improving supplements "proven" through studies
my observation, one major problem with many of these "studies"
(I use that term very loosely when referring to "research"
done on the efficacy of supplements) is that the supplement
is rarely if ever compared to food (liquid or solid). Typically
the comparison is between the supplement and a concoction
(placebo) that does not have the same caloric value as the
the ingestion of a supplement or energy replacement product
is compared to NO ingestion of calories or electrolytes (or
less total caloric and nutrient value) AND the results show
improved endurance with the "supplement", THEN the
research has not shown efficacy of the supplement, but rather
the efficacy of the ingestion of foodstuffs to increase endurance.
In this case, the supplement deserves no accolades whatsoever.
a study was done on a supplement that had a mix of protein
and carbs compared to a concoction that had only carbs, then
in fact it would not be the "supplement" that was
being studied, but in fact what effect if any the mix of carbs
and protein had in comparison to the ingestion of carbs only
seriously doubt that any of these supplements or sports drinks
do anything at all regardless of the physical development
of the individual. I don't think pro's or amateurs will get
even a .5 to 1% increase in performance from any product above
and beyond what is normally expected from a mix of sugar,
protein, water, and electrolytes.
only advantage to pre-made products that have a mix of sugar,
protein, water, and electrolytes is convenience. Somebody
else has made the mix for you. I have no problem with convenience.
is never the product that is working; it is the sugar in the
product. Too many athletes and coaches miss this salient point.
This misunderstanding leads many to believe that a manufacturer
has some proprietary patented concoction that is special,
and that training and a good diet are beneath the power of
the supplement. The athlete or coach is then constantly searching
for a "special" supplement and does not comprehend
the simplicity of the fact that these supplements are merely
a mix of sugar, protein, water, and electrolytes.
great comparison is pure grape juice cut with an equal volume
of water. The amount of sodium, potassium, and sugar of the
grape juice- water mix is almost identical to Gatorade or
an athlete wanted to, they could go to the store and buy dextrose
(dextrose is commonly used in hospitals when people are fed
by IV. The solution is typically 5% dextrose in water), powdered
egg whites, salt, and a potassium supplement and mix it up.
Presto, you have a "supplement" or sports drink
equal to anything on the market. Sure it may taste like crap,
but the point is these supplements don't have secret mystical
ingredients. It would not be rocket science to figure out
how to make your own concoction that did taste good. But most
would find this inconvenient, so most buy a pre-made concoction,
and this makes sense.
does not make sense to believe a supplement or energy replacement
product is any different than basic sugar, protein, and electrolytes.
It does not make sense to believe that any product will be
able to deliver on its promise of "more endurance"
or "more power" above and beyond what consistent
training and good nutrition will provide.
buying an energy replacement for training or competition,
buy one that does not claim to have an effect on Vo2 Max,
blood or muscle oxygen levels, and does not make promises
of unrealistic performance gains. Buy one that has simple
ingredients on the label, that tastes good to you, and that
you can tolerate during training and competition.
and dextrose are lab-made sugars that are absorbed more readily
than strait sucrose (table sugar) or fructose (sugar in fruit).
The lab-made sugars are in most commercially available energy
replacement or "sports drinks".
independent research shows that carbohydrates are best absorbed
when the solution is about 6% carbohydrate - water or about
15 grams of carbohydrate per 250ml (1 cup/ 8 ounce).
easiest way to do the math is using metric measurements. 1ml
of water has a mass of about 1g, so a 6% sugar/ water solution
will have about 6g of sugar (carbohydrate) for each 100ml
of water. One gram of carbohydrate contains about 4 calories
- about 24 calories from carbs per 100ml of sugar water solution.
about 250ml of this sugar-water solution every 15 minutes
of exercise is best. That works out to 240 calories per hour,
right in the middle of the common recommendation of 200 to
300 calories per hour intake during training or competition.
for carb replacement products that are close to the 6% carbohydrate
mix. Most soft drinks and fruit juices contain up to twice
this concentration. More than a 10% carbohydrate concentration
in fluid intake during training and competition does not increase
performance and may cause cramping and abdominal distress.
"studies" done on supplements do not compare relevant
items being ingested, but rather simple calorie intake verses
less or no calorie intake resulting in the no-brainer conclusion
that replacing spent energy extends endurance. Supplement
companies may use this conclusion to create the myth that
the proprietary mix of the supplement offers a "performance"
supplement and sports drink claims have a large dose of
who turn to supplements for exercise/ sports performance
are going for the quick fix and therefore forgo improving
their diet and exercise routines. Many who use supplements
are also on fad
carb replacements for exercise that is over 60 minutes.
training, healthy living, and healthy eating in general,
as well as appropriate healthy food
intake before, during, and after exercise to increase
majority of people in North America do not have a healthy
diet, and are not likely to realize what a healthy diet
is comprised of.
healthy diet will supply all the necessary nutrients
for healthy living including athletics.
© 2004 Rhino Fitness