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Re: drinking soda and running (OT)

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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