Thursday, January 15, 2009

GamJams Reviews: Hydration - Accelerade and Cytomax

I started drinking Accelerade about a year ago after receiving a deal through a group affiliation (prior to the GamJams sponsorship). I bought the fruit punch accelerade mix and a box of (strawberry?) gels and started using them heavily beginning in the spring season training for multisport events for the 08 season.

Previously I'd used Cytomax given to me by a teammate after he grew sick of the flavor and had occasionally used Gu during longer runs in my marathon training but my experience with sport nutrition products was (and still remains) fairly limited. That said, I did notice a few differences in using and also in researching sports nutrition that I've built my current nutrition strategy around.

First of all, what makes Accelerade what it is is their 4:1 carb to protein ratio. According to researchers and all that jazz this is beneficial since the one part protein helps accelerate the carb usage, or movement of carbs to the muscles for use. I personally like it because a 4:1 carb to protein ratio is the recommended post workout fuel in most sports nutrition literature I've read. Since I generally forget to or simply don't get to eating right after training a nutrition drink that provides these benefits during and directly after my workouts is a big plus.

As for Cytomax I really believe (based on my very unscientific personal experience "tests") the lactic acid buffer is the real deal. Not saying it does away with it but I feel like I can go noticeably harder for longer when using the stuff. That said I tend to stick with it more for my serious racing while I drink Accelerade for the protien benefits during most training workouts. The experts say to train with the nutrition you'll race with but I've tested out Cytomax and my stomach tends to be pretty strong in those regards so it works out for me.

In the taste category I'd say I'm fairly easy going. So long as it doesn't make me puke I'll probably drink it without any worries. Accelerade's Fruit Punch and Lemon Lime flavors and Cytomax's Cool Citrus and Tropical Fruit flavors all passed that test.

The fine powder of Accelerade.

Usage factors - this isn't something I'd normally feel the need to write about when it comes to something like sports drinks. In this case there are things to point about about both of these products. First, Accelerade comes in a very fine powder which is easy to get all over the place if you're not careful while pouring. Second, if added to a bottle before water is poured in it'll bubble up and half your bottle will be bubbles. Neither are bad per say, just somewhat annoying. I certainly wouldn't base any decision on these things.

With Cytomax the issue is a bit more serious but still minor. I tend to take it easy on my mixed drink consumption in training and so generally my drink powder last for a bit. With Cytomax this can be a bad thing. The powder will begin to crystalize in the jug relatively quickly making it a bit of pain to deal with. I'd guess it could causes structural changes to the product itself though that is strictly my unscientific guess and is not based on anything. So far I haven't had any major issues using the crystalized chunks of powder but scooping in the amount you want is certainly a hassle.

The crystalized dregs of Cytomax.

8 comments:

Jim said...

Kevin - silly question, but do you really like eating meat? Y'know, like some people seem to crave chocolate, do you like a big steak or something?

I have a theory that the sports drink you like will reflect your general dietary habits or natural inclinations. I like all the protein-heavy sports drinks, and when I have a craving for a particular kind of food, it's generally meat, or possibly some othe protein-heavy food like nuts or cheese. Accellerade fuels me really, really well on long rides, and so do the Hammer products.

Just wondering here.

KMAX said...

I do enjoy me some steak but in all honesty if given a choice between a steak and some hearty lasagna for a week the proportion would stand in the lasagna's favor. I think I make more of a conscious decision for the protien.

I like your theory though. This means Kyle hates steak! Total girly man!

Velogator said...

I also like the Accelerade...the only negative is the residue it leaves in the bottle, can be tough to clean out of there!

Kyle Jones said...

I love steak. Yum. Steak and chocolate is just awesome. I for one would rather have chocolate milk than accelerade after a ride.

Steak vs lasagna. Depends on the lasagna. But for me steak I can almost eat everyday.

Dustin Leonard said...

I know this comment is 3/4 of year too late, but it still may benefit someone along the line. This is in regards to cleaning the left overs out of the water bottle.

Sometimes to get something clean, you gotta get it real dirty.

What I mean by that is, if you're haveing trouble getting gunck out of your bottle, just take it outside and fill it 1/4 full with dirt (sand is better).
Then, fill it 1/2 full with hot water.
Put the cap on and shake it like there's no tommorrow.
The larger sand particles will literally sand blast the inside of your bottle.
Go back inside and us soap for a final cleaning.

Whammo!!! A sparkling bottle inside and out.

KMAX said...

That's cool Dustin! Thanks for posting that. I've definitely got a few prime suspects to try that technique on...

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JD said...

Thanks for the review. I am currently using both Cytomax and Acclerade as well, though I am thinking about trying to use one indefinitley so that I can measure the difference in my performance with these 2 drinks.