I’ve used a bunch of energy drinks trying to find just the right one that works for me to sustain energy and maintain hydration. Some of the drinks have worked, some have not and a few just did not agree with me. One of the best hydration drinks or supplements I have found is Nuun. I have used probably 100+ containers of these over the years. They work for me. One of the best drink mixes I have used is Hammer Nutrition Heed and Sustained Energy. I like these because they have protein in them which is great for the longer rides. I tend to need to dilute them a bit from what the suggested amount is because they fill me up, they work great.
One of the downsides to all the drinks is 1) making sure you have a regular supply, which I always seem to run out, and 2) the cost, 3) sometimes taking in all the supplements makes me feel sick. To point #3 I just feel sick taking in things that are processed, do not get me wrong they work, just taking them in five times a week can make anyone sick of them.
For my diet I tend to always eat natural things, I just feel better. If it has a label I try and stay away. It does not mean I am religious about it, just try and make sure it is 85% on track. I love a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and cookies like anyone else from time to time. The natural thing got me experimenting making my own sports drinks for rides where I have run out of supplements or just to take a break. You can make your own sports drinks pretty easily. My ingredients:
- Home brewed iced tea – I fill the bottle up about half way.
- Water – I top it off once I have the other ingredients
- Lemon – I estimate with generally half a lemon or a few squirts of lemon juice
- Fine grain sugar – 1/4 cup of sugar = 200 calories, I usually give myself 1/4 cup or less per bottle.
- Salt – I just give it a few shakes.
The results is an iced tea lemonade sports drink with a little caffeine, plenty of sugar and some salt. Realize that this drink has mainly simple sugars, so it is not going to give you the complex carbohydrates you need, but you can get that in other ways, I usually eat a bag of pretzels.
This sports drink is also for my longer rides, after a few hours in saddle your body starts to absorb any food you take in differently and it’s a point where you have generally depleted your body’s store of carbohydrates. The sugar in the drink goes right into your blood stream and can be used for fuel. You’ll often see the pro riders drink a Coke or drink along those lines after they are about half into a race. It’s gives them a boost, this sports drink has about the exact same composition.
This is not for everyone and everyone’s body responds differently to different supplements while cycling. This drink has it’s place in training, give it a try and see what you think.
Why Cycling So Popular In Some Places But Not Others?
When I go to Europe it always amazes me how popular cycling is as compared to the US. Not just the sport of bike racing, but with the general population riding bikes. The only reason I really ever came up with was because the US is more spread out then most of Europe. But that really makes no sense because US cities are just as dense, if not more so, then cities and towns in Europe. So what’s the reason? Culture? Fitness? State of Mind?
I was reading the BBC the other day and came across the below article; it sheds some light on why cycling is popular at least in the Netherlands. I will say that when I was in the Netherlands there were more bikes and people riding bikes then I have seen. Read on…
Why is cycling so popular in the Netherlands?
There are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands and in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike. The BBC’s Hague correspondent, Anna Holligan, who rides an omafiets – or “granny style” – bike complete with wicker basket and pedal-back brakes, examines what made everyone get back in the saddle.
Before World War II, journeys in the Netherlands were predominantly made by bike, but in the 1950s and 1960s, as car ownership rocketed, Continue reading
73 miles on a fixed gear bike.
Lucky warm weather day on the east coast today so I got up at 5am, got a few hours of work in and after lunch logged some miles outside on my fixed gear. A bit of head wind and 73 miles later I was pretty beat. I made it to the edge of the Chesapeake Bay on Tilghman Island at Black Walnut Point. Temps got up to 65, tonight they are calling for 1 inch of snow, go figure.