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drinking soda and running (OT)

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  • Jonni
    I have a question I am sure someone on this list can answer for me. I m the endurance rider who finished Tevis with my horse in 2005. I have little knowledge
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 19, 2007
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      I have a question I am sure someone on this list can answer for me.
      I'm the endurance rider who finished Tevis with my horse in 2005. I
      have little knowledge of what it takes to run long distance, but try
      to understand products etc. that y'all use, and apply to a long day
      on the trail with my horse as needed. Anyway, a discussion of a rider
      craving coke during an endurance ride came up on a riding list, and
      many said how bad coke was for them on a long hot day when working
      their bodies hard. I commented that I see coke at all the aid
      stations on a 50 mile run I volunteer at here in TX, (The Grasslands
      Run) and how many runners come in from the trail, WANTING the soda,
      and not juice etc.

      So, can someone share with my why coke, when a sugar crash can
      happen, it is a diuretic and can dehydrate etc. etc. ?? Feel free to
      reply direct, as I'm sure this is not of much interest to the folks
      on the list. ;-)

      And good luck to those training for this years WS100. I would love to
      go to Tevis every year. I LOVE that trail!!!

      Jonni
      txtrigger@...
    • patlais
      Jonni, To address the Coke issue, it is important to understand how our bodies are fueled during endurance events. Energy is stored in three forms:
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 21, 2007
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        Jonni,

        To address the Coke issue, it is important to understand how our
        bodies are fueled during endurance events. Energy is stored in three
        forms: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. The most efficient energy
        comes from carbohydrates (i.e., glycogen/sugar). However, after
        about 4-6 hours of running, the body depletes itself of carbohydrates
        and begins to use fat as the primary fuel source. The problem here
        is that the body cannot metabolize fat as efficiently, thus requiring
        the runner to slow down significantly (i.e., hitting the wall).

        To avoid this "wall", the endurance runner must focus on taking in as
        much carbohydrates as possible once the run begins. Since you want
        the carbs to get where they are needed quickly, what we typically
        recognize as "bad" carbs in an everyday diet (candy, sugar, cookies,
        soda) become "good" carbs during an endurance run. This is because
        the body can very quickly metabolize these more refined products.

        Keeping up on carbs is helpful, but it is difficult to make it
        through a 100-mile race without becomeing somewhat depleted. Thus,
        it is also desirable to speed up the fat metabolization process.
        Most studies show that the best substance to accomplish this is
        caffeine. Following this logic, Coke provides a double punch of
        sugar and caffeine that can help the body metabolize what it needs
        for endurance running.

        As for the sugar crash, when you are running a 100-miles, a crash can
        happen at any minute if you don't keep up with the carbs. Slow-
        metabolizing carbs (brown rice, fruit) actually promote a crash more
        than the fast metabolizing carbs (candy, sugar, Coke) because the
        body is running on overload. The Coke reaches your system much
        faster and can thus keep off the crash as long as you keep up the
        fast carbs.

        The issue of caffeine being a diuretic is probably the toughest for
        people to deal with. The key thing here is to note that the
        dehydrating effect of running 100-miles is an order of magnitude
        greater than the dehydrating effect of caffeine. No one in their
        right mind would ONLY drink Coke during an endurance event. The
        average person will sweat 4-gallons of fluid during a 100-mile run
        and must attempt to replace most of that during the event or suffer
        serious dehydration. The diuretic effects of caffeine are almost
        negligible when dealing with exertion at this level.

        As a side note, most participants in a 100-mile run end up staying
        awake for one or two days without sleep, so there are certainly other
        reasons why we crave caffeine ...

        Hope this helps!

        - Patrick McCartney





        --- In ws100@yahoogroups.com, "Jonni" <txtrigger@...> wrote:
        >
        > I have a question I am sure someone on this list can answer for me.
        > I'm the endurance rider who finished Tevis with my horse in 2005. I
        > have little knowledge of what it takes to run long distance, but
        try
        > to understand products etc. that y'all use, and apply to a long day
        > on the trail with my horse as needed. Anyway, a discussion of a
        rider
        > craving coke during an endurance ride came up on a riding list, and
        > many said how bad coke was for them on a long hot day when working
        > their bodies hard. I commented that I see coke at all the aid
        > stations on a 50 mile run I volunteer at here in TX, (The
        Grasslands
        > Run) and how many runners come in from the trail, WANTING the
        soda,
        > and not juice etc.
        >
        > So, can someone share with my why coke, when a sugar crash can
        > happen, it is a diuretic and can dehydrate etc. etc. ?? Feel free
        to
        > reply direct, as I'm sure this is not of much interest to the folks
        > on the list. ;-)
        >
        > And good luck to those training for this years WS100. I would love
        to
        > go to Tevis every year. I LOVE that trail!!!
        >
        > Jonni
        > txtrigger@...
        >
      • Tx Trigger
        Thanks everyone for the great info on why coke is something I ve seen the ultra runners drink out there on the trail. Y all have a great spring time training,
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 21, 2007
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          Thanks everyone for the great info on why coke is something I've seen the ultra runners drink out there on the trail. Y'all have a great spring time training, and hope some of you get to do the WS100. I'd love to make it out for Tevis, but will have to see how the planning and $$$ goes. I do love that trail, and think about it probably way too much!
          Jonni in TX

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