My Rides

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Workout Hydration, Carbs, and Electrolytes on a Budget

Based on reading (Chris Carmichael's Food for FitnessThe Time-Crunched Cyclist: Fit, Fast, and Powerful in 6 Hours a Week)on workout & recovery, and, I hate to admit, after spending Thanksgiving in the hospital with "severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance" I'm taking pre/during/post-workout nutrition and hydration a lot more seriously.  Not only that, when I follow the recommendations I have more productive workouts, and feel/recover better afterwards.

I'm not discounting the advantages to the "best of breed" products, but I'm not competing at the level where the few extra percent advantage is going to make a difference to my experience or the results.  On workout days I'm going through 3/4 gallon of Gatorade pre-workout, during-workout, and post-workout (recovery).  What the best-of-breed drinks add are proteins, a greater variety of carbs - including more complex carbs, vitamins & minerals, and sometimes caffeine.  I get these from my pre and post workout meals & snacks.

The savings, for me, add up to about $20-25 per month (4 workouts per week x 4 weeks per month x 96 oz. per workout).  Here's my analysis (I chose GU Brew for comparison because I consider it a good value "best of breed" - it's what I would buy if/when I spend more).

GU Electrolyte Brew Gatorade G powder
$ per serving $0.43 $0.17
Price $14.99 $8.38
Price Source
(35 serv. canister, free prime shipping 1/2011)
(51 oz. canister, Commerce Twp., MI 1/2011)
Serving (g) 26 (2 scoops) 30 (2 Tbsp)
Servings Per Container 35 48
Calories 100 100
Sodium (mg) 250 200
Potassium (mg) 40 60
Carb (g) 26 28
Sugars (g) 8 28

Order of sugars in ingredients Maltodextrin Sucrose

Fructose Dextrose