"The truth about sports products"

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Comments

  • Without a doubt, my first pair of running shoes made a huge difference - it definitely wasn't no 'placebo' effect.  Every time I went running before using them, I had various aches, usually ankle/feet.  First time out with the proper ones (Nike Triax something or other), nothing - not a whisper.

  • Sussex Runner (NLR) wrote (see)
    Thankyou for allowing me my opinion Bob Roberts. I don't believe I ever suggested you weren't entitled to yours. Just suggested you were dim. Nice..but Dim

    Wow, Sussex Runner, you're really rude - are you a troll?

    Or are you an elite runner who feels he can put an amateur down because she's not as good as he, or she, is?

     

  • Sussex Runner (NLR) wrote (see)
    Thankyou for allowing me my opinion Bob Roberts. I don't believe I ever suggested you weren't entitled to yours. Just suggested you were dim. Nice..but Dim

    You seem incredibly obnoxious and rude.  I'm genuinely interested to know what trainers you run in?  Presumably a pair of 10 year old £10 specials?  Absolutely no need to be so condescending.

  • Regarding the programme I found it interesting, made some valid points, but also left more questions than answers.  In terms of sports drinks I very rarely drink any for runs of less than 90 mins, however would always want one over that.

    Trainers I aim to spend around £60 ish, am keen to stick to what works, however like others have said, i've suffered in the past with injuries as a result of incorrect footwear and am always wary of trying anything else.

    Finally would have like to see something on gels, I certainly found them a god-send on the marathon earlier this year.

  • They didnt really mention any products that do work. Maybe that wouldn't support the stance they were trying to make. While they were rubbishing the benefits of sports drinks that cyclist recommended we should drink water and eat bread (carbs) and jam (sugar) which is essentially the ingredients of sports drinks just minus the electrolytes, which we need. A bottle of drink is also easier to carry round a 20 mile run.
  • Haha, NLR spicing up the forum nicely I see!



    The programme sounds okay, and Debs defends it well.



    I can't believe people are such wusses (or aren't looking where they're going enough) that they won't run barefoot on a beach - you must have had a really fun childhood.



    When I started running a bit more seriously, I wore Adidas cheapo shoes that weren't really running shoes (you know the type, I'm sure) for a good while. As I got more experience, I chose to use a mix of Mizunos with support for long distance races on road, Nike racing flats for shorter road races and VFFs and huaraches for slow-paced distances. I use XC spikes and Innov8s for trail runs. Sure, these weren't cheap, but I had enough experience with the shitty Adidas fashion trainers, black toenails and tendinitis to know that they're the most suitable shoes for the job, and well worth the cost. The staff at the Sweat Shop I've visited really knew what they were talking about, and several different runners (with different areas of expertise) helped me make the most suitable choice of shoes.



    Just go along to a running club, run behind the pack for a while and watch the array of wildly oscillating limbs on show: different people are served best by different types of shoe. Some problems can be fixed by concentrating on technique and strengthening muscles. Others are purely physical, and the body needs some help in these cases.
  • millsy1977 dont forget he was eatying brown bread well known for having plenty of salt (simple electrolyte) in it.

    The US Army survey on shoes was interesting, when i joined the British army i was issued canvas pumps and boots, that was all we ever ran in, never new anyone who suffered from shinsplints or any other leg injury, but the training was structured and varied so we built up steadily. That is probably where most older and wiser runners go wrong, we try to rush things and we arent as young as we once were. Also now nearly everyones feet have been pampered with training shoes so we have become soft, barefoot running sounds interesting as it must assist in using more small muscles, just need to find a sensible place to start.

  • Oops I forgot about the salt in the bread. So he was consuming the same basic contents of a sports drink then.
  • happy9053 wrote (see)

     when i joined the British army i was issued canvas pumps and boots, that was all we ever ran in, never new anyone who suffered from shinsplints or any other leg injury, but the training was structured and varied so we built up steadily.

    My canvas pumps were white; we called them Slaps 'cos when you ran they went 'slap slap slap slap slap slap'.  My shorts were too tight and the V on my PT vests went massive from the handwashing/wringing and kept on slipping off my shoulders.

    Army PT kit was 'orrible stuff, but you're right; I can't remember many people having lower limb injuries (though there was a few I'm sure); and those who did, "It's ma shins, Corporal, ma shins", were cured with a good shouting at.

    Apologies for swinging the lantern.  Ignore me.

  • More interesting chat! Seems to be the best forum for it. A few quick points- the reason why the programme didn't focus on what works we really struggled to find good science in any area. We read over 700 studies- and only found 3 good ones that all suggested that the product has no benefit on a particular outcome. In science, that says a lot.



    So, for trainers that was injury, sports drinks it was performance etc etc. It's disappointing that these huge companies can't do better. Lucozade, for example, is owned by drug company, GSK. you'd have thought that with their immensely skilled scientists that they could have done better.



    No-one said it wasn't fine to drink sports drinks- it is. Glycogen stores get depleted and you need replenishment in what ever form you like to take carbs. But why would sports drinks improve your performance? Do you really need them if you're not running for a long period of time?



    Also, the idea that you need electrolyte replenishment isn't always true. You only lose tiny amounts in sweat and you automatically adjust your urine output accordingly. We consume far too much salt in our diets anyway and GSK confirmed to me that the amount of salt in their drink was "trace".



    About trainers, there just isn't the evidence on a large scale that wearing stability shoes reduce rates of injury. It just doesn't exist- despite companies trying for many years to show they do.



    I guess the point is think about how you run rather than just focus on what's on your feet. People have their own preferences, but I've been into lots of running shops and gone on the treadmills etc, had my gait analysed and been 'prescribed' a shoe. The evidence just isn't there to support this. It's a case of what feels right for you. No one is saying don't do it- just that it's not based on sound science.



    Just one quick point- how many different foot shapes and gait styles are there and how much variance is there in the stability shoe?
  • "Also, the idea that you need electrolyte replenishment isn't always true. You only lose tiny amounts in sweat and you automatically adjust your urine output accordingly. We consume far too much salt in our diets anyway and GSK confirmed to me that the amount of salt in their drink was "trace"."

    That's interesting. I don't use sports drinks but I do use electrolytes (in the form of Nuun tablets or equivalent) during long runs on hot days. I'm not a big guy but I sweat out bucketloads and often get gritty white salt streaks down my face - so I'm obviously losing a fair bit of something. The Nuun tablets do make a difference, I do feel less lethargic afterwards if I take them. Not a scientifically valid trial, just going on my own experience. Even if it is all in my mind.

  • That's essentially the conclusion we've come to after looking a literally hundreds of studies- Do what works for you through trial and error. It's just worth bearing in mind that what we do isn't necessarily backed up by sound science
  • I think this is the difficulty. I share Muttley's experience of finding white deposits on my clothing after exertion (ooo er mrs) and using Nuun tablets. 

    And, likewise, the experience others have described of suffering persistent knee pain when I first started running, having gait analysis and being "prescribed" different shoes, and the pain very quickly going away.

    This is all just anecdotal, but it is hard for us to believe that the studies that find no proven benefit have not somehow missed the point.

  • Thank you for giving the link to that open-access paper. I'm not sure how it relates to the programme -- it doesn't mention shoes at all.  I didn't see the original programme, but am now reading the paper.

    On the topic of caffeine, I am enthusiastic user of gels with added caffeine. When not running, I am a heavy coffee drinker, and it would be unusual for me to go more than 2 hours without a coffee. So if I'm taking 4 hrs to do a marathon, (plus the time spent waiting around at the start), for me using caffeine gels is less about getting a big boost, and more just about avoiding withdrawal symptoms -- keeping my caffeine levels up to normal. image

    I noted the hypothesis "Carbohydrate and protein combinations improve post-workout performance and recovery"  versus the conclusion "The results of studies of supplements containing a variety of carbohydrate to protein ratios show inconsistent and generally small benefits in some measures of sports performance, but generally do not show benefits over and above a balanced and nutritious diet" which is actually a different point from the hypothesis. The question was asking "does a suitable mixture of carb and protein promote recovery" (as opposed to say beer, or pure carbs) and the answer seems to say that "normal food" with a combination of C and P is as good as a specially formulated supplement .... the answer to a different question.

  • Dear Deb Cohen - you seem to have ignored the most important question posed directly to you, so can I push you for an answer please?

    Red or green - which makes the faster shoe???

  • Green with red go faster stripes. Whoever said: "red and green shouldn't be seen" plainly hasn't seen my fab speedy footwear
  • We did ask shoe companies. It's detailed in appendix. We Couldn't name check everything in research.



    We couldn't see evidence in the literature with certain mixes of proteins and carbs...



    Mike- your comment about knee pain is interesting. The research is about prevention (do trainers prevent injury) and not treatment (do trainers help recover post injury). From a science perspective they are two different questions. There is there might have been all sorts of reasons for your knee pain getting better. You'd need to set up a study to adjust for those factors so you'd know if it really was the trainers or something else
  • Damn! Mine are red with green!!

    On the subject of the army testing - was it taken into account that those with flat feet are not generally allowed to join thereby making those tests unrepresentative of the general public? (I stand to be corrected if this is wrong but a general internet search suggests flat feet are a no-no in the army, including the US). My grandfather was exempt from active service in WW2 because of his flat feet (something I have inherited) and spent the war labouring at Air Force bases.

  • Good programme- the funniest bit was Noakes' reaction to the question about low -calorie sports drinks.

    Remeber that the programme was looking for the evidence to back up manufacturer's claims, just becuase there is no evidence, this doesn't mean that there is no benefit- many areas of medicine have no evidence base to them- can anyone show me the randomised controlled trial that proves that it is better to use a parachute when jumping out of a plane?

    About the whole dehydration/ overhydration thing- there is a really good site from the doctor who works on the WHW race, emphasisng the risks of water intoxocation, and suggesting that 2-4% total weightloss is fine, aiming to maintain weight can lead to overhydration. Can't remember the link.

  • So far the only thing thats really benefited my running are t-shirt that wicks sweat away.



    Adverts for 'branded' trainiers that make you run faster - Also known as the 'Lynx effect'
  • Deb Cohen wrote (see)
    More interesting chat! Seems to be the best forum for it. A few quick points- the reason why the programme didn't focus on what works we really struggled to find good science in any area. We read over 700 studies- and only found 3 good ones that all suggested that the product has no benefit on a particular outcome. In science, that says a lot.

    Deb are you saying your research was to read 700 studies?  Surely research, if it is to have depth, should run the scientific tests themself?

  • JF50 wrote (see)
    Deb Cohen wrote (see)
    More interesting chat! Seems to be the best forum for it. A few quick points- the reason why the programme didn't focus on what works we really struggled to find good science in any area. We read over 700 studies- and only found 3 good ones that all suggested that the product has no benefit on a particular outcome. In science, that says a lot.

    Deb are you saying your research was to read 700 studies?  Surely research, if it is to have depth, should run the scientific tests themself?

    The Oxford researchers were not trying to validate individual products themselves.  They were researching whether the marketing claims of sports companies regarding their products were backed by sound scientific studies.

  • Indeed Tenjiso - they performed what is otherwise known as a review article (or meta analysis).

    A very valid and very useful form of academic research that helps to solidfy trends in science. Review articles are amongst the most highly cited forms of research by other articles because they are like a summary of everything published to the date they were written (when they are well structured and well researched of course).

  • Hmm am I getting this right, the research was based on research which they suspect was not carried out using sound scientific studies.  So their findings seem highly unsound. 

  • No you aren't.

    They took existing studies and analysed whether they were sound. This was the hypothesis (paraphrased):

    Is there enough evidence in scientific studies to support claims by sports product manufactuers?

    The main outcome of the research was there was not. Thus they proved a negative on their hypothesis.

    This does not make the review unsound because it did not proport to make any scientific claims such as, shoes are or are not good for you, it merely says that articles that show support shoes are good are incorrect (or more precisely badly designed) for x, y, z reason (e.g. all studies were done with 4 elite kenyans only weighing 40 kgs).

  • I have just watched the sections on nutrition and hydration again.  Professor Tim Noakes grudgingly accepted that carbohydrate rich drinks were useful after an hour of intense activity, but then made the extraordinary claim that the average user only exercised 2 hours a week and walked most of a marathon???  I quite accept that they are not necessary for the average gym session and definitely not suitable for children.  I also accept that you can provide your own sources of carbs and water much more cheaply, but for some people the drinks are a rather more convenient way of taking these in than by pureeing a jam sandwich with 500ml water. As it happens significant numbers of people do train intensely and the majority of entrants run most if not all the marathons they enter so their use of sports drinks is entirely appropriate even by Prof. Noakes' standards.

    I also thought that they gave a rather mixed message about electrolyte replacement.  You probably do need more sodium than the drinks provide if you do prolonged intense exercise, but imaging the reaction if they upped the salt content - there would be instant headlines 'saltier than a Big Mac' - damned if they do and damned if they don't.

    My point is that the results were presented in such a way as to minimise any positive benefits sports drinks may confer when used correctly.

    That said I shall stick to my tried and tested Stronbow/Salt'n'Vinegar crisp strategy for marathons and sausage roll/chocolate cake for anything longer...

     

  • agreed with pretty much all of the programme, except on shoes. after months of problems with the upper right side of my leg, saw a physio for a thorough check. she recommended a certain "light stability" shoe and custom-cut insoles...after a week, pain disappeared and could run three times a week again

  • I think what the program said and Deb clarified was that shoes don't prevent injury. The causes for injury are mainly related to over use.



    They didn't ask whether a shoe can help with recovering from an injury. I think it can, in the same way that wearing a support bandage can.



    ie It wasn't the wrong shoe that injured you in the first place, it was the amount if running you did.
  • On a personal basis I find that I only need gels or other carb suplements if I am running for 90 minutes or more. There isn't any benefit in taking any on shorter runs. Unless it is very hot I don't even need water on runs less than half marathon length. Thus I only use gels (when I can remember to uby them) on my weekend long runs.



    Re trainers

    Fortuneately I ignored the gym attendant who tried to get me to run with a heel strike and I use low drop light weight Newtons. Unfortuneately they are very expensive and don't last long.
  • Merrowman wrote (see)
    Colmeister wrote (see)
    Is there even any solid science that milk is benefitial for recovery?  What about the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein? Programmes like this make you question lots of things you considered as facts.  That's probably a good thing, but can leave you more confused than when you started!  

    I think that was one of the areas that annoyed me a bit on the program when Prof Lean said something along the lines of being better off drinking milk than a protein drink.  IMHO that's garbage and worthy of the era of milk at school (in the 1970s).  Had he said "you're better off just really spending time understanding your requirements and basing your balance diet to meet that" then that would have been fine - what he said was either for the Daily Mail or the BBC breakfast news to use...

     

    Not sure if anyone responded about Professor Lean's milk comment (Deb?)

    Milk really isn't a good nutritional drink.  The calcium from milk is barely absorbed and due to the acidifying properties of the milk protein (like any animal protein) you actually lose calcium from your bones to neutralise it.

    Best thing to do is work out how much protein you need and then do some maths looking at your diet and if you are short of protein (which you probably won't be) then use a plant protein supplement

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