How to stay strong after 50-75-100 miles: Koolaid and Maltodextrin!

Dale Friedkin Webmaster
May 8, 2006

You store sugars or glycogens in your liver and muscles that provide the energy for hard bike rides. To sustain that energy and to replace the depleting stores Gatorade pioneered the idea of the Sports Drink. Nowadays all kinds of products offer up exotic blends at an equally exotic price. The basic marketing principle is wowing you with an overly technical explanation of the superiority of their product that just makes people think–I don’t want to read all boring crap, but all that complicated stuff must mean its good. The fact that I and others would sometimes get stomach cramps with these drinks suggest that something could be amiss. Don’t you just need to replenish your basic source of energy, carbohydrates (or sugars)? I happen to have this great research tool-its called the world wide web- so I put it to use and came up with a recipe that costs a fraction of those boutique energy drinks, and tastes and works great.

Recipe follows:

3 scoops of MALTODEXTRIN. Maltodextrin is a complex and easily digested sugar derived from corn. I tried to find some in town at a couple of places, but couldn’t. It was easier just to buy some on Ebay than to continue looking. I got a product called CarboGain in a 7lbs. size, which is 100% maltodextrin, for less than $20, shipping included. That’ll last me a couple of years.

1 scoop of SUCROSE, that’s regular table sugar. I add this mostly for taste as the malto is tasteless, but also sucrose is a simpler molecule so it will return its energy quicker Have some now and have some later!

.75 teaspoon of LITE SALT, in addition to regular salt, Lite Salt has potassium. This is for your electrolytes.

1 package of KOOLAID, mango flavored. For taste, they put some ascorbic acid(vitamin C) in it too, who knows? maybe that’s good too.
You have to get the Mango flavored at a store that caters to Hispanics, like Food4Less. The Koolaid flavors brightly color the drink, which is fun–that’s one of the reasons kids like it.

Optional 1 scoop of WHEY PROTEIN POWDER, there is a theory out there that some protein in the mix adds to to the bodies utilization of the drink. Studies have had mixed results. Wild Oats house brand is good stuff at a good price. Be wary of substituting Soy protein. People like the idea of soy protein because it is not an animal product. That does not automatically mean its better for you, in fact, there is some evidence to the contrary.

The scoop I use is 31 grams which are a bit more that an ounce. I use about two scoops of the final mix to a quart or liter or water bottle–they’re all about the same amount.

You only use up your glycogen stores when you are exercising at close to your anaerobic threshold. At less intense levels you are getting energy from your bodies fat. If I’m not doing a long, hard ride or race, I just drink water. There’s a lot of people out there doing short pokey rides with their drinks and bars wondering why they don’t drop weight. As for a recovery drink, I don’t believe in them. I use something else that is quite good for you-though you often hear otherwise-and is quite enjoyable. It’s called FOOD!