Dreamride offers health tips for cyclists

Health and Energy Tips for Mountain Bikers


Dreamride LLC makes no claims and provides no diagnosis. Information below comes from experienced, professional cyclists and reflects their opinions, as well as known science. Use our perspective on healthy eating, drinking and hygiene habits to promote better performance on a mountain bike. This is to inspire you to decipher claims and research ingredients. Please do not call or email with a health problem. If you have a persistent problem, see a physician better trained to lighten your wallet than the witches at Dreamride. This info is free. We don't want your problems. We just want you to be healthy on your own. Go for it.

As a service to our mountain bike vacation guests, and because a company owner is a professional nutritionist and herbalist, Dreamride offers sales of health care products directly related to professional cycling, products we have found to be necessary. These include herbal extracts, gels, bathroom products, as well as organic Kona coffee and grass-fed kosher-killed buffalo meat.

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Marketing Scam Examples ~ Red Bull ~ Endurox

Red Bull and the drinks that came along to compete with Red Bull provide short term energy boosts that have long term effects on your health, destroying the endocrine system by supplanting chemicals naturally produced in your body and by over-stimulation of the pancreas and adrenal glands. These "energy" drinks will ensure that you will not have energy later. By later, we are not speaking of tomorrow, we mean during old age, if you get there. The sugars, caffiene and other stimulants contained in these drinks are going to cost you, but then we live in a culture where we do everything in a hurry, even our very lives. So, if you want the quick fix, drink Red Bull, but expect a lot of other things to go quickly, as well. That said, we have found the new generation of energy drinks to be valuable emergency drinks on our tours. We have seem them raise the dead, meaning that if a client bonks on a long ride, they offer a necessary boost to get them back to the trailhead. The solution to the bonk, however, is best provided by preparation, through correct diet and timing of eating and drinking prior to and during the ride.

Endurox is a supplement that claims to help with energy and endurance. We had a couple of tour clients who were taking this supplement to help with altitude and the difficult terrain in Moab. They read the marketing and fell for it. One of them had stomach problems the entire stay that we eventually were able to trace to an overdose of Endurox. When interested in such products, it is recommend that you use the internet to research each ingredient to find out exactly what it is, what it does, and any side effects that may arise. Go to a good search engine like GO.COM and do a search for each ingredient. Endurox, for example, lists its main active ingredients as a "rare Chinese herb" and Vitamin E. The "rare herb" is given a very obscure Chinese name, but in reality the herb is Siberian Gensing, which is readily available at your local healthfood store. The vitamin E in Endurox is DL-Alpha Tocopherol, a synthetic vitamin E supplement. The "DL" designates it as synthetic. We recommend using Vitamin E from natural sources, which is more absorbable into your body, but is also more expensive. These natural forms of Vitamin E are designated as "D"-Alpha Tocopherol, but beware of possible side effects of high doses of Vitamin E in any form. It can raise blood pressure, so if you have high blood pressure already do not exceed a 100 IU daily dose. If you are taking anti-coagulants then don't take more than 400 IU per day. It is already an anti-coagulant, so more of this type of substance can make your blood too thin and cause things like strokes or excess bleeding. High doses of Vitamin E can induce nausea, flatulence, diahrea, headaches, heart palpatations, and fainting. Those of you who have been taking Endurox may have experienced these symptoms and attributed them to other sources, as did our clients. Endurox in reasonable doses should not cause these problems. The main ingredients in Endurox are binders, fillers, and coloring. The active ingredients, Vitamin E and Siberian Ginseng can be obtained at higher quality and lower price from a healthfood store. Make your own Endurox. Drink some Ginseng tea or chew on a root and take a vitamin E tablet. You can live without the fancy box, the paint, wax and fillers.

Energy Bars

We no longer carry energy bars in the shop. While we may use them on occasion for emergencies because they are convenient, we have found that riders actually feel better without them, especially if folks are using bars based on sugar and carbs. Sugar causes a crash that is often satisfied by more sugar--a dangerous cycle. Using sugar as an energy source leads to diabetes down the line. It might work when you are a kid, but when you grow older you are going to find that sugar has ruined your body. It is truly a poison. If you are still stuck on bars, save money. Use bagels, bananas, fruit bars or Fig Newtons. Eat a good meal the evening of the day before each ride. If you are racing, you will need an artificial rush because you are basically doing an artificial activity--an activity based on the flee response that certainly needs more energy. Eat what works for you. You are in the race to win, so screw your future health--if you are a racer, you must be prepared to sacrifice.

There is an addiction to eating that seems to drive most people to stuff their gut. If you find yourself eating repeatedly on a ride because you have a craving, check out your gut. Is it large? Bottom line for recreational riding is to use body fat, not energy foods. Best way to get rid of the gut is to do a senna fast to get rid of impacted feces, and exercise to loose the fat. Eat well AFTER the ride to get ready for the next one, but carry extra energy foods just in case. Eat a very small amount every hour or so. If you get stomach cramps, it is usually from too much food in your stomach, eaten too close to the ride itself, but if you haven't eaten enough the day BEFORE the ride, you are in need of food. A good natural jerky is a great energy replacement. Caffeine bars and drinks, like coffee, Red Bull and other sports products, milk your adrenal gland for all it is worth. They certainly are a great solution for the bonk, but you are going to pay. We use bee pollen, ginseng, buffalo and turkey jerkey, nut butters, bananas, apples and a few other foods for on-the-ride nourishment. Food is a personal choice, but choose healthy food combinations. Eat what works for you, but do the research to understand just what is going to take a toll later in the day, or later in your life. Energy bars are advertised like drugs on television, so a lot of folks think they work. What really works is good food. You can do better than Power Bar, though for lazy folks, it is easy to stick into the pack, and having something to eat is better than being so picky that you don't eat anything.


Avoid cramping, save money, and have something that tastes really good on the trail--eat bananas. The only problem seems to be that in hot weather the things ripen into brown turds in your pack in less than an hour, but remember that a black banana is full of sugars that are very easy for your body to assimilate. Potassium in bananas helps to prevent cramping. Go for it. Safe and good. Perfect biking food.

Don't Eat Heavy Foods Just Before or During a Ride

Remember Mom telling you not to go swimming after eating. Well, that goes for mountain biking as well. If you jump right on your bike after eating something, or eat a moderate to large meal on the trail, all the blood in your body goes to your stomach. Your poor legs are just hanging there waiting for the blood to do the work of digesting food in you system. The result is a miserable, sleepy feeling and eventually cramping. Do your eating hours before any strenuous activity. Eat well the day before. Eat well afterward and your body will be prepared to digest your food as efficiently as it possibly can.

Good Energy Drinks

We have tried a plethora of commercial energy liquids and have found that the best is Recharge, an organic mixture available at many grocery stores. We also like to use green tea with a bit of honey for those emergencies with the bonk is coming on. The caffeine works for a fake energy rush in conjuction with the fake, short lasting rush from the sugars. The well-promoted powdered energy mixes have caused stomach problems in our staff and some clients. Most energy drinks are a scam anyway, just like commercial energy bars. We once came across a 75 year old cross country runner who had a very unique solution to the energy food problem. He had been using this method for years, so maybe he's got something here. He's crazy, but at least he is smart with his money. Don't be too grossed out, most of the stuff touted as high tech energy replacement is just as nasty, but since it is in a fancy box and pushed by a commercial on television featuring a Lance Armstrong character, people think it is nectar of the gods. The fellow in question used white Karo syrup like yuppie runners use Shot or Gu. For his energy drink he carried a waterbottle filled with flat Coke. That's it. He swore by it. The energy comes mostly from the sugars in corn syrup, but the real jolt is the caffeine in the Coke. AND IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN RED BULL. The reason to flatten the Coke is to get rid of the carbonization that sucks energy from your muscles. We don't recommend this, but this fellow was way strong and way old to be doing what he was doing. Some folks just have good genes. The rule here is use what your body likes and use it appropriate to your emergency needs. If you like green tea or flat coke, then go for it, but sparingly. As for coffee, it is a performance enhancer with potentially dangerous payback. The upside is the jolt and the superhuman desire to do stuff. It is uplifting, but so is heroin. There is a negative effect on the prostate and colon from drinking coffee on a regular basis combined with mountain biking. Coffee artificially stimulates the adrenal gland (something we need every now and then when we are guiding repeatedly over a long period of time). Coffee also effects sleeping patterns and you will experience the typical grog from withdrawal when you lay off for a while.

Caffeine is our best legal drug. Why? Because it makes you work like a maniac. Caffeine gets you on your toes, but it also gets in the way of effective hydration, so don't drink it before a ride in hot, dry weather. That said, it is easy to get addicted to coffee, especially as guides who get up at 4AM and have to hit the ground running. We are also becoming addicted to RED BULL, a stimulating drink that works like coffee, but tastes great on the trail. Caffiene is great for a pick-me-up if someone bonks, but watch out, it is addictive and it has the effect of dulling hunger, so you don't eat. Great fat loss program, but not good for your stamina in the long run. There is currently a movement towards drinks derived from herbal sources. This just may be the "solution" we have been longing for, . . . . but frankly, drink water. It is the perfect fluid replacement when combined with electrolite replacements and a tad of salt. Make your own mint or green tea for your water bottle, if you want something tasty. Do not put any sugar in it for a healthy alternative that will necessitate your body's use of body fat. Rather than sugar, drop in that pinch of salt. If you are without body fat, then you are going to have to deal with putting the energy in your drink, though. All this said, we keep shade grown organic coffee on hand most of the time and serve it up before rides if someone requests it. We also use Red Bull as an emergency energey supplement (we don't drink it!--our clients do). As we have said already, Red Bull is a boost you are going to pay for later, but it works. It picks up bonking tourists better than a Jeep. It gives you wings for sure, but probably also gives you hemoroids,tumors and failing organs.

Diet In General

About those carbohydrates, they are not as good as we were told. They become simple sugars and basically swing your body chemistry all over the place. Done in moderation and as an energy replacement pasta is great, but make sure that the pasta you eat is whole grain. We have noticed a huge difference in the way we feel eating natural whole grain soba noodles compared to your run-of-the-mill white flour noodles. Restaurants are notorious for flopping down some cheap pasta with some even cheaper dressings on top, so save your money and fix your own pasta. Use lots of roasted and, if you can stand it, raw garlic. Use uncooked olive oil and the freshest tomatoes and basil you can find. This on top of some really good soba is what noodles are all about, but at some point, you are going to need a big plate of dead animal parts. Be very careful with these products. Our chef only uses organically raised, non-antibiotic injected, non-hormone injected open range raised game meats from a private ranch. Red meats really do the trick when it comes to recovery from days of exertion, but fresh fish, tofu and free range chicken are first on the list for taking care of the protein urge.

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Aloe Vera

Great for sun damage. Great for saddle sores. The addition of Witch Hazel to the aloe gel formula gives a soothing coolness when applied on damaged skin. This stuff is awesome.

Golden Seal

Golden Seal is a powdered root used by many aboriginal peoples for a number of medicinal purposes. We use this yellow powder to put into wounds, such as gashes and road rash, to promote fast healing and lessen pain. Our experience with Golden Seal has been extremely positive and we recommend using it in substitution of stitching of minor cuts and bandaging of abrasions. It is also good for putting on saddle sores. Firstly, keep your supply of Golden Seal powder in a sterilized container and only handle it after washing your hands and sterilizing them with alcohol. Wash the wound with soap and water, then completely sterilize the area by dowsing it with Isopropol alcohol (yes, ouch!). After the wound has been cleaned thoroughly, pat the powder into the wound until it completely coagulates any blood on the surface and dries into a hard pack over the wound. Fill the cut with the powder and let it air dry. You will notice the pain will subside within minutes and you will soon be completely unaware of your wound. This is one of the benefits of this miracle powder. Golden Seal is also used for stomach problems in the form of capsules ingested with tea or water. Too much Golden Seal in your system (it will take a lot of this stuff to have any negative effect) acts like any antibiotic. It will kill all the "good" bugs in your system, resulting in incongestion.

Tea Tree Oil

Here is the cure for saddle sores and zits. It is a naturally occurring antiseptic oil. Comes from Australia.


Moab guidebook This guidebook was written for our guests. Purchase one prior to your vacation with Dreamride and use its environmental, safety and local history information to enrich your experience. Bring it with you and have the author sign your copy.

"There are trail guides; and then there's the real deal." ~ Bike Magazine

"Mountain Bike America's Moab guide is setting a new standard for guidebooks. Lee Bridgers' first-hand accounts give the reader a sense that they have some behind-the-scenes information about Moab." ~ Brian Fiske, Senior Editor of Mountain Bike Magazine

Lee Bridgers' controversial and highly praised Moab guidebook is now available in bookstores around the world. To order a signed copy for $20 including shipping and handling call 1-888-MOABUTAH.

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