Sports drinks and gels

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by crosscourt, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    I am going to play for a week or so in much hotter conditions than normal. I am also going to train much harder/longer than normal.

    Should I use a sports drink or gel? I normally drink a lot of water but people tell me that you need something more than water in a long session. I tend to sweat a lot anyway.

    And if I do need to take a supplement what is best? Liquid or a gel? And which one?

    I have tried Isostar and Lucozade Sport in the past but am never really sure what their different products do for you.

    Grateful for your thoughts.

    CC
     
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  2. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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  3. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Drink some gatorade with your water. Either dilute it by half or just drink plain water in addition to regular gatorade.

    Have a banana every now and then too. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water off the court too.
     
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  4. WildVolley

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    A sports drink or just upping your intake of salt can help when playing in hotter conditions. I play mostly in Southern California and I really feel it when I'm playing in humid parts of the country. My body is really stressed dealing with the humidity.

    Make certain to be pre-hydrated. Take more towels to dry off, it really will help with cooling. Use shade to cool down. Also, I suggest using a towel dipped in ice water. It takes some time to acclimatize to much hotter weather.
     
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  5. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Here's my formula:

    1 pack http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/trace/stamina.html
    2 scoops http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/sv/xtend.html
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt, http://www.vitamin-discounts.com/products/real-salt-9oz-900036/
    (optional) 1 cup pickle juice or coconut water

    Add water and ice to fill a 32 oz sports jar. Also bring a 2 quart jug of water if they don't have a water fountain at courtside. Drink it during your match.

    When you add up the costs, it's actually cheaper than Gatorade which relies too much on sugar. Sugar is only good for short term energy. This mix will give you plenty of long term energy and electrolytes. I added extra salt because I'm prone to cramps, and it really helps in that regard.
     
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  6. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    I'd be curious to hear your definition of "short term."
     
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  7. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Also, I want to note that this mixture has 3 grams of fructose and a grand total of 20 calories.

    That's not a lot of energy.

    How do you get "plenty of long term energy" from 3 grams of sugar and some vitamins?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
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  8. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Xtend BCAAs give very good energy (not that jolty kind like a preworkout).

    I use them as well, but I don't think OP needs it. I thought we were just talking hydration here so that is why I suggested that electrolyte pack. It works real well since I am prone to cramps and have tried different things.
     
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  9. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    If you rely on sugar for energy, you rely on a "sugar rush" followed by a crash. It's much better to have a steady source of energy when you are playing those long games rather than going up and down as you take in more sugar during court changes. Besides, we all know sugar is something we should generally avoid for good health.
     
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  10. Ramon

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    In his post, he said he was going to train much harder/longer than normal.
     
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  11. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    BCAAs are just protein. Xtend claims to have a total of 10.5 grams of protein plus another 1.2 grams of electrolytes in every 12.8 gram serving, despite also having sucralose, citric acid, Acesulfame, an emulsifier, and food coloring.

    And yet it has 0 calories? 10 grams of protein but zero grams of fat, zero carbs, and... zero calories? That is physically impossible and doesn't even make sense. The label is a flat-out fabrication. Even if it were true, it's still only 40 calories. That's about as much energy as you use in, oh, 5 minutes of tennis.

    You are attributing qualities to these products that don't make any sense.
     
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  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    The energy source is amino acids. After the body burns simple sugars, it burns fats and amino acids. I've had matches where I came in without eating for several hours. After the first few games, I thought I was finished, but as soon as the amino acids kicked in I got my second wind, and I literally felt more energetic after 2 hours than after the first 15 minutes.
     
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  13. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    10 grams of amino acids isn't going to get you very far. The amino acids you took didn't "kick in." After that amount of time you were running on glycogen.
     
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  14. Ramon

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    I often wondered that myself. The label is probably wrong, but it does seem to work. I'm taking 2 scoops BTW.
     
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  15. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    you are right..5 hour energy is 0 calories and so obviously by your logic it must fail as well to provide energy.

    I work out fasted so that why I stared using bcaas. It works for me and works on the tennis court. A lot of people use BCAAs during exercise. You don't. High five yourself and move on. Even though I clearly tried to address the OP's question you can't let it go and had to start an argument anyway about an unrelated supplement that I never recommended him in the first place.
     
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  16. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    It does fail to provide energy. Caffeine does not "provide energy."


    It's not fasted if you're taking protein beforehand.

    Yes I do. BCAAs come in food. Anything with protein has BCAAs and quality whey protein is almost half BCAAs.

    The fact is that energy comes from calories. Sugars, proteins, and fats provide energy. Taking a supplement with a bunch of vitamins and maybe a few calories worth of sugar and protein isn't going to "provide sustained energy" or some other nonsense.

    Electrolytes are good. Sugar is also good. When your energy stores are depleted from long periods of exercise, the best thing you can do to restore them and get some more energy is to ingest a high-GI sugar and get some glucose into your cells.
     
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  17. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Actually you are wrong..you don't do leangains, but I assure you that the guy who advocates it and researches it far more than you clearly states that you can take xtend and work out and it is still considered a fasted state. Go ahead and look it up, or continue to be hard headed as usual.

    If caffeine and b12 don't provide an energy boost, then what do they do? This is a semantic argument by you for purposes of acting like it a know it all and derailing this thread.

    Anyway, you are the king know it all who likes to argue people over everything. Congrats on displaying this trait yet again. I have you on ignore now since all you ever do is start derails over semantics, and don't even know what you are talking about.

    Crosscourt, the sugar in gatoraide is not going to prevent dehydration. It is up to you to decide if you need that or not. I am sure you have multiple things you like snack on to provide energy. My main post was simply that an electrolyte supplement is going to really help you out since you lose so much in the humidity. I am not going to allow the annoying little kid to derail the thread anymore, so i'm out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
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  18. CDestroyer

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    Thats one of the dumbest things I have read on this board.

    What else ya got alcohol does not "provide a buzz". LOL
     
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  19. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    The point is that the OP was asking for advice on what to do when playing longer in hotter conditions than he's used to.

    The answer is not "a couple grams of BCAAs, 3 grams of sugar, electrolytes, and a multivitamin." He doesn't need "energy," he needs fuel and liquids. Gatorade and similar drinks - those that provide electrolytes and sugars - are ideally suited for his situation. He doesn't need to spend $20 on something with effectively no actual calories and a ton of vitamins and minerals.
     
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  20. CDestroyer

    CDestroyer Professional

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  21. r2473

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  22. r2473

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    That makes sense to me.

    I'd also suggest eating plenty of food / calories to recover and be ready for the next day.

    And you don't have to be "healthy" unless you want to be. You'll be burning up whatever you eat and drink anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
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  23. Ramon

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    What's a better deal? $23 for 30 servings of isolated amino acids or $2 for a bottle of sugar water?
     
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  24. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    $6.99 for 35 servings of Gatorade ;)
     
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  25. Ramon

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    Save yourself some money and just add 20 grams of table sugar to tap water. You'll get the same benefits.
     
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  26. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    From the USTA:

    "Q. How much fluid should I drink before training and when? Also how much fluid should I drink while I am training and what should I drink water, powerade etc? And do you know two ways to determine my own hydration level? Will water alone be enough for players to compete at their best and allow full recovery?

    A. The USTA Sport Science Committee has put together fluid replacement guidelines and this information is available on the High Performance website.

    In general, you want to:

    Top off your fluid stores by drinking 12-16 oz of fluid 1 hour prior to competition.

    Drink 4-8 swallows of fluid after your warm-up and on EVERY changeover during play.

    Drink 20-24 oz of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during play to replenish the body's fluid stores.

    Whether to use water or a sports drink is something you have to determine on your own. The three things you should be replacing during or after play are fluids, energy/ carbohydrates, and electrolytes.

    Many sports drinks contain all of these, but you can also obtain these through a combination of drinking water and eating appropriate snacks. Some people have difficulties with sports drinks, so the later suggestion may be for you if drinks like Gatorade or Powerade are hard on your stomach.

    Two simple ways you can determine your hydration status are:

    1. Monitor the color of your urine. In a well-hydrated person, urine will be very light to clear - the color of straw. Darker, more concentrated urine is an indicator that you are dehydrated.

    2. Weigh yourself before and after play. Any weight loss you experience during play is due to fluid loss and that weight should be replaced before the next practice or match. Make sure when weighing yourself, however, that you wear similar DRY clothes, and not the sweaty clothes you came off the court in."
    - http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Health-Fitness/Diet-and-Nutrition/Drinks_and_Shakes/
     
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  27. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Except for the sodium and potassium, which are really quite important.

    People can and do make their own sports drinks. Nothing at all wrong with it except they typically taste terrible.
     
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  28. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    If you really want your energy to be based purely on a sugar rush, go ahead. I hope I play more opponents who think the same. :)
     
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  29. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    It's not a sugar rush. Your cells need glucose for energy. By drinking a sports drink you are supplementing the glycogen. You don't really seem to know what you're talking about.
     
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  30. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Does that Gatorade Gel still work even if it is expired ? i have like 12 packets that has been expired for 6 month.
     
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  31. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    That says it all! You want your energy to be based on sugar and you have no concern for its effects. There's no more need for testimony to your lack of knowledge.
     
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  32. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Wow. You know nothing of physiology or sports nutrition. Sorry.
     
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  33. Ramon

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    I'm done with you. This is the summary:

    1) You want energy based on simple sugar.

    2) I don't.

    I can go through a littany of reasons why, but I think it's a waste of time considering your knowlege base. Bye.
     
    #33
  34. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    That is exactly right. I am going to be playing where it is much hotter than I am used to and for much longer. Plus I sweat a lot in hot weather. So I feel that I need to be more careful than normal. The sense that I am getting is that an approach that replaces vitamins and electrolytes and that gives me carbohydrates will be enough -- along with water. Is that the consensus?
     
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  35. Ramon

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    I want this to be my final word on this because I'm tired of dealing with kids. 10g of BCAA's is not the same as 10g of protein.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bcaas-the-many-benefits-of-amino-acids.html

    The BCAAs in whey are peptide-bound to other amino acids and, in order to be effective, must be liberated through digestion and then absorbed into the bloodstream. Even though whey protein is relatively fast digesting, it still takes several hours for all the amino acids to be liberated and absorbed into the bloodstream.

    BCAAs in supplement form, however, are free form, require no digestion, and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. They spike blood amino acid levels to a much greater and faster extent than peptide-bound aminos. Even a few grams of free-form BCAAs will spike BCAA plasma levels to a much greater extent than a 30g dose of whey protein, thereby impacting protein synthesis and protein degradation to a much greater degree.

    The reason BCAA supplements have such a powerful effect on blood BCAA levels is that, is that unlike other amino acids, BCAAs are not significantly metabolized by the small intestine or the liver. Therefore, an oral supplement is more like a BCAA infusion because it reaches the bloodstream so rapidly.


    Here are some labels of other BCAA supplements. Xtend's labeling appears to be consistent with industry practice:
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/opt/essential-amino-energy.html
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/opt/bc.html
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/opt/bcaa.html

    I also want to add that people, like myself, with blood sugar problems don't want excess sugar because we don't want to become Type II Diabetics. Even people without high blood sugar need to stay away from too much of it.

    For those of you who like your sugared drinks, my advice is to stock up on them right now. If our president gets re-elected, Michelle will take your drinks away from you in the name of keeping you trim and healthy. That's why you can't even buy a sugared fountain drink larger than 16 oz in New York. The nanny state is coming.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
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  36. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    Ramon - are you saying that these are the sorts of supplements I should be consuming while I am on court? And with or without other supplements? They look like supplements designed for use by body builders. CC
     
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  37. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    BCAAs are amino acids. Proteins are broken down into amino acids in the stomach and small intestines and then absorbed through the small intestines. Amino acids such as BCAAs are just absorbed through the small intestines.

    Once in the bloodstream, there's no difference because they are the same thing.

    There's nothing wrong with BCAAs. BCAAs are great. They are an important part of protein.

    But a couple of grams BCAAs don't "give you long term energy" any more than a couple of grams of protein. That doesn't make any sense at all. Your body can and will use amino acids for ATP production in the Krebs cycle. This is why a gram of BCAAs contain as many calories as a gram of protein - they both produce the same amount of energy when used as fuel in the cell.

    During exercise, your muscle cells will primarily break down stored glycogen to produce glucose and then use that glucose directly to produce ATP (energy). The longer you exercise, the more those muscle glycogen stores and blood glucose get depleted. The liver will begin to break down its stored glycogen to maintain blood glucose levels, but it will eventually run out -and in someone not trained for endurance it will have trouble keeping up anyway. This is the reason sports drinks pretty much all have simple sugars - they are designed to help boost blood glucose levels to provide the cells with the fuel they need to continue working.

    This is very different from a "sugar rush" while resting. When just sitting around, blood glucose levels are normal and you don't need extra fuel. A sudden infusion of glucose raises blood sugar levels which causes an insulin spike. This is completely different than glucose supplementation during prolonged strenuous exercise. The physiological situation is completely, completely different. Ingesting glucose during prolonged exercise will not promote diabetes and any such claim is absolutely ludicrous.

    There's nothing wrong with BCAAs before, during, or after workouts. Nothing at all. There's a lot of evidence to support the idea of having amino acids entering your bloodstream during exercise to maintain nitrogen balance (prevent muscle breakdown). Whether this comes in the form of BCAA pills right before/during exercise, a whey shake half an hour before exercise, or a piece of meat an hour before exercise doesn't make that much difference.

    However, the main point here is that he will be performing strenuous exercise in difficult conditions for longer periods than he is trained for. His body will be facing depletion of glycogen, water, and ions. In order to maintain good functional levels, he needs to replace them. The way to do this is by ingesting water, electrolytes, and glucose. BCAAs are fine if he thinks they may help prevent muscle catabolism, but BCAAs by themselves are no better than a complete protein (which includes BCAAs) ingested an hour or so before exercise.
     
    #37
  38. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Yes, though the vitamins are debatable or unnecessary. Vitamins are fine, but supplementing with gobs and gobs of vitamins and minerals during exercise is, as far as I know, not supported by any scientific literature for maintaining endurance.

    You need water, electrolytes, and carbs. Have a good balanced meal 1-2 hours before starting.
     
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  39. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Just stick with the electrolyte packs and an on court snack of your choice and lots of water and you will be good to go.

    a wildcard - I bring mustard packs. It sounds weird but I have dealt with nasty cramps in my legs now and then and if I feel one coming I eat a pack or 2 and the vinegar in it really helps me.

    I'd eat an hour before playing, and have 1 electrolyte pack as well. Bring a ton of water with another elecotrolyte pack mixed in.

    I play in florida in extreme heat and humidity and this works for me. the BCAAs work for me as well, but are not a necessity. I take them because I do leangains and need to supplement protein throughout the day. Ramon and I both live here and play in this environment.
     
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  40. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Why not just give whatever you think is best a try and see how you feel.

    Clearly there are a lot of opinions on this. At some point you just have to make up your own mind.
     
    #40
  41. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    The BCAAs are necessary on leangains because you're typically working out in a fasted state.
     
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  42. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    is that Gatorade prime fuel packets work well ?
     
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  43. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Yeah they're fine. They're pretty much just concentrated Gatorade.
     
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  44. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    Quite right and I will do. I didn't realise this would prove so controversial. I had hoped that those of us who play in very hot climates would have a clear view on a good supplement.

    Many thanks to everyone who has offered such positive advice.

    CC
     
    #44
  45. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    The absolutely unambiguous recommendation from professionals for playing in those conditions is water, electrolytes, sugars.

    What do you see the pros do at the US Open when it's 100 degrees on the court? Water, bananas (electrolytes and sugar), sports drinks. No one is popping BCAA pills, and no one is out there playing fasted.

    That's why every major sports drink or gel has electrolytes and sugars, whether fructose, maltodextrin, glucose, whatever. Sodium, potassium, sugar, water.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
    #45
  46. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    Looking at the maximuscle website their Viper active gel looks about right.
    CC
     
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  47. puck1230

    puck1230 New User

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    I want to just pitch in my 2c. I'm not going to get into the subject of amino acids or glycogen or whatever, because I have limited knowledge in that space. Just two quick things:

    1. @Ramon @PowerPlayer, @CDestroyer on the subject of caffeine and b-vitamins: it may be semantics, but I don't believe they energy in the sense that the OP was looking for. They may keep you alert, but there's no useful cellular material to break down and convert into energy. It may change how your body is breaking down its various fuel sources, and it may change your state of mind, but isn't a meaningful fuel source in itself. All things equal, you can't replace food with vitamins/stimulants.


    2. I try to follow the pros, even though I'm far from one. I would ask if all things being equal and no dietary restrictions, why would Nadal/Fed/Mahut/Isner and other endurance athletes, choose sports drinks (with sugar?) over drinks that have minimal to no sugar, like Xtend?
     
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  48. Ramon

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    You are right about stimulants and vitamins not providing real energy. I don't particularly like to depend on stimulants, but I haven't noticed any negative effects when I tried taking pre-workout powders with stimulants before a match. They actually worked quite well, but if I took them in the evening, I couldn't get any sleep!

    The way amino acids provide energy is a complex matter. Here are a few articles that might help:
    http://www.naturalnews.com/030009_amino_acids_life_span.html
    http://www.getbig.com/articles/protein.htm
    http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S0029665180000109

    You can see that there are several benefits of amino acids beyond being a source of energy. There are also health problems associated with being dependent on sugar, which is another topic altogether. I usually eat a high-carb meal before playing, and I find that enough to supply needed carbs.

    Gatorade's marketing strategy includes sponsoring athletes and teams. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the best thing out there. I suppose if they gave me enough money to bring their drinks to the court, I would do it, but I would pick their lower sugared drinks and put my own mix into the bottles. I can't speak for the tennis pros and what they do. Beer worked well for Stolle and Newcombe!
     
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  49. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Guess what beer and Gatorade have in common ;)
     
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  50. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    He is 100% right. Caffeine does not provide energy. It in fact does the exact opposite: speeds up your metabolism causing you to expend more energy for any given movement. Why do you think caffeine is in every thermogenic product on the market?
     
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