If you are an intermediate cyclist, then you will be more likely to be interested in sports drinks. Although drinking water is already a good habit, consuming sports drink can elevate your cycling performance, especially during long distance rides.
One of the common sports drinks is “Gatorade”. So are they really beneficial to us? Some cyclists might question the use of these products, especially beginners.
In learning about the truth, we need to find out about glycogen. Glycogen is the compound in which sugar is stored in the liver for release to other parts of the body. In simple sense, glycogen is your energy drink detach.
The truth is, your muscles themselves are fueled by glycogen. They are also stored in muscles, other than the liver. However, long cycling rides will last approximately 3 hours or more. This is a problem because the glucose reserves can only last you about 90 minutes, provided that you give your best effort when cycling hard.
Experienced riders who have experienced this total glycogen loss reported that they feel a sudden loss of energy. This is where sports drinks are useful. They can help refill your glycogen level when you need it. Medical experts have said that a cyclist should drink a sports drink that contain 6 percent glucose for every 20-minute time period. This is done by drinking 600 to 700 milliliters of the particular sports drink per hour.
Sports drinks will usually contain complex and simple carbohydrates that come in different forms. You will need both to replenish your blood glucose reserves.
It is said that the benefit of drinking sports bar will encourage the rider to drink more water. This is because it often tastes better than plain water. In addition, these drinks contain sodium and glucose that will help the absorption rate of water in the small intestine. Sodium is the key here.
But the problem with these drinks is that they do not have much sodium percentage. Most have only 90 milligrams of sodium per liter. Therefore, a rider has to drink lots of these drinks that are filled with electrolyte and eating salty foods before starting a long ride.
There are so many sports drinks in the market. How do you choose one? The truth is, most of them, even the new ones have the same percentage of carbohydrates, calories and sodium. Their values do not differ much anyway. Therefore, you could always try new brands and see if your stomach is comfortable with it. This is what other experienced cyclists will also tell you.