Gary's new website

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Can the Balance Ultimate Recovery Stack replace my regular sports drink?

Just wanted to ask a question about the Recovery Stack product.
"L" uses an electrolyte replacement drink during/after some of his longer rides. Should he continue with this now that he has Recovery Stack to take after training? Also, what is the ideal time frame to take the RS drink after an event or training ride? (ie how soon after finishing exercise?)

Photo: Alama Moller (9yrs), cycling around Savii, Samoa

Gary responds:
Balance Recovery Stack can replace the sports drink for all his training. Water is fine during the rides. This is for two reasons:

Tooth Decay
Sipping on sugary drink for hours on end while breathing heavily causes bacterial blooms in the mouth. Other than bad breath, thousands of dollars of damage can be done to teeth and gums. It is better to sip water and stop here and there for a feed of solids which can be just about anything. Dried fruit, a sandwich or a ripe banana. These solids can be washed down with a few swills of plain water.

Fat metabolism
When training to imnprove peak athletic performance, the purpose of each ride has to be known before you embark on it. Is the purpose of the ride to increase leg power, stamina or skill as examples?

If it is to increase stamina, then I question the practice of infusing the blood with loads of sugar diring the ride. The ability to use fat stores in the body while preserving far less abundant carbohydrate stores is a key factor of several in determining stamina. The better practice is to tank up over the previous day and hours and then to ride steady on only water. The idea is to ride until fatigue begins to set in and then continue another half hour or so then call it quits. Go home and tank up. As one repeats this the distance one can ride before hitting the "wall" should extend steadily outwards. As the months pass the time one can ride steady should be substantial. All that may be needed is a good supply of water and the occasional feed of solids.

Using Balance Recovery stack
You can have two drinks per day regardless of training. These can be had as a breakfast drink and after school. I love having this drink with a scoop of Loadup Berry Brights or Loadup Fruitful Greens. This provides with a wide range of the nutrients that your body needs for recovery and building a strong and resilient body.

Have a drink of Balance Recovery about 30 minutes before exercise and another within the hour of completion. An alternative, or additional to this, you can have a whey protein Super Smoothie.

When to use the sports drink
So you are now a highly tuned racing machine - an efficient fat burning machine that can go for hours and hours. You are now ready to use your carbo drinks during intense races - if you really feel you need these any more (you might if a race is longer than about 2 hours). If less than a couple of hours, water should be fine. If you are going to use sports drinks and gels, you must still practice with them just to be sure your stomach can handle them.

I do not like the sports gels at all. I think they are gimmicks. The contents are usually GM corn syrup with a few added bits and pieces, costing a couple of cents and sold for dollars. There have been far too many cases of stomach upset and even diarrhoea from these, so I can not endorse them. If you just take these gels, please drink lots of water to dilute them and swill the mouth because the gel sticks to your teeth and gums.

Some dietary advice
As a general rule, stay away from the highly refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and instant noodles. Give favour to high nutrient foods like nuts, fruit, fresh meats, vegetables and full cream dairy foods. Avoid fat reduced foods.

what about caffeine and ephidrine?
Please stay away from caffeine and ephidrine prodicts which the cycling world is awash with. This includes various herbal energy boosters that your Personal Trainer in the gym might offer you. These have no place in a healthy athlete's life. You will perform better without them and your career will be longer than others.

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Do you have a question?
Email Gary: gary at (Replace the "at" with @ and remove spaces). Please include any relevant background information to your question.

1 comment:

Dental Ontario said...

Very interesting post. There are many people nowadays are drinking sports drink because they know that it would actually help them, but they didn't know that water is still the best.