None of these 'sports products' work.....

According to Panorama tonight apparently

Looks like sports drinks, protein shakes and trainers all come under the programme's scrutiny from this short piece on the BBC website



  • Compared to what?  To not having anything and getting low on energy and dehydrated?

  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    I like the comment to the effect that it's an expensive way of making you drink milk.  If £34 was the price to pay to make me drink milk for 3 months, and milk does work, then I'd be happy to pay that price!  I'm sure eventually I'd just get used to downing a pint of milk after a workout, but at the moment it doesn't cross my mind.  Big up for choco flavouring!

  • Milk isn't easy to transport to events where you will be away for several days and don't have access to a fridge.  Thats where sports drinks are useful, although if I liked milk I would be happy to drink that too.  Just saying that there is more to deciding what nutrition you use than price.

  • Most of the research that is conducted in the use of sports products (pretty much all that I've read) uses relatively small sample sizes, typically people who are far more active that the average person, and usually in one sporting discipline - often a static bike. And it's difficult to combine the research findings as there are often too many compounding variables. 

    That said, there is evidence that the products do have an effect. It just depends on who is using them and why. If Joe Bloggs who goes to the gym and walks on the treadmill for twenty minutes expects their performance to be improved by drinking Lucozade, then it's not surprising there won't be much of an effect. If you want to run a marathon, and the alternative to a sports product is nothing, then I'd go with the Lucozade image

  • I quite agree - a banging headache usually tells me my nutrition was wrong during/after an event.  Whatever it costs to stop/prevent that headache is fine with me

  • That said... I'm much more an advocate of food over synthetic products, although I quite accept the point that sports nutrition products are often much more convenient, albeit far more expensive. You can buy easy to carry products that are designed for specific needs (fueling, recovery, etc.) and deliver a set 'dose' of carbs/electrolytes/protein, without much thought/planning required.

    Like I said though, I prefer food image

  • And as for trainers - I'll be interested in seeing what the experiements/findings are. I love my trainers, bought based on gait analysis to suit my biomechanics. I don't think anyone will convince me that there's no evidence they make a difference. 

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    SuperCaz wrote (see)

    Milk isn't easy to transport to events where you will be away for several days and don't have access to a fridge.


  • Does anyone take a product to improve performance?! I have never grabbed an energy gel to improve my performance, only to maintain it. Training over the months before hand has dictated my performance. As already said, if the alternative is nothing then its a no brainer! I do like to take on board real food during long races but gels for example are often more convenient.

    With regards to recovery drinks. I use milk, I like milk anyway so no problem for me and is easy to get after a training run. Not so much after a race so I will settle with the best option I can find/have ready at the time.

  • I think I may just be playing with words, but I'd take 'improve performance' to include maintaining it where it would otherwise begin to deteriorate. 

    I'm quite looking forwards to Panorama tonight image

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    It'll be interesting to see how things like Lucozade come out of it. There's no doubt that it does a couple of useful things for endurance exercise, namely rehydrate and replace carbs/electrolytes, but I think the grey area comes in interpretation of its claims, which have been highlighted above - i.e. what does it mean to improve performance?  If my long run / marathon would have been harder / slower without taking anything, doesn't that mean my performance has been improved because of it?  On the other hand, just because the gym-bunny treadmill warrior erroneously believes that swigging a bottle will make the 10 mins @ 5% incline feel easier, is that the fault of Lucozade?  Are Lucozade knowingly implying benefits that can't be substantiated, or just not being clear enough about where the benefits lie?

    As for milk-based products... making it UHT is convenient for carrying around, and making it chocolate flavoured make it taste more yummy, both of which I'm willing to pay a premium for, whether it's marketed as a sports product or not.  Current favourite = Milky Way flavoured milk drink, which has a subtly different nutritional content to Galaxy and Mars Refuel, but it all tastes the same to me.  image

  • Ok, well in that case I would say that they are no more efficient than real food but in a large number of instances they are as easy to get and more convenient in most race situations in terms of weight, ease of carrying, not getting too messy etc. Plus it is typically far easier for a race (with exception of ultra distance races) to provide gels/drinks vs real food.

    It will be interesting to see what they come up with though image

  • I found these articles of interest :

    I'm going to be looking for others to read up on over the next few days too see what i can find. I suspect a lot of the Beebs report relates to energy drinks rather than recovery drinks and i would agree that a drink wont increase your ability at all, but i do think they aid you. Perhaps its the marketing angle that the Beeb are hitting out at.

    As for protein shakes, ive always thought, you are probably just as well off eating a good diet to increase muscle mass.

    I do tend to use Recovery drinks which are mixed with water rather than milk however, only using energy drinks, if i am doing 1hour+  and even then i often wont use them except on race day. I have used gels and energy tablets during races and they have seemed to have an effect, but i will only use these once ive passed the half way sage of a long run HM +.

    In regards to puma statign that their trainers make you faster, then thats a no brainer, of course they don't.

    And people taking these products and not exercising, well its their own fault if they haven't figured out that they are packed full of sugar!!!


  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    It's common sense isn't it.  Sports products are useful, even necessary, for some races, but for 90% of the time in training you could do equally well with food and water.   

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    I don't think keen long distance runners are the main target of this BBC programme.  Due to the marketing etc there's a lot of people who think they "need" they need lucozade sport or powerade etc to complete their 10mins on the treadmill.

    When my son was playing junior football (under-nines) I'd estimate at least half of the kids were drinking bottles of sports drinks to replenish their energy (and a good proportion of the adults were drinking them as well).  The exercise involved didn't warrant this, but most people would believe they were consuming something healthy and not realising the sugar content. 

  • I think they refer to it as the 'health halo'. Products associated with healthy lifestyles are perceived by the public to confer health benefits, even if they are mis-used. Based on what I see at the local gym, most people don't have a clue about when it's appropriate to use sports nutrition products. Ten minutes of jiggling on a wave machine, not even breaking a sweat, then downing a protein shake...

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭

    I can see how drinking a bottle of powerade or lucozade and sitting on your backside will be bad for you, even drinking one on a 5k won`t be much use. But on Saturday I have a 25 mile (3.5hr) training run to do and I will not be doing it on water alone. Of course you can get all of the nutrients etc that you need from a varied diet but who whe you are running a marathon you want to be carrying as little as possible so gels / locozade from energy stations are ideal.

    I`m sure if you are sensible they will help you, but there are always those who think that just eating and drinking all the products will make up for a lack of training.

  • My hubby refers to my energy drink mix as "beefcake powder", which says it all really. Does anyone remember that episode of Southpark? image

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    I did cringe when a colleague who had started running through his gym was spouting about the benefits of gels ... used during a 5k run.  Whichever personal trainer advised that should be shot!  And the amount of lucozade that is suggested on the bottle is ridiculous and likely to lead to over-hydration.  One of these days I'll send them the relevant passage from Noakes!

    As for shoes... any fool knows that to run fast you need red shoes.  Nuff saidimage

  • My shoes are red....I must have a duff pair! image

  • I use lucozade sports drinks if I'm over going over 15 miles, I think they help.  Less than that water is fine, there's no way I'd use up my gltcogen in less than 2 hrs, or so.  I really liked the one with added cafiene, but Tesco's don't stock it anymore.  image.  I always look for the two for ones etc.  I also like those little Isis bars cherry and grain stuff for the 20+ runs and it fits nicely down my shorts.  I have glucose tabs down there as well, for emergency only.  I am convinced that all this works.  image  I used gels twice and they made me throw up.  In general Panarama, for the last 40 odd years, is and always has been sensationalist crap (tabloid style), if you ever know anything about what they are talking about you realise this quite quickly.  I suspect that tonight willl be a case in point.  I will watch it until it pisses me off.  if i was spread betting, I'd go for 2-4 minutes.

  • I use beer and a bloody good curry for recovery (from the takeaway in the village).  I like a good jelly baby, when offered.  As for free sex, you obviously know something, I don't.

  • Pizza and wine are my recovery products of choice!

    Panaroma was as expected.  They did acknowledge that sports drink were useful for endurance exercise, but the rest was very facile.  Personally, I don't like sports drinks, I'd rather have gels/food, but I do really have to bite my tongue when I see overweight colleagues ambling along at 5k per hour on the treadmill (no incline) in the gym, not breaking a sweat at all, drinking a sports drink and then whinge in the changing room about the fact that they are not losing weight.  Well duh.  Even worse, I've seen someone do this and then buy ANOTHER sports drink from the vending machine on the way out!

  • I would question the "much more expensive" thing as well.

    I think of tinned tuna as a fairly cheap source of protein.

    Looking them up, tins of sainsburys tuna, which I buy, cost over a pound each and a tin supplies about 35g of protein. Doing the sums (with the actual price) I got just over 3 pence per gram of protein. On the other hand, I buy whey powder from, and a 5kg sack costs about £42 and is 80% protein. Doing the sums again, I got around 1 pence per gram of protein -- three times cheaper!

    I'm not surprised whey is so cheap, it is after all basically a by-product of other processes which they are selling off to us! But don't give me that "expensive sports supplements" thing, the only weight you will lose is in your wallet etc. Of course there are overpriced ones, but I think of my whey as a very cheap protein food.

  • I watched the show, i think our theories that the sports drinks section would be aimed at the less active i.e gym users, as opposed to long distance runners was provided correct - so that was good.

    I was surprised to hear the theories about trainers, that it doesn't mater about cushioning , stability or pronation!! That will certainly affect my trainer buying habits!!

    I think it was a shame that they spent about 15 mins going on about running bear foot and then only about 1 minute saying, well actually its how you run, not being bare foot. Bit bias towards the journalists opinion that section.

    And it was a shame that the only real powders they looked at, were those aimed a body builders.

    It will be interesting to see how companies like SIS, ForGoodnessShakes, Powerade and Lucozade respond. And also runners world who have been giving out that same advice that these companies and the trainer companies give out. I think they need to come out now start advising that there is evidence that these things don't work and what the alternatives are.



  • p.s sorry to hear that you cant find it for free king k :P lol

    And kitten i suspect your now one of the most popular posters on here lol :P

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