as in going for a run with water and other day with a sport drink,

Sometimes i run long runs lasting 90 minutes and i only take with me a bottle of sugra free -low calorie sport drink. I run ok, as usual. Then i did the same another day with juts water and a little bit of salt on it. I did not notice any change.

This is why i wonder........what is going on? or maybe it is me?

Also, i notice that when i run on an empty stomach in early morning and when i run in the evening after work i don't really notice big diference in performance. I wonder if i am strange?

But what i notice is that the first 5 or 10 minutes are a bit hard. My legs feel lazy for about 5 minutes when i start running early morning, but after those firt minutes.................i feel perfectly ok and could run for miles..........................is that normal?

06/07/2011 at 14:18

Sugar free, low cal sports drink is not much different to drinking water.  If you're going to do any sort of comparison you need to use a proper sports/energy drink.

06/07/2011 at 14:37
"Sometimes i run long runs lasting 90 minutes and i only take with me a bottle of sugra free -low calorie sport drink. I run ok, as usual. Then i did the same another day with juts water and a little bit of salt on it. I did not notice any change."

for a 90 minute run your body should be able to cope admirably with no intake at all if you've trained for it - I'll happily run for 2hrs or so without any drinks with me.

but sports/energy drinks and gels do come into their own when you go longer and glycogen and hydrations levels start dipping and your performance tails off - that's when you need to refuel. for real endurance events like an ultra or Ironman, the chances of you completing without additional intake of fuel, water and electrolytes is practically nil

perhaps you need to challenge yourself further and harder and find out the hard way what it's like to bonk or suffer dehydration - if you ever do suffer, it's not something you will want to repeat!

BUT - people who chug down energy drinks when they are bimbling around doing 5k runs or fiddling about in the gym are just victims to advertising - you don't need them for this level of activity



07/07/2011 at 23:03

Look for Nuun tablets (you can get them in cycle shops) which I would recommend.  A £5/£6 gets you a tube of twelve big tablets (compare the price of 12 bottles of Lucozade!).  Drop one iin a bottle of water or diluted orange juice and off you go.  Really work for replacing electrolytes as far as I'm concerned.

 I used them last weekend hill walking in the Lake disrtict.  I was out for about 8 hours in very hot, sweaty, demanding conditions up and down various hills and felt fine at the end.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/nuun-active-hydration-tablets-tube

Come in different flavours - orange is good!

I was tipped off about these from my Spin instructor at the local gym and they certainly work for me. 

08/07/2011 at 12:14

Yes, i suppose hydratation products are good.

And also some factors are the weather and how much you sweat.

IN this weather in summer we may need some extra-hydratation, and personaly i tend to sweat a lot! even when all i've done is work in the office all day sitting at my desk, when i get home in the evening i could wring my bouse and get water off it!

no, i'm not exagerating,

if that is when i don't do exercise, you can imagine when i run!!!

This is why i tend to have low calorie, low sugar hydratation drinks when i run over 60 minutes or so.

 I find coconut water helps. Pure natural coconut water is a good hydratation,

I was wondering about the sugar and carbohydrate thing. Are those carbohydrate gels necessary? do they really make a diference?

08/07/2011 at 12:24
if you're running for less than 90 minutes you don't need to worry about taking carbs on board when you're running. The thinking is that your muscles store enough energy, on average, for around 90 minutes of continual exercise. Some people however can carry on for hours without gels, carbs etc, others can't. The only way you'll know is by experimenting once you're running longer distances.

There are other ways of getting carbs into your while you're running that don't involve gels. I started out with dates and almonds, following an article in RW, but found it really hard to chew, run and breath at the same time. I then tried jelly beans, but they got really sticky in my pocket and I dropped more than I ate. I moved onto carb drinks, but they didn't give me enough energy, and then experimented with gels. I now use SIS gels for long runs as you don't need to take them with water and I like the taste.
08/07/2011 at 13:22

Thank you for the information, it really helps.

Until now the longer i have run is only about 90 minutes, as i started running only a few months ago in April, so i still have to experiment with long runs.

becuase i loose a lot of sweat i use the hydratation drinks only, as i go thirsty,

in my experience you are right, we should not need carbs for short runs,

but there is somehting i was wondering and maybe you can help me a bit: sometimes is taken for granted that runners eat normally carbohydrates daily, but i don't.

I just can't, i don't like potatoes, pasta, rice, etc so basically my diet is protein based and i feel good in it.

Occasionally i take a spoonful of honey before i go running, but that's it. This is the reason i was wondering if i would need a bit of extra help with a carb gels on a run over 60 minutes or so,

08/07/2011 at 13:31
You'll know if you need to take on extra carbs during a run because you'll completely run out of energy, you'll feel like you can't put one foot in front of the other. By that stage, it will be too late to refuel as your body needs at least 10 minutes to convert food to energy. If you're getting to this stage after 60 minutes of running, then next time take some form of carb with you. But as I said, everyone is different when it comes to energy needs when exercising and the more you exercise, the better your body becomes at utilising the energy sources it has available to it.
08/07/2011 at 20:13

I take one every time I go to the gym, My day starts 05:30 - 06:30 and I have a physical job, I could easily nod off when i get home. I take a well known drink, perform & hydrate, works well for me.

Rob.

08/07/2011 at 20:57
Fatima Luna wrote (see)

but there is somehting i was wondering and maybe you can help me a bit: sometimes is taken for granted that runners eat normally carbohydrates daily, but i don't.

I just can't, i don't like potatoes, pasta, rice, etc so basically my diet is protein based and i feel good in it.


What? You don't eat cake? Bread or sugar?

Your diet cannot be carb free you would be dead.

10/07/2011 at 20:09

No, i am not dead. I'm still alive........lol

Ok, maybe is a bit confusing.

I meant that i don't eat many carbs. I do eat a few, mainly non starch vegetables, a few fruit and the occasional slice of bran bread in the morning. Not even every day.

when i meant is that i don't eat things like potatos, rice, pasta and things like that.

I do eat yogurt, and milk, so i suppose that contains sugars.

But i basically eat protein based,

11/07/2011 at 00:12

I use powerade during a hard track session, i don't have them on easy runs day just for sessions. Definitely gives you a boost in between reps.

After training Powerade zero is great to replace sweat loss, mineral, sodium etc.

I also swear by chocolate milk after my sessions/runs, i think it's as good if not better than all these recovery shakes out there. Simply by some from the supermarket.

11/07/2011 at 07:14

Jaffa cakes or fig rolls on a longish run. Maybe even one of those plastic pots of baked beans if out all day - mmm!

Forget expensive 'energy' products, eat summat you can look forward to, not have to force down! Have a mini pork pie or a rock bun!

13/07/2011 at 14:03

I have noticed that personally i tend to run out of fuel after about 70-80 minutes.

Last suday i went for a long run with just sugar free sport drink and i could manage over an hour, then my legs started feeling so heavy...................

 I suppose that body frame and height also plays a part on it. I am a small woman, only 4ft 8in and slim, so maybe my reserves run out faster than someone bigger?

but i am still confused about when is the right time to have the replacment carb gel..............should it be done just before the 60 minutes?

As Allnew says, giving good advice,

13/07/2011 at 15:55

It takes 30mins for your body to breakdown carbohydrate to a useable state. If you find you are running out at 80mins, take them after 50mins.

It depends what you are training for. When I train for the marathon I don't take any carbs at all. I'm trying to get my body used to running with no glycogen and burn the fat more efficiently. Then on the event I'll take some carb replacements which consists of a jelly baby every 5mins after 90min.

I don't think your frame has anything to do with it, it's just down to how much glycogen you can store. This does increase with training. Glycogen is held in the liver, muscles and blood.


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