Lemonade/Orange Juice Before a Run

  • Anthony Tosie
    User
    enfestid
    Today I had someone come up to me and tell me he was informed not to drink orange juice before a run, and he was wondering if lemonade was the same thing. I said I doubt it's the same thing, but I wasn't sure why he'd be told not to drink orange juice before a run. The only thing I could think of would be the acid upsetting your stomach during the run, in which case both orange juice and lemonade would be "bad" for you.

    But then he told me it was because it builds up acid in your legs. Now, for the life of me, I've never heard anything like that before. Is that really true? I'm trying to research it now simply because I like to know these things for my own benefit as well, but I can't find anything. Seems kind of like a wives tale... is it true? Anyone heard this before?
  • Jeffery Arnier
    User
    ArlingtonXC
    The acid in the legs is not true, but depending on how your stomach digests citric acid you can have bad acid reflux. It's just better not to drink those things before a run, but as far as citric acid, Powerade and gatorade both have it.
  • Anthony Tosie
    User
    enfestid
    ArlingtonXC
    The acid in the legs is not true, but depending on how your stomach digests citric acid you can have bad acid reflux. It's just better not to drink those things before a run, but as far as citric acid, Powerade and gatorade both have it.

    That's actually exactly what I told him, but they seemed convinced that the acid in the orange juice would build lactic acid in the legs, which doesn't make sense given how the lactic acid system works.

    But I definitely agree, and told him it'd probably be wise to just drink water right before you run (not necessarily in the morning at least quite a few hours before a meet, but at the meet itself) not to upset your stomach.

    Thanks for the quick response!
  • Victor LeMay
    User
    XC_ReBeL
    No not true about the acid in the legs. The acid that builds up in the legs is lactic acid, as in don't drink milk before a run. Orange juice and Lemonade have citric acid.
  • Jeremy Dye
    Coach
    mrjdye
    In high school I had a couple of big classes of orange juice with breakfast and then went to a meet where the 3200m was at 9am. I ran fine but had to puke all over the fence after the race.
  • Coach
    horn1
    I would also think the high dose of sugar sitting in your stomach and a blood sugar spike may not be all that great for you either. I don't want blood being diverted to my stomach & small intestines trying to digest & process sugar.

    I also heard once that citric acid helps contribute to motion sickness....thus the vomiting after a race.

    In any case, I tell my runners to avoid all juices and sports drinks before a race...just too much sugar. Your body needs more water than anything. Juices and sport drinks come after the race.
  • Dustin Joubert
    User
    howataburnbaby
    fruit juice is more concentrated than most sports drinks, so it is not going to absorb as quickly, which is what you would want (quicker absorption) for a post exercise or during exercise carbohydrate beverage

    as for drinking it right before exercise, or even a sports drink right before exercise for that matter, it can actually trigger an over release of insulin and lower your blood sugar levels, which is not something you want when you are about to go run

    so if you are going to have juice or any simple carbo beverage before running keep it to atleast 30 minutes ahead of time
  • Dustin Joubert
    User
    howataburnbaby
    i've heard marathoners used to drink flat coke during races, it may be slightly more concentrated than gatorade, has sodium but lacks other electrolytes, plus caffeine can be a peformance enhancer for endurance exercise assuming it doesnt have a negative effect on hydration
  • Dustin Joubert
    User
    howataburnbaby
    as for acidic juice or basic milk having an actual effect on blood pH, i really doubt that they are acidic or basic enough to matter, i know sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can be used raise pH levels to help buffer the onset of lactic acid for races in the range of 400m-1500m, but i wouldn't be worried about milk or juice
  • Jeffery Arnier
    User
    ArlingtonXC
    XC_ReBeL
    No not true about the acid in the legs. The acid that builds up in the legs is lactic acid, as in don't drink milk before a run. Orange juice and Lemonade have citric acid.


    Couple things: I don't know how your digestive system works, but mine does not divert lactic acid from milk directly to my legs. Also, the body produces lactate as a normal byproduct of metabolism. Lactic acid, however, is not formed in human tissues because glycolytic intermediates lack the number of hydrogen ions necessary to produce lactic acid. The Lactate which is formed in muscle fibers actually aids the body because it can be transformed into glucose in the liver to stave off hypoglycemia.
    Acidosis which causes delayed onset muscle soreness is caused by anaerobic metabolism which is used during exercise. The anaerobic metabolism can create ATP at a high rate but the release of ATP also reduces pH to such a degree that acidosis results in muscle tissue.
    www.time-to-run.com/theabc/lactic.htm