Author Topic: Sports Drink alternatives  (Read 6595 times)

PantsOnFire

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Sports Drink alternatives
« on: July 09, 2013, 06:26:57 PM »
When I was training for cycling events I got tired of paying an obscene amount of money for "top quality" sports drink.  I did some calculations and found out I could approximate Gatorade very closely by using powdered lemonade with about 1/8 tsp of "Lite Salt" and a pinch of regular salt in each bottle.  (Lite Salt is a reduced sodium table salt that contains potassium chloride). 

I now get several months' worth of Country Time in the giant canister from the restaurant supply depot for about the same price as maybe one week's worth of powdered "sports drink" mix.  The can of Lite Salt I bought a year ago is still mostly full. 

Cheaper still is to just use water, sugar, salts, and a squeeze of citrus or something else for flavor and/or acidity.  I did that for a while too but the cost of bulk lemonade mix is pretty low and the convenience factor is worth something to me.  Plus, I never seem to tire of the taste of lemonade when I'm sweating buckets.  YMMV.

Now don't get me wrong, there have been bona fide advancements in sports nutrition in recent decades, and not all sports drinks are equal.  Professionals and other elite athletes can see serious benefits by using the latest high-tech nutritionals.  But for most moderately athletic activities where you are sweating buckets and tiring out your muscles, you mostly need water, sugar, and electrolytes during long workouts, along with ordinary healthful foods in your diet.  No need to pay $1 or more per workout to stay hydrated! 

BC_Goldman

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 06:42:23 PM »
I just bought the Gatorade powder and mixed it a little more thinly than the instructions called for. Cheaper than buying pre-filled bottles but I only drink it when I'm working outdoors doing mowing and such. And after I finish a 20 oz, I switch over to water. I think a tub was $4 and makes 8 gallons. Or more like 10-12 at a thinner mix.

PantsOnFire

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 07:08:08 PM »
I think you are confusing gallons and quarts.  To make 8 gallons it's something like $20. 

Rural

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 07:09:50 PM »
Switchel has the essential elecrolytes and tastes great, too.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/tag/switchel-recipe

Rural

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 07:11:25 PM »
I think you are confusing gallons and quarts.  To make 8 gallons it's something like $20.

I bought the tubs of powder last summer during the height of the house-building here; they ran four or five dollars and made eight gallons.

mpbaker22

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 07:13:49 PM »
I think you are confusing gallons and quarts.  To make 8 gallons it's something like $20.

While I think he may have been mistaken, as you suggested, no way in hell is gatorade 8 gallons for $20.

$8.36 for 6 gallons is about right, but I think costco is even cheaper.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Gatorade-Thirst-Quencher-Frost-Glacier-Freeze-Instant-Mix-51-oz/10450690

Edit - just checked SamsClub (I'm not a member) and the prices are 9 gallons for $9.98.  Costco doesn't show it online.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 07:15:51 PM by mpbaker22 »

PantsOnFire

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 07:40:13 PM »
My apologies--I was thinking of the more expensive stuff I was drinking a few years ago.  Regular Gatorade probably isn't too much more expensive than most other soft drink mixes.  As you go up the product lines with all the advanced "technology", prices skyrocket.  And returns diminish for all but the most elite competitive athletes. 

I still can't believe people buy pre-mixed sports drinks, though, when the same exact brand/product is available in powder form for a fraction of the cost.  I guess if you lived in a desert where there was no water???

BC_Goldman

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 08:28:11 PM »
Actually, I think he was right. Seems like the part that said how much it made was on the tear-off plastic on the lid. I measured out the contents and there were about 20 scoops which makes 2 gal plus the 3 scoops I used to make a diluted 2 qt. Though the stuff I bought was G2 since it's what they had at Target when I was shopping. I know the wal-mart price is better for a larger container but it was out of the way and probably would have cost me as much in gas/wear as it would have saved.

mpbaker22

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 08:41:48 PM »
Actually, I think he was right. Seems like the part that said how much it made was on the tear-off plastic on the lid. I measured out the contents and there were about 20 scoops which makes 2 gal plus the 3 scoops I used to make a diluted 2 qt. Though the stuff I bought was G2 since it's what they had at Target when I was shopping. I know the wal-mart price is better for a larger container but it was out of the way and probably would have cost me as much in gas/wear as it would have saved.

I believe G2 is just the normal gatorade, not some new advanced gatorade.  G1 is preparation before the event, G2 is during your workout, and G3, is post-workout recovery.  I may be wrong, but I think G2 is just Gatorade.
The links I posted from walmart show you're both wrong :P.  However, amazon does show 9 gallons is about $20, so I'm not sure what the deal is with Walmart's prices.

BC_Goldman

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2013, 09:12:57 PM »
Interesting...

So I paid $4.04 for 2 gallons. Not horrible but more than I would have paid at Wal-mart for the larger cans. For some reason, the same size container is selling for $12.95 on Amazon (through a seller). I still beat the container price they are offering as a 12 pack

http://www.amazon.com/Gatorade-Powder-Orange-18-4-ounce-Canister/dp/B0005XO2OM/ref=pd_sim_gro_7

http://www.amazon.com/Gatorade-Powder-Orange-18-4-ounce-Canister/dp/B0005XO2OM/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1373425446&sr=1-1&keywords=18.4+oz+gatorade+orange

gooki

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2013, 01:29:06 AM »
I find drinking water works well. It's what all the top athletes did two decades ago, and that worked perfectly fine for them.

Sure if I was a professional sports man, or looking to compete in the Olympics I'd be trying to eek out every last bit of performance I have inside me. But I'm not, I'm just a regular Joe burning calories.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2013, 02:01:26 AM »
When cycling, I carry one bottle of strong gatorade mix (made from powder extra sugar added myself) and one bottle of plain water with a pinch of salt, alternating which I drink from. I get less thirsty than with two bottles of light gatorade and it's also cheaper.

mpbaker22

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 08:32:51 AM »
I find drinking water works well. It's what all the top athletes did two decades ago, and that worked perfectly fine for them.

Sure if I was a professional sports man, or looking to compete in the Olympics I'd be trying to eek out every last bit of performance I have inside me. But I'm not, I'm just a regular Joe burning calories.

What's the longest you've ever exercised for?  The body almost literally cannot sustain itself more than a few hours.
That's from the caloric and salt perspective at least.  This is why I snack on 30+ mile rides.

PantsOnFire

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 09:07:52 AM »
As a rule of thumb, workouts under an hour in duration don't require eating/drinking calories as you go.  Just make sure you have decent blood sugar levels before you set out.  Beyond an hour or so, it's quite a different story.  Doing any sort of extended endurance exercise, particularly in the heat, and expecting water to be enough to keep you going can be quite disastrous. 

You should be starting out with some calories in your system and re-fuel at least every 45 minutes with simple carbs, as well as replenishing the electrolytes you sweat out.  Don't do those things, and you will find out what it means to "bonk".  Trust me, it's not pleasant, and it's not easy to recover from.  I've had my legs seize up on me on a long climb with little warning, and it was all I could do just to clip out and get off the shoulder of the road before falling over.  It took me 10 minutes to be able to stand up and I was lucky to make it home safely. 

Top endurance athletes have been heavy on sports drinks since the 1960s, and with good reason. 

kikichewie

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2013, 11:19:37 AM »
Water for short workouts. Coconut water for longer ones or if you're noticeably dehydrated (like later I the day if you don't hydrate properly).  And low fat chocolate milk has the perfect ratio od carbs and protein for recovery from intense strength training.

Left Bank

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2013, 11:25:28 AM »
When I used to drink sports drinks I made my own with a liter of water, pinch of citric acid, pinch of salt and sugar to taste.  Mix thoroughly and it is pretty close to gatorade minus the color.

You can get citric acid pretty cheaply either on line or in any Indian grocery store.

gooki

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Re: Sports Drink alternatives
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2013, 02:54:36 AM »
I find drinking water works well. It's what all the top athletes did two decades ago, and that worked perfectly fine for them.

Sure if I was a professional sports man, or looking to compete in the Olympics I'd be trying to eek out every last bit of performance I have inside me. But I'm not, I'm just a regular Joe burning calories.

What's the longest you've ever exercised for?  The body almost literally cannot sustain itself more than a few hours.
That's from the caloric and salt perspective at least.  This is why I snack on 30+ mile rides.

4 hours of moderate to intense cycling. I'm not suggesting forgoing any energy intake if you are doing endurance exercise, just that normal food also works. I ate a few bananas and a sandwhich on that ride.