Calories v isotonic drink??

Beginning to think I need more than water so bought some isotonic drink from Boots... but quite amazed at the calorific / carb etc value!!
So now panicing that if I drink this before a run I wont lose weight??
Would you say you use up 175 cal for 35 min run?


  • I kind of remember reading that a 10 stone runner will use 100 calories per mile, the pace doesn't matter. If you're lighter you'll use proportionately less and vice versa.
  • Also remembered this website:

    and follow the calories link.
  • Karen for a 35 min run I doubt if you need an isotonic drink.

    Either way the effect you want from running isn't so much the cals burnt during the run but the raised metabolic rate which will mean you burn more whilst resting as well. This is one reason why it is recommended to train in the morning since sleep slows your body down again - you get more effect from a morning run.
  • Thanks for the replies -perhaps I just need more water .. will save it for when Im doing longer!!
  • Karen, whether or not you need it depends on how far/long you are running, but also on what you've eaten already in the day. For example, I went for a run before lunch today and was starving after 15minutes!

    I take a lucozade drink on longer runs, but on *all* runs I take those lucozade sweets that you can buy in Boots and elsewhere. If I flag, I'll munch on as many of those as I need to. They're only about 25 cals each, but they give me a little sugar boost.
  • Thanks Neil so when do isotonic drinks come in !?
  • They're a marketing gimmick, Karen. Drink water or squash and save your money for something nice.
  • I agree with v.rap. If you imagine the total amount of water and elektrolytes in your body, then what you loose via sweat in a run is peanuts. And your body is quite geared up to to reserve the "important stuff".
    I tend to run before breakfast, just drinking some water and lots of water after. The other losses are taking up by the body as it is needed.
    I would say, trust your body, it is made to cope with some extremes.
  • Personally, if I'm doing anything over an hour, then I'd want lucozade or something similar rather than just water. V-rap, do you think I should just stick with water? Even on a 1/2marathon? I need to replace some calories and don't always get on with solids before or during a run.
  • Neil, if you've trained well and carbed up properly before your half-marathon, you aren't going to use up all your muscle glycogen and hit the wall within that distance so you'd probably get away with water. But if you like isotonic drinks, each to his (or her) own - they're not a BAD thing except for people who are overweight and sedentary and drink them because they think it will give them more "energy" when the last thing they nees is a sugar jag and an insulin surge.

    I'm up to about 12 miles in training and I drink Fruit and Barley (diluted to about half the recommended strength) before and after because it tastes nice and I know I can keep it down in large volumes, and water on runs over about 7-8 miles (nothing on shorter distances). Sometimes I eat sweets, but that's because I like them rather than for fuel.

    For distances over the half-marathon, there's definitely a place for getting easily-absorbed carbs down our necks during the run, and isotonic drinks are one way of achieving this, but I wonder whether squash made up to the correct strength would do the same job a lot more cheaply, and from experience I know that I can only drink hypotonic fluids, in training and out (the pavements of London pprobably still have the dayglo stains to prove it).

    For the Great North Run, I plan to have the family stationed around the course with weak squash and drinking-temperature coffee. If John Bingham can take a coffee-break during a marathon, it must be OK.
  • Great thread and one that hasn't had enough air time.

    I'm with the cynics on this one. For all except the highly trained/long distances I see these products as smart marketing. And yes, Vrap, my own version of kevin falls for these hook line & sinker.

    That said I do keep experimenting on longer (> 1hr) runs: Water, dextrose tabs to chew plus water, lemon Squash plus sugar.

    try reading the sept RW articles: but I'm suspicious of "2% loss of bodyweight through sweating = 20% loss in performance" I'd be interested to read the Nature publication on that one.

  • I agree with v.rap.
    I run 45-60 minutes and manage easily with two gasses of water before I go out. I have no experience as yet with over one hours runs. But I am very suspicious about the need of these isotonic drinks.
    There are cheaper and lighter alternatives for when you are going extreme.
  • As I am doing my first half marathon this weekend (Robin Hood) I have been investigating when & what I should be taking. I don't particularly like the ready-made ones, they are too sweet and make my mouth tacky! Peak Performance recommends you make your own:
    1/4 cup fresh fruit juice
    3 3/4 cups water added
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3-4 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
    This sounds somewhat healthier and obviously you can add only as much sugar as you want for the drink to be palatable.
    I am trying this one and will let you know if it works.
  • Thanks for that recipe. I am not worried about the calories in the ready made ones. However I always try to go for the natural foods without additives, colourings etc. Got a bit of a shock when reading the list of ingredients. Now I can make my own, thanks.
  • That sounds right to me.
    I have been aware of recommendations of half juice and half water (as fresh juice is hypertonic) It makes sense to add some salt to it.
    Good luck with your half marathon,Fil
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