Best Hydration For Cycling

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
DanCharles
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Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby DanCharles » 15 Feb 2015, 3:39pm

Hi, first off, I have done a search for an answer to this question so I don't have to bother you all but I can't find a straight simple answer. I'm not new to cycling but new to taking cycling 'seriously'. I've been looking for a good hydration drink for cycling. I've heard about mixes, juices and energy sports drinks which has left me a bit confused. I just want something simple. This may sound weird but I don't like water. I just can't drink it. I've been like that since I was little. So can anyone recommend a good mix, etc for me to take cycling. Thankyou :) and sorry to ask such basic questions but I'm just trying to learn and this seems to be the very best place to do it.

Dan,

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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby Vorpal » 15 Feb 2015, 3:54pm

Water is best. Others (even juice), are just sucking sugar between your teeth, which is bad for them. You could try just putting a little lemon or lime in your water? If you must, drink juice rather than energy drinks. When it's hot out, you can add electrolyte drops to juice for an energy drink.

I have used energy drinks to help treat the bonk (low blood sugar). I cary powdered drink mix, and emergency banana for that purpose.
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby pjclinch » 15 Feb 2015, 4:11pm

A wee while ago the Touring section had a chap who was toting loads of bottled drink about because he "didn't like water". Turned out the problem was not water but trying to drink too much of it in one go. Try sips, little and often, and it may be a lot more palatable. It doesn't actually have any taste, so it won't be the taste that's the problem. Beyond that it's probably a mind-game thing (I see this with my son, trying something new: if he's decided he'll probably like it in advance, he usually does, and vice versa), but a little blip from a bidon should be enough to keep thing going without being a problem.

"Hydration", despite the clue in the name, has come to mean more than water (rather hilariously missing the point, there were some "hydration tablets" reviewed on road.cc recently!), although water is easily the most important bit. When you sweat it's not just pure water that comes out, so you lose more than just water and the other stuff (salts) needs replacing too, and of course with lots of exercise extra fuel is handy. The salts bit shows up in a craving for more as you need it. You can either add salt to your drink (convenient, but until you need the salt pretty bogging to actually drink), or just have a bag of crisps or similar as the time comes. How sporting your approach is may dictate the answer.

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andrewjoseph
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby andrewjoseph » 15 Feb 2015, 4:37pm

i use high5 zero electrolyte tablets (various favours and neutral), in one bottle and plain water in the other on longish rides. the zero tabs can be made isotonic (same solution as cells and body fluids), hypotonic (lower), hypertonic (higher). One tab in 500mls is iso tonic. I usually have one tab in 750mls.

On long hard rides I sometimes use high5 4:1 mix. a solution of carbs, electrolytes and protein, and a bottle of water.

I take a bottle of each as one bottle is usually not enough as i sweat a lot and i get fed up of just water or of just flavoured drink. plain water can be useful over your head on really hot days. don't fancy rinsing my face with isotonic or energy drink!
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DanCharles
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby DanCharles » 15 Feb 2015, 4:44pm

andrewjoseph wrote:i use high5 zero electrolyte tablets (various favours and neutral), in one bottle and plain water in the other on longish rides. the zero tabs can be made isotonic (same solution as cells and body fluids), hypotonic (lower), hypertonic (higher). One tab in 500mls is iso tonic. I usually have one tab in 750mls.

On long hard rides I sometimes use high5 4:1 mix. a solution of carbs, electrolytes and protein, and a bottle of water.

I take a bottle of each as one bottle is usually not enough as i sweat a lot and i get fed up of just water or of just flavoured drink. plain water can be useful over your head on really hot days. don't fancy rinsing my face with isotonic or energy drink!


Hi, that's what I was thinking! 'Electrolyte Tablets'. Can these be bought from a supermarket or cycle shop or would I have to order these online? Also while on the topic, what foods do you take out on your rides?

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Chester cyclist
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby Chester cyclist » 15 Feb 2015, 5:24pm

DanCharles wrote:
andrewjoseph wrote:i use high5 zero electrolyte tablets (various favours and neutral), in one bottle and plain water in the other on longish rides. the zero tabs can be made isotonic (same solution as cells and body fluids), hypotonic (lower), hypertonic (higher). One tab in 500mls is iso tonic. I usually have one tab in 750mls.

On long hard rides I sometimes use high5 4:1 mix. a solution of carbs, electrolytes and protein, and a bottle of water.

I take a bottle of each as one bottle is usually not enough as i sweat a lot and i get fed up of just water or of just flavoured drink. plain water can be useful over your head on really hot days. don't fancy rinsing my face with isotonic or energy drink!


Hi, that's what I was thinking! 'Electrolyte Tablets'. Can these be bought from a supermarket or cycle shop or would I have to order these online? Also while on the topic, what foods do you take out on your rides?

I use the High5 zero tabs too. Usually get them online when they're on offer. Stick one in your water and you're good to go, tastes nice and adds a very slight effervescent fizz. Best of all they're great for a hangover :D

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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby rmurphy195 » 15 Feb 2015, 5:29pm

Water can be boring can't it! What I sometimes do is to carry a full bottle of water, and a bottle of water with Robinson barley water (or whatever is your taste) in it. Then I drink a bit of each whenever I'm thirsty. Not a lot at one go!

On a cold day I swop the bottle of juice for a flask of hot drink - a sachet of the instant Mocha in a 0.5 litre flask does nicely thank you!

Food? Bananas, couple of assorted sarnies (inc Jam which as a diabetic is maybe a bit naughty!), maybe a choccy biccie or two or a kitkat, lump of fruit cake. Deffo a banana tho. If there's a cafe somewhere than a hot tea or bovril can go down nicely depending on the weather.
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 15 Feb 2015, 5:38pm

pure water thats body temp is the best for any circumstance. Beyond that I started out with adding orange to it then migrated to orange&peach for a slightly softer taste. And a banana. I carry a salt stick with me, and give it a good lick. Your bodies very smart, if your salt depleted you'll like the taste, and if your not its a bit ewwwww. As for the stuff thats in most cycling products its poorer quality than the time taken to make your own.
A good point is to remember to chew food....it releases sugar in the mouth(the roof of which is one of the fastest ways for sugar into the bloodstream), and the chewing action tricks the brain into thinking your full. Try it with a slice of bread ...you'll be amazed how much sugar is in it if you keep chewing :) Dont forget your beetroot&spinach sandwiches :)

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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby foxyrider » 15 Feb 2015, 5:50pm

Water is the basic of course but when you are riding more you start needing other stuff to keep you going. You can use the myriad 'sports' drinks that include the glucose and electrolytes you need, it can get a bit costly so apart from an extended ride time 'event' even the pro's use good ole H2O on at least a 1:1 basis. I find that 'iced tea' works very well as an alternative, its pretty cheap, comes in a couple of flavours and is fairly readily available, I might get through a couple of litres a day on tour besides a similar volume of water. Its not as good replenishing lost salts etc as the 'energy' drinks but on tour I'm getting those from other sources. Best advice is small sips often rather than glug half a bottle in one go, keeps you hydrated better.

And remember, you can drink too much which can be as dangerous as too little. :roll:
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby TrevA » 15 Feb 2015, 5:58pm

I use fruit squash. Vimto is my current favourite, especially if you make it up with hot water and put it in an insulated bottle. I also use High 5 Zero tablets, which have a tangy, fizzy taste to them. Energy drinks taste too powdery for me and I prefer to get my energy from real food.
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby andrewjoseph » 15 Feb 2015, 6:00pm

DanCharles wrote:...

Hi, that's what I was thinking! 'Electrolyte Tablets'. Can these be bought from a supermarket or cycle shop or would I have to order these online? Also while on the topic, what foods do you take out on your rides?


i get ours from wiggle, chain reaction, discount supplements, whoever is the cheapest when i need to order. Nuun tablets are another similar option.

as for food: 'eat natural' bars, nature valley, banana, whatever cake i fancy in the cafe, or a sandwich. I always take a high5 caffeine gel or two as well. just as emergency supplies.
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby andrewjoseph » 15 Feb 2015, 6:02pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:pure water thats body temp is the best for any circumstance...


sports research has shown that this is not true. drink with a higher osmotic pressure than water will be absorbed quicker.
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby iandriver » 15 Feb 2015, 6:10pm

1 3rd cloudy apple juice to 2 3rds water works for me. I can carry cartons of it if I need to fill up on a long ride.
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby Norman H » 15 Feb 2015, 6:33pm

If we're talking touring here, then two hours between cake stops and you can top up with anything that takes your fancy. In between times, as others have said , water is probably all you need but, if you really can't stomach it, there are any number of expensive alternatives. I've used High5 Zero, especially in hot weather. I reckon one bidon to every one or two of pure water.

+1 for the little and often and you need to start drinking before you feel thirsty. I expect that Mick F will be along soon to tell you that you can complete a LEJOG on half a pint of bitter but I wouldn't recommend it.

One of the best naturally occurring electrolyte drinks is coconut water (very high in potasium) although it's not cheap. Here's a recipe for your own brew:-

1 litre of either coconut water. herbal tea or pure water
1/8-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup fruit juice of choice (grape, apple, pineapple etc

If you prefer you can sweeten it with a little honey or sugar.

DanCharles
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Re: Best Hydration For Cycling

Postby DanCharles » 15 Feb 2015, 6:45pm

What are the opinions on Lucozade Sports Juice Drinks?