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CytoSport Cytomax: Sports Drinks Can Work And Taste Good?
Sep 22, 2000 (Updated Sep 23, 2000)
Review by caines
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Cheaper, tastier, and works better than Gatorade.
Cons:Powder can be a bit messy if you're in a hurry.
When I began going to the gym regularly and doing century (100 miles in a day) bike rides, like most, Gatorade was my sports drink of choice. What did I know? Gatorade is as synonymous with sports drink as Kleenex is to facial tissue. I knew there were other choices, but I didn’t really bother to investigate them. Gatorade was the stuff I grew up with and all the athletes seemed to drink. If it was good enough for the Giants to pour on Bill Parcell’s head at the end of a game, it was good enough for me.
Recommend this product?
But when it gets hot or I work out, I don’t just perspire, I sweat. It’s not pretty. And in doing so I loose lots of potassium and sodium. Well, this became increasingly evident as I found myself on long hot rides getting abdominal cramps as I worked my way up steep climbs. I knew my diet was right and I was eating the right snacks along the way, and I was hydrating like a fiend, but I would end up getting serious, sudden spasms. It seemed the only thing that was helping me over those hurdles was Clif Shots which give you a concentrated, quickly digested shot of potassium, sodium and caffeine.
Cycling Friend Network
After talking to another rider whose opinion I trust, he suggested that I try a new sports drink. His impression was that I wasn’t getting the proper electrolyte replacement with Gatorade.
I was pleased and wary all at the same time. Happy that I had a possible solution to my problem. Wary because I wasn’t all that thrilled about trying a new sports drink. Gatorade isn’t exactly the kind of yummy beverage you serve to friends at a party. I could only imagine the swill I might have to drink. And all the riding I had been doing in the heat made my Gatorade taste…well…nasty. There are few drinks that taste worse hot than Gatorade. But after the miles and miles of riding, my tongue had had it with Gatorade. After the 101st gallon I couldn't drink any more.
Several friends suggested Cytomax. Actually, they swore by it. When cyclist swear by something, it’s worth looking into. I read up on Cytomax, comparing the propaganda on the CytoSport web site and the Gatorade web site. It seemed to be a good product, so I gave it a shot.
Bonus Points Right Off The Bat
The big plus is that Cytomax comes as a powder rather than a liquid. This means it is very easily transportable. When you run out, you don’t have to get another bottle out of your gear or find a store to buy some. (Most of the time we’re riding where there aren’t a lot of stores.) Before I leave on a ride, I take a couple of small Ziploc bags and fill them with a pre-measured amount of powder. Each “serving” can be put in it’s own bag so all you have to do is dump it in your water bottle and add water. You can adjust the dilution to suit your needs. The instructions on the can tell you what is the appropriate range of dilution. The can includes a measuring scoop. This is a great way to go because you can bring several days worth of Cytomax with you using a fraction of the space and weight bottles require.
Bonus number two: Cytomax doesn't taste nasty when it gets hot. It even comes in flavors that coincide with REAL foods. You don't have to identify it by color. No more, "My favorite flavor is Green. No not that green, the day-glo green." My favorite is Apple. The first taste of this stuff really impressed me. The Apple flavor actually tasted like apples!
While Cytomax seemed more expensive at first, in the long run it was much cheaper than buying bottles of Gatorade. And most importantly, it eliminated my abdominal cramping. My Clif Shot intake dropped significantly. Overall, my hill climbing stamina improved and I felt much better after particularly challenging rides or workouts.
I told someone that this stuff tasted much better the Gatorade swill. She immediately told me it was because there are more sugars in Cytomax and that it’s a designer supplement (whatever that means), not clinically tested like Gatorade. She “knows this” because she is a personal trainer.
Well, she may be a personal trainer but she was wrong. Cytomax doesn't taste better because it has more sugar. Cytomax actually has less sugars than Gatorade. Gatorade typically has 14 grams of sugar per 8 oz. Cytomax has 5.5 grams per 8oz. I think CytoSport simply uses better flavoring agents.
Cytomax appears, for me at least and a bunch of others I spoke to, to do a better job of delivering electrolytes to your body. This keeps your body's temperature regulating system working well and allows the fluids you drink to be properly used. This means less chance of dehydration. I drink several ounces before working out in the gym, and because my body needs more than just water when I workout, I alternate between plain water and Cytomax during my workout. It helps to keep my body happy. After I workout or riding for an extended period of time I drink another 16 oz over the following hour to help my body recover.
Here are the specs from the Cytomax citrus label:
Serving size 1 scoop (25g):
Calories...................95 Total fat.....................0
Saturated fat...............0 G cholesterol...................0 G
Sodium....................100 Mg potassium...................110 Mg
Total carbohydrates........20 G dietary fiber.................0 G
Sugars.....................11 G protein.......................0 G
Sodium....................100 Mg potassium...................110 Mg
CytoSport's unique complex carbohydrate blend including amylopectin
Starches and maltodextrins from corn hybrids
Glucose potassium succinate
L-l-glutamic acid inosine
Magnesium succinate citric acid
Malic acid natural & artificial flavors
Ascorbic acid l-alanine
L-glutamine natural color
Apple pectin chromium polynicotinate.
Of the four flavors available, Orange, Apple, Citrus, and Tropical, Orange has the least sodium to offer per serving. 80mg versus 100mg for the others.
CytoSport recommends cyclists and runners mix one to one and a half scoops of Cytomax in 16 oz. of water. Begin drinking 15-30 minutes into exercise. Drink 5 oz. every 15 minutes.
"Yeah, but I bet it costs butt-loads of money..."
A 24-ounce can retails at $20.50 but you can find it heavily discounted. I like the Vitamin Shoppe because they discount everything. They typically sell it for $14.35 but you can get a free Vitamin Shoppe membership, which adds an additional discount. I don’t know if that applies to online purchases. I think the last can I bought cost me a little over $10 or $11. I honestly don't know how many "servings" that makes, but each can lasts me a few weeks when I'm very active riding and training.
Cytomax may not work as well for you as it does for me. Everybody’s body functions differently (your mileage may vary, etc...), but I found it to be a much better sports drink and far better tasting than Gatorade. Anyway, 'gators belong in the Everglades.
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