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1  - 21 April 2008 19:38

Just wondered how many people use the energy drinks like the SIS range and get o dodgey feeling stomach?

I still haven't got round to ordring the Torque stuff like i said as i was still finishing off the SIS Go, the PSP22 i've just had to leave alone as that made me feel weird.

Thing is is there a natural way to replicate what the energy drinks do?

On shorter rides upto 1.5hours i just use water and that feels great.

Today i did a 3 hour off road ride and used the SIS Go, everything was fine but when i got to the end of the ride and on my way home i felt abit funny, not sick but my stomach feels out of sorts?

Not ill enough to think i won't use again but upset enough to make me think it can't be good for me.

Maybe i should try using water on a long ride and see how my performance is, do many race on water alone?

Thanks in advance.


2  - 21 April 2008 19:56

One thing you can try is to get hold of natural flavour stuff...  In general you'll find they're all the same, just maltodextrin anyway

then mix with water and add a little juice or something to taste

I use Torq orange and find it good for me but then I've never had trouble with my stomach (other than the size!)

3  - 21 April 2008 20:05

Have you made sure your bottles and lids are properly cleaned?  Dishwashers don't always clean bottles thoroughly.  Dishwasher salt or tabs not rinsed properly from the inside also cause loads of wind and stomach cramps!!

I find it beneficial to eat a bit of fibre (eg GO bar) during a ride too - otherwise there's nothing to move the carbs through the digestive system other than the water...

If you can't find a cure maybe try jelly babies every 10 mins?  I wouldn't train on nothing but water until the winter so that you stay energised for your intensive training and racing.

4  - 21 April 2008 20:15

My stomach is generally good with allsorts but energy drinks, so you think it could be the flavouring?

You mean natural as in the torq powder in natural flavour?

Wonder if you can buy maltodextrin on it's own?

5  - 21 April 2008 20:26

Well i try and rinse out properly but mostly i use a camelbak and i rinse out with warm water and place in the freezer between rides to stop anything growing, but i do seem to get alot of wind when i've been on the energy drinks, but i must admit i haven't steralised my camelbak for months as i thought cleaning it with water after every ride would be enough.

Maybe that's the problem?

As i don't recall feeling ropey in previous months, the Go bars you mention are they the SIS Go bars or just a oaty bar from the shops?

Funnily enough i didn't eat anything like that today, i normally do.

Paul so you find it better to train with the energy drink every training session or ride out?

6  - 21 April 2008 20:39

i found that mixing the drinks/powder to the limits on the packs (high five and sis) was hard on my stomach, i found mixing it weaker helped.

I do try and not use sports drinks when training or just one weak bottle nr the end of a long or hard ride. i do this so when i race i get a bigger kick/effect from the drink.

7  - 21 April 2008 20:44

So Rob do you just use water mostly?

Crossed my mind today when i was mixing it, i bet they just want us to get through it quick!

So maybe use 20g per 500ml rather than 40g per 500ml.

I'd rather use something to help with electrolytes when i'm sweating like a pig!

8  - 21 April 2008 20:45

I use SIS GO bars as the fibre comes partly from fruit rather than just oats (which give me wind if they're not soaked thoroughly).

If you want to train at high intensities then I'd definately recommend using energy drinks all the while (except in winter when you want to train your body to burn fat - and save money!). 

In my experience, if you're training 3 or more
times per week for longer than 1.5 hours at a time then they'll definately help you keep riding at full capacity rather than slightly energyless.  Consequently you'll get more out of your training.  I also use REGO after rides (which does give you wind and there's nothing you can do about that!) to help recover quicker - again, in my experience this really helps.

If you've been putting energy drink into your camelback bladder then I'd check the hose and corners of the bladder carefully even if it's been left in the freezer - I reckon that could be your problem!

BTW - I'm not paid by SIS - I just like their stuff!

9  - 21 April 2008 20:50

I had this at the weekend at nightriedr 12 i use torq and still highly recommend it but very often a little understanding is a bad thing as i took to much on board durin the race and suffered with stomach cramps.

matts advice was simple in that situation drink more water (plain get the glucose levels down and start again with a weaker solution

10  - 21 April 2008 20:53

yes water manly. just pre load with carbs the night before and in the morning Via food, norm ok when riding. but for real L6 stuff i have a weak mix.
20g a good start maybe work up to 25/30.

11  - 21 April 2008 20:54

On the subject of how much stuff to put in your bottle - 20 grams of powder is only gonna give you around 80kcals (carbs have 4kcal per gram) - enough for approx 15 mins of exercise.  Doubling up obviously helps you keep going for longer.  The more concentrated you mix it the less hydrating it is though.

12  - 21 April 2008 22:42

I do normally carb up the day before the ride and have porridge every day specially before a ride and i always use Rego after as i find it helps and i quite like the taste too..but wind jesus it's unreal!

After doing abit of research i always have my porridge approx 3 hours before i ride, i've also read i should start eating 20mins into the ride, but my stomach starts to feel unsettled if i eat to much, maybe i should just go for the weaker mix and take energy bars and gels for energy as volume of food seems to hamper my performance.
Today i took a peanut butter and banana sandwhich with me and that layed a little heavy once i got pounding up the hills.

Suppose it's a balance between eating enough to keep energised and not making feel ill.

I'll get some Milton sterile stuff and do the camelbak and pipe.

13  - 21 April 2008 23:12

I used to use SiS psp22 or whatever it is called. It was fine for races but way too expensive to train with. That meant a different regiem for training vs racing - not good. On advice from a consultant endocrinologist I ditched the psp22 in favour of pure dextrose from my local chemist.
The energy in sports drinks comes from their dextrose content which is about 95%. The remaining 5% of additives are an expensive luxury. I'd rather spend the money on my bike.

I now use Boots Glucose C which is 100% dextrose and about 1/4 the price of a sports drink. Its packaging suggests it is for use by grannies and grand dads but maybe that is a ploy to discourage athletes from reconising it as a cheap alternative to sports drinks.

I just mix it with water and don't worry about the taste. When I'm working hard I need about 400kcal/hr which, as has been said, is about 100g. I find this approach OK for rides upto two hours. Beyond that I need something solid to keep my stomach stable.

14  - 22 April 2008 08:58

That's very interesting Grumpy, i remember years ago when i was a kid seeing this stuff that my dad used in his cups of tea called Glucodin, bet that was something similar.

When you say don't worry about the taste is it tasteless or really sweet?

May look into this as like you say the sports drinks are quite pricey!

So would you use the dextrose for a race/enduro longer than 2 hours aswell as something solid?

Wonder if any of the oaty type bars off the shelf are anygood?
I tried some from aldi which had about 15g of carbs 2g protein and low in fat, probably not as potent as a energy bar but only a fraction of the price.

I've been trying the eating regular on the rides but end up bloated or feeling lethargic, is it possible some people need less than others while riding for longer periods? Maybe i have more fat to burn than some cross country whippets!

Thanks for all the info!

15  - 22 April 2008 09:01

320 You Prob do this, but eating small bits offtern helps, if you use/eating a energy bar break it up into 4/5 bits before you start riding and eat a bit ever so offtern,  (you can prob cut the sandwhich up aswell)

16  - 22 April 2008 09:02

Also is Maltodextrin the same as dextrose?

Just looked on the Ps22 and the Go and both Maltodextrin based!

17  - 22 April 2008 09:37

Try High 5 4:1 (4 parts carbohydrate to 1 part whey protein). I've also had this similar stomach problem, but not with High 5.
It mixes up very light and tastes good. I use this for racing, training and for my solo ride at Dusk til Dawn last year. Never had any problems with nausea for the whole 12 hours. You may also find a bit of solid food on long rides will give your stomach something to do!

Beyond Mountain Bikes/Specialized/West Drayton MBC
18  - 22 April 2008 11:37

I don't get on with energy products at all.  Real food and water all the way for me.  At least then you want to eat the stuff.  2 top tips I have found over the last few years:

1. For a last lap kick, try redbull and water 50:50 and a bar of dairy milk.  Unbeatable! (Only for last lap though and can be done with flat coke instead of redbull)
2.  Don't eat too many dried apricots on a 100km ride.  That really does make for an uncomfortable experience!

19  - 22 April 2008 13:26

Thanks for all the replies, Rob i must admit when i was riding the roads base training in the early part of the year i was good at taking bits with me like fig rolls jaffa cakes to nibble on along the way etc.

But now i've been riding more off road i've been less organised as it's harder to eat on the bike off road unless on a fire road so i've been going a hour or so then eating something so could be that aswell, also i ate half a sandwhich in one, i don't recall feeling dodgey early on in the year.

Gandalf i've only tried High 5 once and my LBS are stopping stocking it at the mo.

Emu what was making me think about the natural aproach like you say with food and water as i went skiing a few weeks backs and all i had in the day was few fig roles, sandwhich at lunch, and a snickers bar in the afternoon and drank water, skiied all day every day 9-4 and never felt energyless but i suppose skiing is less aerobic than cycling? but the snickers bar seemed to really help, no sugar spike and feeling tired after it at all.

20  - 22 April 2008 21:09

Right i've been and bought some Milton steralising tablets for my bottles and the Camelbak.

And also called into Boots chemist and got two boxes of Gluco C for just over 3 quid for 908g which is basically Dextrose with vitamin C.

So worth a try at that price as then i can afford to train and ride with it, 100g give 97g of Carbs so i'll mix that with 1 litre of water, and supplement with gels and fig rolls etc but in small amounts.

I'll report my findings with the Gluco C, the pic on the box has a couple of tennis balls and a racket so must be for athletes hehehe.

But Dextrose is Dextrose i suppose.

Thanks for all the tips.

21  - 22 April 2008 22:30

Hi again.
In response to your questions:
I guess you now know what the Glucose C tastes like ie not much but it is sweet.
I think the Maltodextrin is a form of Dextrose. My unbiased consultant informed me that psp22 contains a 'high quality' source of dextrose.

After two hours I continue to use the Glucose C but have something solid as well eg sandwich or cake.

Oh yeah, watch out for bird droppings on your bike. If you spill the Glucose C drink it dries like chalk. At first I thought a bird had carpped all over my bike!

22  - 23 April 2008 07:07

Yes i had a late night ride lastnight and tried some, was only a short ride so couldn't how it performed but like you say doesen't taste of much and doesn't have aspartyme in like the Go and PS22 which i didn't think was good for you?

I put some orange in which i think was a mistake as it never felt my thirst was quenched so i think i'll just drink it on it's own, the tatse isn't offensive at all, if anything it taste less sweet that PSP22 and Go, to me anyway.

They are doing the buy one get second half price so it's cheap.

Also are doing 1kg tubs for 2.95.

So surely that stuff shouldn't upset my stomach or my wallet.

23  - 23 April 2008 11:10

emuranger - how long is the maximum you'd recommend using Red Bull/water at 50:50 for the final lap? 

I've trained using it and experimented with that mix at SITS 2007, and found that after 30 mins or so, I was absolutely buzzing, but not in a good way, more a light-headed one!  Maybe one for shorter courses only....

24  - 23 April 2008 11:58

You can always try plain water or something like barley water with Elete electrolyte solution mixed in.This is a tasteless and odourless liquid that replaces electrolytes,it just makes the water feel like it has a greasy texture,nothing bad mind.It wont replenish carbs but it will fend off the cramp.

25  - 23 April 2008 23:31

Dextrin is a general term for a group of carbohydrates that all have similar chemical formulas.  Maltodextrin is a form of dextrin that is very easy to digest and is therefore the one put in energy drinks.  Labelling a powder (eg Boots) as containing dextrin, probably means that the carb contained within it is not as refined or high quality as PSP etc.  This means it won't give you so much energy quite as quick - but as everyone has stated, it'll do for training as a cheap alternative.  Add a quarter teaspoon of good quality salt to each bottle to turn it into an electrolyte drink.

Caffeine (ie Red Bull) will have some positive effect on how you utilise fat as a fuel (therefore saving your carb reserves for when you need them most).  Though this effect is ofset by the fact too much caffeine may cause dehydration, stomach upset and headaches etc.  Caffeine for most is a one lap wonder that works best if you rarely drink caffeine.  I believe (though you should check for yourselves) that it has been taken off the banned list of drugs for athletes.

26  - 24 April 2008 07:32

Did a 26 mile training ride lastnight and fairly pounded away to see how the stomach felt and test out the lights!

I used the Dextrose 50g per 500ml and as rob mentioned chopped up my Fig roles so they were bite size pieces.

Never had a problem lastnight at all and my stomach and energy levels felt good right till the end at 11pm, and it was my 3rd ride this week.

Never got round to steralising the camelbak before the ride so it makes me think there is something in the long list of ingredients in the Go or PSP that doesn't agree with me?

I have since steralised the camelbak just incase and will do after every ride.

So thanks for the tips and hopefully i keep off this stomach problem.

I'm out again Friday afternoon so i'll use the same formula and maybe add salt too? How much salt would you recommend per 500ml with out it tasting like crap?

Or do we get enough salt in our diets to cope?

The exposure light was pretty good too, just used it on it's own and was quite impressed.

Cheers Lee

27  - 24 April 2008 08:39

I don't think adding salt would be a good idea.

If your looking to get Electrolytes try adding a electrolyte tablet, like Nuun, ZYM or Motor tabs.

A Cycling/Pivot Race Team website. Twitter: @mattpage24
28  - 24 April 2008 12:25

Ahh yes and i suppose they will mix in ok with the dextrose too.

Wonder where best place is for them? wiggle or something?

29  - 24 April 2008 12:48

You can get Motor Tabs in the shop.

Check it out!

30  - 24 April 2008 13:02

Ive used SIS Go for ages now and think its great.I sweat like a pig and notice a massive difference to using just water.However, after believing all the hype I switched to High 5 recovery and energy drinks last year and felt dizzy and sick after using them.Ive gone back to using SIS with no side effects.Hope this helps.

31  - 24 April 2008 17:42

A litre of sweat includes approx:
Chloride 1.5grams
Sodium 1 gram
Pottasium 0.25 gram
Calcium negligable.

Bearing in mind table salt is 'sodium chloride', i'd say putting approx 1/4 - 1/3 teaspoon into your 500ml bottle is fine!  Put electrolyte tabs into your bottle if you wish, but there's fa difference really.  Depends on yer budget I guess.

Still think GO is best though.

32  - 24 April 2008 20:05

Dextrose is glucose whereas maltodextrin is a glucose polymer (lots of glucose molecules bound together). Maltodextrin is preferable to just glucose/dextrose as it will reduce the osmolality of the solution and likely be easier on your stomach. High5 energy source will deliver about 25% more carbohydrate than Go, it does this by adding fructose to maltodextrin (Torq use the same mix) so from a performance point of view high5 and torq are better than Go as long as you can stomach them. The other main high5 mix as mentioned is the 4:1 which will deliver the same amount of CHO as Go plus some more calories from protein, the jury is still out on the performance benefits of this mix. However, we have some data supporting its use (if anyone is central Scotland based and fancies being a subject we have studies currently running).

33  - 24 April 2008 21:54

All interesting stuff!

I've only used High 5 once on a race last year and i didn't like the taste of it, quite sickly IMHO.

I'm out tomorrow and i'll see how the dextrose goes as my last few rides with Go or PSP have left me feeling less than perfect.

So how does the dextrose compare to the maltrodextrin for energy and ease on the stomach?

I suppose it affects people differently and can only say what i find.

Turned into a very informative thread, thanks.

34  - 25 April 2008 08:09

it dosnt make any difference to your stomach witch drink you use but you should use torq ; ) but here it goes its a simple as this as soon as you start  to get stomach cramps go on to plain water when it gets better go back on to energy drink with a lower mix of powder 1-2 scoops

rides for torq/kona

35  - 25 April 2008 12:47

While we're on the subject of energy drinks has anyone tried Viper Extreme and is it as much of a stimulant as claimed ?.

36  - 28 April 2008 21:57

Well i've been using this cheap Dextrose from boots on a few rides now, i was out four hours and did some big climbs and i'm going the best i have ever gone!

Very impressed and at the price worth a try.

Not had any cramps or stomach upsets either so i'm well happy.

I can only comment mind from what i've found but it seems to suit me.


37  - 28 April 2008 22:24

That's great, I'll be happy to accept a mere 10% of the annual cost saving :-)

38  - 29 April 2008 06:00

ive tried most sports drinks etc and wouldnt touch any of them except TORQ which is as near natural as you get and low GI.
SIS is the worst offender for tummy upset for me.
failing buying from torq the best way is to make your own and their are loads of cheap recipe out there.

39  - 29 April 2008 08:09
GrumpyOldPerson wrote:

That's great, I'll be happy to accept a mere 10% of the annual cost saving :-)

Grumpy cheque is in the post!

Home made ones, i'll do a search and see, don't seem to get any side effects off the dextrose and no sugar spikes so to speak.

40  - 29 April 2008 09:59
PaulB wrote:

I believe (though you should check for yourselves) that it has been taken off the banned list of drugs for athletes.

Yeah, I think it was taken off a couple of years back... but as Paul said, you need to take responsibility for checking this yourself - no blaiming us if you get a drug ban for drinking Red Bull! smile

(Remember, theoretically the drug testers could turn up at any BC mountain bike race)

41  - 29 April 2008 21:15

speaking to a friend of mine  the other day about caffiene and the banned list, its something like 6 cups of strong coffee right before your drugs test , which imho would be down right dangerous ammount of caffiene to take in a short period anyway

again id check this fact but im pretty sure its legit because its in my mates interests to know.....

42  - 2 May 2008 13:53

You can get generic maltodextrin probably online somewhere, which is the same as plain torq.  When I race I cut plain torq with the flavoured stuff, since the flavoured is a bit rich.

I use it when training even in winter, since I find that I need to replace the carbs even on base rides, although I do drink lower concentrations.

43  - 3 May 2008 22:28

Cheers benny,

I'll take a look at the maltodextrin stuff, i was reading somewhere on the net that it's the Fructose in energy drinks that upsets the stomach and both my SIS products contain it.

I did a tough ride on wednesday and i was fulled on fig rolls one slice of malt loaf and the Dextrose in my camelbak and i went well all day.

I do seem to have more energy using that stuff, when climbing Garburn pass i seem to be able to keep pedalling.

Wonder what the long term use of dextrose and maltodextrin would be? teeth dropping out?

44  - 3 May 2008 23:12

Definately tooth decay.  Generally cyclists have little saliva due to dehydration / evaporation from wind - therefore the sugar tends to stick to teeth rather than being rinsed away...  straws could help, or knocking it straight back!

45  - 7 May 2008 22:47

Hi all, after all that's been said i still have some SIS Go left and may try it on a weaker mix.

Had a ride out today and 4 hours in the heat sweating like a glass blowers a*** i started to feel very weird, bit cold and light headed, so i think i'm missing the electrolytes in the drink.

i drank quite alot throughout the ride but it could be worth an experiment.

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