What does ISOTONIC mean and why do i need to know about it?

Bigtallfatbloke

New Member
....I see a lot about Isotonic drinks...but I don't understand what they are or why they are different from just water or fruit juice or coke etc.
 
 

JC4LAB

Guest
Im not a medic or nutritionist but from experience found these useful for rehydration expecially when you are sweating gallons ..they basically contain sodium potassium, used to boost the electrolyts you need for your nerve system to work..Its what they give you if have got dehli belly so in a smaller dose as used in a drink this boosts your nervous sysytem after or during sport..maybe someone else can add their comments to what may happen if you dehydrate too much during cycling...
 
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Bigtallfatbloke

Bigtallfatbloke

New Member
making my own look easier than the title Isontonic would seem to imply....I carry a packet of Vit C tabs which disolve to an orange drink in water....all i need do then is add a little salt, maybe some sugar and I'm isotonicd up right?
 

Blonde

New Member
Location
Bury, Lancashire
Bigtallfatbloke said:
making my own look easier than the title Isontonic would seem to imply....I carry a packet of Vit C tabs which disolve to an orange drink in water....all i need do then is add a little salt, maybe some sugar and I'm isotonicd up right?
Sort of, but not really. Electrolytes are the 'salts' that are contained in both isotonic and hypotonic (no carbs/KCals but only 'salts') drinks. These do not usually contain any sodium chloride or 'table salt' as such. They instead contain different salts, including sodium, potasium, iodide, bicarbonate and others.

Refined sugar on it's own is not a great subsititute for drinks that contain longer chain and multiple types of sugars. It's best to read the labels carefully to see what is actually in them, as some are much better than others. You need a mixture of slow and quick release sugars to sustain a longer bike ride. Refined sugar in large doses is not that great in cycling terms, because it is absorbed all at once into the blood, raising your blood sugar level for a short time before a rapid decrease in that level which leaves you feeling, at best, tired and weak, and at worst, with a bad case of the 'bonk'. The way that you would usually drink on the bike though, does offset this unwanted effect to some extent, because you would not usually down a bottle of high sugar drink in one go, but would sip it gradually over a longer period of time, thus ensuring a steadier supply of sugar into the blood. This isn't that great for your teeth of course as they are continually exposed to the sugar over a much longer time period. Fructose in fruit juice is an alternatve to refined sugars, but again it isn't good for your teeth over long periods and is just as quickly released into the blood as refined sugars. You may still need to eat something as well as usuing these drinks if out for longer periods.

You may want to avoid sugary carbohydrate drinks altogether (either isotonic or hypertonic ones) and go for a hypotonic drink instead. This is one that contains no KCalories or carbohydrates, but only the electrolytes you lose in sweat and dilute if you only drink plain water. 'Nuun' is one brand and there are several others too. If you go for this option, this will mean that you will definitely need to eat something for energy whilst riding. If this is the case try to eat a mixture of steady release and fast release sugars - have a look at a Glycamic Indexed table of foods to get a good balance.
 

Mr Phoebus

New Member
Bigtallfatbloke said:
making my own look easier than the title Isontonic would seem to imply....I carry a packet of Vit C tabs which disolve to an orange drink in water....all i need do then is add a little salt, maybe some sugar and I'm isotonicd up right?
Vitamin C is a powerful diuretic, sort of defeats the object you're trying to achieve.
 
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Bigtallfatbloke

Bigtallfatbloke

New Member
before my tour I did have a go at mixing my own. I think i added too much salt and I nearly vomited:biggrin:

...but on the actual tour I was drinking lucosade energy drinks as I went along BEFORE i 'bonked' (sounds bad that:biggrin:) as advised on this board...it worked and I rode a lot further than usual and suffered less.
 

Mr Phoebus

New Member
Bigtallfatbloke said:
before my tour I did have a go at mixing my own. I think i added too much salt and I nearly vomited:biggrin:

...but on the actual tour I was drinking lucosade energy drinks as I went along BEFORE i 'bonked' (sounds bad that:biggrin:) as advised on this board...it worked and I rode a lot further than usual and suffered less.
Try to use slow release carbs rather than Lucozade. Lucozade releaes a huge surge of insulin, you get a sugar spike, then you get a crash, leaving you feeling lethargic. Try making your own flapjacks, but try substituting the sugar for Canderell.
Watch the Vit C too as too much causes stomach cramps and diarrhea, as well as being a diuretic. Really you should only use the Vit C tabs that are timed release (gradually break down over a few hours in the body) rather than those 500mg monsters that cause tummy upsets, etc.
Anyway, your needs have already been covered in the previous threads.
 
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