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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sent this to one of the rbr 'sages' as a PM, but figured Id open the discussion to the group at large....

I just ran out of Accelerade and was looking for a better alternative becuase the general consensus seems to be that since its main/base ingredient is sucrose (table sugar!), thats BAD!

Thing is...Im reading that's really not the case.

http://running.competitor.com/2009/12/features/the-straight-dope-on-sugar-in-sports-drinks_7406

http://www.poweringmuscles.com/article.php?id=113

So what Im getting from these articles is that sugars all act a bit differently in the body, but one is not "bad" compared to others vis a vis usage in sports drinks.

I liked Accelerade and I like the protein component for what Im using it for...replenishment on the back end of longer efforts/races. Im not keen on Hammer stuff becuase it spoils. I just dont like that because for me, a mixed bottle will wind up sitting for a long time with the way I do things on a ride.

So I guess my question is....is sucrose as a sports drink base really not that great and should I seek alternatives?
 

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I'm kind of a health nut, and don't ever touch soft drinks, but don't agree that sucrose is always bad when you are doing serious training. Added sugar (or sugar in processed foods) is bad the vast majority of the time. But not all the time.

Check out the link listed below. I got it from either this site or mtbr.com, not sure which. I watched the whole thing and saved the link. I've also read a bunch about food and dietary issues to research this stuff myself.

Here is a description of the lecturer's qualifications and his topic:

Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public [7/2009] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 16717]

So the guy has some legit credentials.

Bottom line from his lecture? Added sugar, including sucrose, is bad for you. Added Fructose is even worse. (Sucrose is common table sugar, such as from sugar cane, and is half fructose and half glucose--but it is processed so that all the fiber in sugar cane is removed and you are left with pure sugar). However, the lecturer does indicate an exception to his advice of "no added sugar" or "no processed sugar" for elite athletes--and I think he should have framed it as "well-trained athletes." During high intensity exercise and during the immediate recovery period, added sugar such as in sports drinks has its place for serious athletes.

But for people exercising for basic fitness, those trying to lose weight, and sedentary folks they should stay the hell away from soft drinks and other processed foods with added sugar.

Here is the link:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Gator...thanks for the link. Im definitely talking ONLY about sucrose as a base in a sports drink used during long, higher intensity efforts like cycling.

Of course, added sugar on your dinner plate or drinks like coffee aint so good but thats a different use.
 

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What's bad about sucrose

RkFast said:
I just ran out of Accelerade and was looking for a better alternative becuase the general consensus seems to be that since its main/base ingredient is sucrose (table sugar!), thats BAD!
The "sucrose is bad" rant comes from its place in the American diet - calories with no other nutritional value. As a supplement to excersize, I suppose you could argue the same thing but the argument holds a lot less water. Any sugar source has the same issues - calories with no nutrition, but unless the rest of your diet sucks you are not likely to need the nutritional elements of quality food when you supply calories during exercise.

IOW, sucrose is not bad in the context of an energy source during exercise.
 

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Watching the whole lecture, and reading other stuff, I tend to think the sugar is bad advice for serious athletes is a little overblown. The lecturer would probably suggest sucrose is better than something with pure fructose.

The problem I find with figuring out sports drinks is that there are so many different types of sugar out there now that it seems you do need a degree in chemistry and training in endocrinology to figure that stuff out: sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, maltodextrose, xylitol, etc. It is kind of crazy.


Here is what I try to do: try to stick with stuff that is natural. Hammer Nutrition claims their stuff is natural. I'm drinking their stuff at the moment. But I have used Accelerade and its sister recovery drink, Endurox R4, and I have liked it. I didn't notice any bad affects, but of course I'm not monitoring things like insulin resistance, blood pressure, and all kids of stuff like that. I just felt like it was helping me stay feuled and recover well and I wasn't gaining weight--it was just helping me keep weight on.
 

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Gatorback said:
Watching the whole lecture, and reading other stuff, I tend to think the sugar is bad advice for serious athletes is a little overblown. The lecturer would probably suggest sucrose is better than something with pure fructose.
Sugar is "almost essential" for endurance athletic performance. Pure fructose (at high doses alone) will not be absorbed in the gut, and tends to lead to gastric problems.

But mixes of fructose and glucose (or any of the chains maltose, amylose, sucrose, etc) increases absorption. It is likely that a 2:1 glu:fruc ratio is about right.

Gatorback said:
Here is what I try to do: try to stick with stuff that is natural. Hammer Nutrition claims their stuff is natural. I'm drinking their stuff at the moment. But I have used Accelerade and its sister recovery drink, Endurox R4, and I have liked it. I didn't notice any bad affects, but of course I'm not monitoring things like insulin resistance, blood pressure, and all kids of stuff like that. I just felt like it was helping me stay feuled and recover well and I wasn't gaining weight--it was just helping me keep weight on.

Insulin resistance is caused (partly) by chronic positive energy and carbohydrate balance. Sedentary individuals who eat too much overall cause a "back up" in carbon in the skeletal muscle, leading to insulin resistance.

As long as there is "room" to store more glycogen, you are normally insulin sensative. That is why, even in many diabetics, glycogen lowering exericse can increase insulin sensativity. It makes room for carbons (from carbs) to get transported into skeletal muscle for glycogen resynthesis.

If you are training daily (lowering glycogen), and not in chronic positive energy balance, then simple sugars are not a harmfull part of your diet.

Unless they make up the main carbohydrate source of your diet. Then the simple sugars and refined foods are replacing nutrient dense foods such as vegetables and fruit.
 
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