Nutrition for Performance - High Tech

Products available on the market and useable to the marathon runner as well as the long distance hiker, backpacker or biker.

7:20 PM 9/1/2003
nutrition high tech

The following will outline a few products available on the market and useable to the marathon runner as well as the long distance hiker, backpacker or biker. Keeping in mind that performance and recovery are highly linked to proper hydration and nutrition before, during and DIRECTLY AFTER strenuous activity. Generally eat a high calorie easily digestible meal about an hour or two prior to a long duration activity, hydrate well always and eat a recovery meal immediately after. Expert advice shows a carb to protein ratio of 3 or 4:1 may be best for recovery; for example a peanut-butter jelly sandwich or pasta with chicken. The drinks listed below under #1 are ideal recovery drinks. There is some theory involved here with a learning curve of what works best for you. My intention is to get the following idea across: "Maybe I can change the way I feel by changing what and when I eat and drink."

1) High-tech nutrition (liquid meal) drinks.

o why?

Easy and fast to consume. Powder light weight can be carried and mixed with water on the go. Easy and fast to digest. Designed for active athletes to consume before, during and directly after activities of long or short duration. Contains the proper ratio of carbs to protein, calories and electrolytes plus vitamins and minerals and other supplements to reduce lactose buildup in muscles, prevent serious electrolyte imbalances which is hyponatremia, provide energy and not upset the stomach while digesting on the go.

o what?

MetaBolol II from Champion Nutrition - I like this one during exercise.
Opti Fuel 2 from Twin Labs - I like this one after exercise.
Endurox R4
...and many more are on the market.

Another way to go might be the following available in supermarkets, but on a price per serving basis I don't think you save much and I would first recommend the above. Generally these are available in zip top cans.

Instant Breakfast
Slim Fast many others.

2) Hydration drinks

o why?

Formulated to enter liquid into your system faster than plain water. A 7.5% carb solution with some electrolytes and chilled (cold in temperature) will be absorbed the fastest. Provides easily digested sugars, generally glucose or similar and some have buffers to help avoid upset stomach with long term use. Powder is light and easy to carry and mix on the go. Each one has it's unique selling point but main idea is to find one that YOU like and WILL CONSUME.

o what?

Gatorade - perhaps the original. Is it in you?
All Sport - slightly carbonated.
Hydra Fuel from Twin Labs - has buffers and may be of value to use in high elevations.
Cytomax - very high tech and I like it!

Alternates, I don't like to go here but think it is worth mentioning. Keep in mind that a highly saturated solution such as Coke, Pepsi, fruit juice will sit in the stomach longer and the sugar form fructose also takes much longer to digest than other sugars. Some is okay especially if you are drinking 1 - 2 liters of water per hour anyway.

Coke, Pepsi - sugar and caffeine. Just might give you that boost when you need it.
Ice Tea - sugar and some caffeine.
Orange Juice - good for you if you don't throw it up while exercising.
Prune Juice - potassium but watch for loose bowels.

3) Pure energy drinks

o why?

Perhaps the fastest way to get useable energy back. The best ones have not only forms of glucose for energy but vitamins, minerals and buffers as well. This would be something you would drink IMMEDIATELY before or after a hard 20 mile hike or fast 50 mile bike ride. Although they contain no protein they are the best at restoring the glycogen deficit. Watch out for ones that are high in fructose as it may sit in the stomach.

o what?

Ultra Fuel from Twin Labs
Carbo Fuel from Twin Labs

Don Erdeljac

112 Scott Ave. Glenshaw PA 15116
Home (412) 486 9292 Cell (412) 969 8819