reply to Jim Fishers questions
From: Adam W. Chase [mailto:chase@...
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 12:15 PM
Subject: RE: [hr100] Questions fur yu
I was forwarded your message from some friends who are the HR Group, Roch
Horton and Catherine Mataisz. They thought I might have some answers
because I have suffered from some blood sugar problems and do a lot of
experimentation with different products in doing gear reviews and in an
effort to improve my running and racing in trail ultras. Most recently I
have been doing some investigation in the nutrition and running area for a
book that Nancy Hobbs and I have co-authored, called The Ultimate Guide to
Trail Running, due out this August from The Lyons Press (see
The answer to your first question is that there are several low to almost
no sugar replenishers on the market. One is Conquest, which you won't like
because it contains Nutrasweet. Ultima is very low in sugar (almost none)
and gets any sweet flavor from stevia, which is used widely in Japanese
product but isn't that common in the U.S. Ultima's berry flavors are rather
strong, but the Passion goes down real nicely and the stuff works very well
to get the many minerals into your muscles instead of having them sit in
your stomach because the sugars are blocking the absorption and requiring
your digestive system to actually pull water away from your working muscles.
I understand that the new GU20 product is pretty low in sugar. I tried a
pre-market sample and it certainly tasted as though it lacked sweetener.
understanding is that they have dialed the flavor in a bit since then, so
you may want to try that product when it hits the market in the near future.
It is designed to work as a complement to sports gels and to facilitate the
absorption of the minerals into your system.
Other drinks that you may want to try because they offer a more balanced
make-up but more than I prefer when running are Revenge, Cytomax, Clip,
Succeed, and R4. They all have different bells and whistles, but the main
idea is that they replace most everything you are losing. I tend to favor
drinking something that is lighter and goes down more quickly and then I use
salt tablets (Succeed from Ultra Fit, which you can find through
UltraRunning) to enhance the salt balance, which answers your second
As far as carbonation, you can always use "aqua con gas" or fizzy water or
Perrier or Club Soda to get those bubbles into your system. That works very
well to help with GI problems and bring up some deep belches to release
pressure. I go for a shot of Coke late in an ultra in part because the
psychological rush of sugar and caffeine helps push me for a handful of
Any easier? Why would we do it if it were any easier? I would, however,
suggest trying some adjustments to your diet both when on the run and during
those few non-running moments of the day. I am a vegan and have found that
if I overdo the sugar consumption I can even things out by eating some nuts
(I prefer soy nuts) in the afternoon and that gets me some needed fat and
protein to take the edge off for the rest of the day.
I hope that helps. The hard part is that things change and so what worked
one year (or one season or one day) may not the next. Its fun trying to get
it right and otherwise life would be pretty dull.
Adam W. Chase
From: jfisher [mailto:leptonsunlimited@...
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 1:33 PM
Subject: [hr100] Questions fur yu
>From Jim Fisher, 5 time HR100 finisher.
I have a story and some questions fur y'all.
As an almost daily routine, for the warmer 6-8 months a year, for the
last 10-12 years, I would go by the local 7 / 11 style grocery store /
gas station in the afternoon and buy a super large fountain drink. I
would drink this on the way up to the ski basin where I did my daily
training runs. For years this worked out quite well. I was well
hydrated, had plenty of energy to run, and a can of pringles would
suffice for dinner.
Then about 3 years ago I began to have energy problems. These gradually
got worse to the point that sometimes during the last several years I
could not train. I would go up to the trailheads as usual, but my entire
body (not just my legs) was so depleted of energy that pretending to run
anything more than 100 meters was totally beyond my capability. Not only
did this mysterious condition sit me down and drag my butt in the dirt,
it increased to the point that some days I could not focus or
concentrate to work, even by the lowest standards of ultra running
decision making and logic.
Being an addicted runner, I tried every trick in the book to get a
handle on this condition; every combination of vitamins, minerals, red
meats, green vegetables, carbo's, DHEA, etc. known to man. I did
cleanses for intestinal parasites, whether I had then or not,
acupuncture, got blood tests, you name it. Nothing brought lasting
relief, and nothing indicated that my body was reacting so badly to
Finally this spring I concluded that maybe the problem wasn't what I was
NOT eating. The problem was what I WAS eating; too much SUGAR. A few
short experiments gave me undisputable evidence that, indeed my body no
longer liked my prime fuel of all these years. Even a mere day or two of
fountain drinks or other forms of sugar and I can not run from here to
So my questions are.
1) Does anyone know of a sports replenishment drink which does not
contain sugar? (Considering the Hardrock to be a multi-day event, I
don't want to chance continually ingesting sugar the whole first day)
2) Does anyone know of a way to maintain bodily salt balance without the
use of sports replenishment drinks? (Assuming that the Hardrock will be
a long hot sweaty affair this year)
3) In the past I have used canned Coke Cola to calm down my stomach and
keep it under control when it got wierd during ultras. Does anyone know
of another carbonated beverage, without sugar (forget Nutrasweet, barf)
, which will serve this purpose?
4) Does anyone know a way to make this process any easier? (If you think
quitting sex or alcohol is difficult, then try getting off of sugar.)
The next time you are out and about the town, try going by the local 7 /
11 style establishment and seeing if you can find any liquid in their
cooler cases that does not contain sugar.
5) About the same time my energy problems began to occurr, I also
developed ringing in my ears, which appears to be a permanent on-going
nusiance. Does anyone know of a cure for this condition; western,
oriental, or otherwise.
I realize that I am probably going to get a bunch of wise-ass answers,
but I would appreciate at least a few serious ones.
Please reply to Jim Fisher directly;
unless you just want everybody to
read your wise-ass comments or you feel that you have some information
valuable to the whole running community.
Thank You So Very Much
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