Take Sugared Drinks During Exercise Lasting More than an Hour
By Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
Taking sugared drinks during exercise lasting more than an hour reduces muscle damage and helps you recover faster (European Journal of Applied Physiology, Feb. 2012;112(2):493-500).
The more intensely you exercise, the greater the burning you feel in your muscles and the greater the muscle damage. Researchers can measure the amount of muscle damage by measuring the amount of genetic material called DNA that leaks from muscle cells into the bloodstream.
In this study, runners ran hard for 8 days and on day 9, they ran very fast 800 meters repeats 10 times. Compared to those who took only water, those who took a carbohydrate drink had lower blood levels of the enzyme LDH, free DNA, and white blood cell counts, leaking from their muscles.
This shows that taking a carbohydrate beverage resulted in less DNA damage and better recovery during intense running.
INCREASING THE CONCENTRATION OF SUGAR IN DRINKS HELPS YOU RUN FASTER IN RACES OF MORE THAN 1.5 HOURS
All drinks contain about 8 percent sugar because that is the concentration of sugar that tastes best. All sugared soft drinks, fruit juices and most exercise drinks contain 8 percent sugar.
In two separate studies, 24 healthy males exercised until exhaustion at 70 percent of their VO2maximum in cool conditions (10 degrees C) and 60 percent of their VO2max in a warm environment (30 degrees C).
They took drinks containing 0 percent, 2 percent, 4 percent or 6 percent sugar immediately before exercise and every 10 minutes during exercise. With a rise in sugar concentration from 0 percent to 6 percent, they had greater endurance and were able to exercise longer. In warm weather , the 6 percent sugar drink gave them greater endurance (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, February, 2012;44(2):336-43).
You need far more calories and fluid when you exercise in hot weather.
IN VERY LONG RACES LASTING MORE THAN 10 HOURS, THE TOP RACERS TAKE IN MORE SUGAR, FLUID AND FAT THAN THE SLOWER RACERS
18 cyclists took, on the average, 16 hr and 21 min, to complete a 384-km (240 miles) bicycle race.
They burned far more calories than they took in. They used 25.5 MJ (a measure of energy), but were only able to take in an average of 18.7 MJ. Those who took in the most calories finished higher up in the race. Those who took in more carbohydrates and fat finished higher up.
Increased protein intake was not associated with improved performance. (International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, February, 2012;22(1):19-23).
THE RACE ACROSS AMERICA
You need to take in large amounts of food when you exercise for more than a few hours, otherwise you will slow down and eventually have to stop.
In the Race Across America, four cyclists alternated shifts as a relay team and completed the race distance of 2800 miles in 6 days, 10 hours and 51 minutes. Each rode up to 10 hours per day in approximately one hour shifts. Even though they cycled only a quarter of the time and distance, they each burned an average 6,420 calories per day, compared to the average for North American men of a little over 2000 calories per day.
They ate and drank as much as they could but were able to take in only 4918 calories/day, for a deficit of 1503 calories per day (International Journal of Sports Medicine, July 2010).
Eight years ago in the same race, a 33 year old bicycle racer used a continuous heart rate monitor to show that he used up more than 18,000 calories per day. He rode for 20 to 24 hours/day, sleeping no more than 4 hours/day. Yet he could eat only about half that much (9000 calories per day), and he lost 11 pounds of body fat in the nine days of competition (International Journal of Sports Medicine, July-August 2005).
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU
More than 75 percent of North American adults weigh more than they should because they exercise too little and eat too much. These studies show that during long- term continuous intense exercise, it is impossible to meet your needs for food, no matter how much you try to eat.
YOU DRINK FAR MORE FLUID WHEN YOU TAKE SUGARED DRINKS THAN WHEN YOU TAKE WATER ONLY
When compared to those who drank only water, those who took a sugared drink during one hour of combined exercise at 75 percent of their maximum heart rate (Appetite, February, 2012;58(1):56-63):
* took far more fluid (1706 cc vs 1171cc),
* were better hydrated,
* had higher blood sugar levels and
* enjoyed their drinks more
The message is that you will drink more of any drink that tastes good and most people will take far more fluid from sugared drinks than from water.
You do not need to take any minerals during exercise that lasts less than three hours.
The only mineral that you need to take during exercise lasting longer than that is salt and drinks that are adequately salted usually taste awful. You can get your salt from foods such as salted peanuts, chips or crackers, or just adding salt to anything you eat.
Dr. Pinna says:
NOTE: COCA COLA AND GATORADE EXECS LOVE DR. MIRKIN’S ARTICLE.
I think Dr. Mirkin needs to start reading different literature.
We are discovering that long distance running or cycling or swimming is detrimental to one’s health. We also know that drinking water with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which is worse than sugar, is bad for your arteries. We now know that marathoners have calcified arteries from destroying cells as they torture themselves.
Also found are many stress fractures of the bones in the feet and even the sacrum (tail bone) torn ligaments and torn muscles, collapsed lungs and, of course, heart attacks.
The only long distance run you might wish to take is to the wine store… And, Never! Never! drink water with sugar!
WAH WAH WITH SUGAR IS DEADLY!
Did you ever see a deer or a kangaroo or any running animal drinking water as they ran?
And, of course, sugar is not found in nature except in the very rare case of honey. The only animals that eat honey are bears and humans.