Skip navigation

23774 Views 28 Replies Latest reply: Dec 23, 2013 11:56 AM by Chris1439 Go to original post 1 2 Previous Next
  • KatieHW Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 20, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    15. Jun 20, 2008 6:43 AM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks

    I have a similar problem - I don't like the taste of sports drinks and they don't sit well in my stomach. What works best for me is to take 2 water bottles on the bike - one filled with water and one filled with diluted fruit juice (apple, cranberry, nothing really acidic). The diluted juice tastes plenty strong while I'm working out but is a lot milder than other options and gives me a shot of sugar. I also have the water for when I'm just really thirsty or to rinse the flavor out of my mouth. I found taking a swallow of water after another drink really helps a lot if the sweetness or taste of another drink is bothering me. I also eat a granola bar during the bike for longer training rides/races (over 2hour on the bike). And I definitely eat before I go - PB&J or a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese works great for me for breakfast before a long ride or race. But you just have to try things out and figure out what works best for you.

  • Sharpner Rookie 5 posts since
    Apr 14, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    16. Jun 21, 2008 4:34 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks


    Hi no one has mentioned this so I'll chime in - there is a homemade gatoraid that's combination of sweet-n-low, sugar-less coolaid, salt and water. I can't remember the amounts. Experiment of one :-).  This one came from a dead-runner named Jim (dead runners society - one of the first internet communities). Another idea that came from the ultra running list is defizzed coca cola. A lot of folks have trouble drinking the same stuff for 31 miles let alone 100. But these folks train to eat pimento cheese sandwiches, salty potatos and all kinds of bizarre stuff. I mentioned experiment of one so that you would try to find your own solution for what you need. Gels and power bars don't do the trick for me. My solution is gatoraid supplemented with peanuts and chocolaty-caffeinated drink. I can drink/eat that and go 100 miles. Good luck with your experiment!










  • Rsamorose Rookie 6 posts since
    Jul 29, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    17. Aug 4, 2008 2:27 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks


    I have also heard of many athletes watering down gatorade.  In fact my husband used to work at a dirt bike track down here in south Florida, that is what all the moto-x guys & gals drink.



    I have tried it and personally prefer it watered down or the newer gatorade rain.



    Be careful with sports drinks because some studies have shown that it is more harmful to teeth than soda.  I would reccomed using a straw ( I know sounds funny) but if you are going to drink it all the time your teeth will benefit.



  • Optimal Nutrition Inc. Amateur 30 posts since
    Jul 7, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    18. Aug 11, 2008 10:46 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks


    Some very interesting posts.  My opinion is somewhat "textbook" but I have read a lot of research on the subject.  So a few points:



    No matter what - water always has been and always be the single-most important nutrient.  In general, sports drinks will outperform water if your event is longer than an hour - that doesn't mean, however, that you need to wait an hour into a long race or workout to start drinking a sports drink (or other form of carbohydrate and electrolytes).



    Only drink sports drinks right before, during, or right after exercise.  They are not meant to be consumed during the day or even with meals (pre-race meals being the exception).  If you follow this rule, I wouldn't worry about tooth decay.  During exercise dehydration is a much bigger concern than cavities.  You also shouldn't wait until you have a dry mouth to drink - always drink beyond your thirst.



    Typical sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade) are actually not the best recovery drinks - they do not contain protein.  Protein during post-exercise helps stimulate insulin which increases glycogen uptake and muscle resynthesis.



    Water + gels = sports drinks (for the most part).  Read the labels carefully, though, as many gels are low in sodium.  Sports drinks will also absorb a little quicker - there's not much point in consuming a gel if you have less than 30 minutes left in your race, but you can definitely benefit from fluids pretty much until the end.



    I'm not a fan of diluting sports drinks - yes it may make them more palatable or easier on the stomach, BUT you're also diluting the electrolytes.  If you are really adamant about diluting, I would bust out the calculator and add some salt to get the sodium levels back up to par (~100mg / 8oz).  1 tsp salt = 2,000mg sodium.  Hands down, sodium is more important than potassium, magnesium, or calcium during exercise.  You may want to try G2 (from Gatorade - half the carbohydrate, same level of electrolytes.



    I always find it funny when people say - "sports drinks have so much sugar".  A) Your body prefers sugar during exercise and B) Gatorade, for example, has half the sugar of fruit juice or soda.



    Unless you're drinking a few gallons a day, I wouldn't worry about the artificial flavors and whatnot.  The benefits of carbohydrates and electrolytes outweigh the miniscule negatives.



    Some fructose in a drink is actually beneficial - combining different forms of carbohydrate can increase total carbohydrate absorption - meaning that a glucose-sucrose-fructose combo is best for short events and the addition of maltodextrin is likely beneficial for longer events (over 2 hours). 



    Above all, find something that you like.  Drinking water is better than drinking nothing.  You may want to check out a company called Infinit Nutrition - - you can customize your drink as far as carbohydrate concentration, flavor, electrolytes, and more (I don't work for them, but they do sponsor our race team).  And as a disclaimer, I work part time as a Gatorade hydration manager for a soccer team.



    Please write back with any questions!












    Justin Robinson, MA,RD,CSSD,CSCS
    Consultant - Optimal Nutrition

  • INFINIT1 Rookie 2 posts since
    Jun 27, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    19. Aug 12, 2008 5:52 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks

    Justin, this pop-ed up on my Google alert. Thanks for the kind words. No...Justin and I are not working in tandem to spam the forum.


    I run INFINIT Nutrition. What we do is give athletes a platform to create a drink that has:



    • the strength of flavor to what you want. (Most are way too strong).

    • has the correct number of calories per serving for their body size and activity (yes you can do low calorie)

    • adjust electrolyte for their sweat rate and history of muscle cramping

    • add protein to keep you from getting hungry on the long stuff

    • caffeine if you want

    • you can even change the types of carbs from maltodextrine to more glucose based


    The end game is to have a drink made just for you that will taste exactly how you want and allow you to eliminate all gels, salt pills and food. I have thousands if Ironman athletes and Ultra endurance athletes that are 100% liquid nutrition. MUCH easier to manage and process. 100% money back guarantee. 100% all natural product.


    This is just a FYI. We work with almost 200 coaches like Mark Allen, Joe Friel and Training Peaks, Endurance nation, Gordo, D3 just to name a few.



    Let me know if you have any questions. Happy to help out.




  • Nancy Clark RD CSSD Community Moderator 62 posts since
    Jul 8, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    20. Sep 9, 2008 6:28 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks

    If you have a good dinner the night before the Tri, and eat a good breakfast the morning of the event, you will likely have enough fuel on board to carry you through the sprint Tri. The general rule of thumb is, if you will be exericising for less than 60 to 90 minutes, what you pre-event can suffice (along with some water taken in during the event). Your job is to experiment during training and events to learn what foods and fluids settle best.

    Note: the commercial sports drinks are not "magic" -- they are simply a convenient source of water + carbs (sugar). You can get water + carbs in fruit, gummi bears, tea with honey, and other standard foods. Happy experimenting!


    Nancy Clark RD CSSD

    Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics

    Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD

    Sports nutrition counselor and food/weight coach

    Author, Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

  • peddlepusher Rookie 3 posts since
    Feb 13, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    21. Feb 13, 2009 12:19 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks


    Hi! I know this response is a little late, but it's about time for a new season to begin. I found a great line of nutritional products at this link . You may be interested in trying the Preburn, which is good for fueling up the muscles with vitamins, minerals and protein about a half hour before your event. Hydrate is good during your workout - much better than the other sugary drinks like Gatorade. May not upset your stomach. And the Afterburn is a protein drink specifically formulated for muscle recovery. A couple different choices in flavor for each. I've had great results! Oh, and I found that you earn reward points by signing in as a preferred customer. Good for some free products now and then!



  • SportStrips Amateur 9 posts since
    Feb 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    22. Feb 23, 2009 6:30 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks


    I had the same problem with power and energy drinks like Gadorade.  But I needed it on long hot runs to stop my cramping.  Recently a freind turn me on to enlyten electrolyte strips.  I just put them between my chek and gum . The absorption rate is 2-3 minutes compared to 30 minute with gadorade. And best of all no bloating or side effects. I still drink a little water but much less than normal. I was told that Boston Marathoner Pete Gilmore uses them and loves them. 



  • Core Muscle Concepts Rookie 1 posts since
    Oct 10, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    23. Mar 17, 2009 12:01 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks

    Start with water. As you proceed through your race obviously your stores get depleted. A sports drink may come in handy after the first hour depending on the intensity at which you run. There are so many factors that affect "time to sports drink consumption in a race". Consult a sports performance nutrition counselor for further info.

  • KWiley112 Rookie 7 posts since
    Apr 11, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    24. Sep 2, 2009 8:06 AM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks


    While water is good, you do need to replenish the electrolytes lost during exercise.  I have found a great source of electrolytes in Melaleuca's Sustain Sport.  Each 16oz serving has 4 electrolytes and only 30 calories.  It definitely does not give you that sweet heavy feeling.



    Only Sustain Sport packs 4 electrolytes (twice as many as Gatorade® Thirst Quencher Original Orange) into each serving to give your body what it needs most. This proprietary complex of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium rejuvenates in four ways:


    • Rehydrates your cells for proper bodily functions

    • Maximizes muscle performance to let you work better longer

    • Helps convert carbs into energy for school, work, activities, or sports

    • Minimizes muscle tissue breakdown to protect you from early fatigue and muscle cramps


    This is only one of the 350+ products that are healthy and safe from Melaleuca.



  • Dom77mu Amateur 8 posts since
    Sep 8, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    25. Sep 9, 2009 10:24 AM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks

    As i said in my other posts try sea salt a pinch of it in your water if you cant handle sports drinks. Sea salt puts back the minerals into the water and makes water easier to drink.

     My Strength Training Blog - Simple and Effective ideas to help you reach your best.

     Colostrum - Is the "immune milk" Supercharged with 97 immune factors and 87 growth factors. Colostrum is 3 times more effective than tamiflu.



  • stevedav Amateur 11 posts since
    Mar 16, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    26. Jun 9, 2011 10:48 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Re: Water Vs. Sports Drinks

    Most sports beverages have Fructose maize syrup as the carbohydrate. I understand persons who have utilised Hammer Gel blended with water to conceive their own sports drink. It is 100% Maltodextrin...a good convoluted carb. I have only utilised Hammer Gel as an power gel and it works for me. The only difficulty is there are no electrolytes in it so you have to supplement with their e-caps or certain thing like it.

    hormone repalcment therapy|testosterone therapy

  • hidrate Rookie 5 posts since
    May 23, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    27. May 23, 2013 11:39 PM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Water Vs. Sports Drinks

    Im not sure if anyone is interested by to address issues and problems like this, we are working on a biosensor that will help you track your hydration levels in real-time. This will help you gain insight as to what to drink - electrolytes (or deeper like primarily sodium and potassium), carbohydrates,and water


    Anyone interested in learning more, here is the site:

  • Chris1439 Amateur 16 posts since
    Aug 5, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    28. Dec 23, 2013 11:56 AM (in response to BigGirlsTri)
    Water Vs. Sports Drinks

    Here is some interesting information from a Certified Sports Nutritionist on hydration and electrolyte replacement. Thought we'd share:


    Athletes, particularly runners and those participating inendurance activities, will often go out and exercise without drinking anyfluids until after their workout. But these athletes should be aware that when you become dehydrated yourperformance diminishes.  With justa 2% loss of water in the body, heat regulation in the body is impacted.  A 3% loss of water decreases musclecell contraction.  And with a 4% dropin water, there is 5-10% drop in overall performance that can last up to 4hours.


    Also with loss of fluids there is a loss in the body’selectrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, as well as essential traceminerals.  According to Certified Specialistin Sports Nutrition, Nina Anderson, “trace minerals are very important becausethey help restore proper blood volume and the blood sugar levels and they arenecessary for enzymatic reactions that promote proper blood volume. Withoutthem the performance of the athlete is going to diminish, especially if you arelifting weights or doing endurance exercises. “


    Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are essentialfor the body.  But many athletesdon’t realize that 4% of the body is composed of 21 macro and electrolyteforming trace minerals, that are essential for life.  If you don’t have these you will eventually die because thebrain will short circuit and stop working.  When these mineral levels are insufficient and can’t meetthe demands of the body, especially when you’re exercising a lot, you’re goingto get substandard levels of performance.


    Nina states, “If you don’t have the trace minerals in thebody it diminishes your body’s ability to react, it also increases the risk ofserious injury as well as recovery rate. Ultimately, it’s going to reduce the recovery rate after strenuousworkouts.”


    Athletes, particularly endurance athletes, need a broadspectrum of electrolyte forming trace minerals, these will support all of theelectrical impulses going to the muscles and organs during exercise.  Most sports drinks do not havethese. 


    There are few electrolyte products on the market today thathave all of the essential minerals your body needs.  An athlete can replace the salts in their body with most electrolyteproducts, or even table salt, but you can’t get trace minerals like boran,celenium, and chromium.  And youcan’t just buy these minerals separately.  However, a sports nutrition company, EnduroPacks, Inc. offers a concentratedelectrolyte spray that has not only the salt and potassium, but all of theessential trace minerals that your body needs to recover from injury andstress, boost your immune system and energy levels, and enhance the uptake ofvitamins and proteins.  These traceminerals also help to re-establish healthy pH levels, you have to have analkaline pH level for it to stay healthy. You can put the electrolyte spray in anything, water, tea, or even coffeeto do it all for you so you don’t have to think about it.  And it has none of the harmful sugarsand caffeine that other sports hydration products often contain.


    You can find out more about this interview with Certified Sports Nutritionist Nina Anderson on soundcloud or by listening here: http://

1 2 Previous Next

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...