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hydration, energy and electrolyte replacement products

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I’ve been experimenting with different fluids for energy and electrolyte replacement lately.  In the past, I’ve used Gatorade, Accelerade, Cytomax, and Endurox with limited success.  Issues have included side effects such as bloating feeling and stomach upset when these products have been used during long rides (4 to 8 hours) and I often have some foot or hand cramping at the end of a long ride and for a while thereafter.


Lately, I’ve been using Ultima, either alone (it does not contain any sugars) or mixed with Ryno – Power Carbo Fuel (which is long chain glucose polymer and does not contain Fructose).  I have had much less stomach upset with these products.  I’ve also been using EFS (which is a concentrated electrolyte replacement) at the end of long hard rides.   The combo of Ultima during rides and EFS after has resulted in NO cramping.


I was wondering what products, if any, that others use for energy and electrolyte replacement during endurance sports? How do you handle fluid and electrolyte replacement and well as fueling on long rides/runs? 

Edited by canadianskier - 6/11/12 at 9:38am
post #2 of 9
I generally just drink water. On an organized century, I might drink a small amount of whatever energy drink they have at one or two of the aid stations. Once in a while on a long ride, I might buy a small 16 oz bottle of an energy drink. I also get bloat from accelerate, so I've found it better to just go with water with the exceptions noted above.

I also think I've been getting dehydrated on my very long rides. I'm trying to force myself to drink more.

post #3 of 9
Ps, a lot of the random euros and u,tradistance cyclists I know go with mixing milo dextrin in their water,

post #4 of 9

NUUN seems to work quite well.


The bloated feeling of Cytomax etc. will depend on the particular strength you mix it in, and how fast you consume it.     Do not forget the  "no more than 300 calories of carbs per hour"  rule.    That's *any* carbs.     Any more than that and it will not go into your bloodstream but will rather go to feed your large intestine bacteria.


(I seem to remember Cytomax was based on galactose?)

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Cytomax has maltodextrin, fructose, and dextrose.  It also has alpha L-Polylactate which supposedly "buffers lactic acid production in the body"  


NUUN is similar to Ultima, electrolytes without the sugars - haven't used it lately though - the tablet form makes it useful for carrying on long rides for adding to refilled bottle.  I'll give it a try again. Thanks.


I like plain water too, but on long rides, it doesn't prevent cramping for me, especially on hot days.  I have a couple of friends who have had developed  hyponatremia (sodium depletion related to too much water without sodium replacement - a very dangerous condition).  One friend pulled into the last food/water station at about 185 k of a 235k ride (after 2900 metres climb on a hot day)  and was so electrolyte depleted that he couldn't un-clip or get his hands to release because of loss of muscle coordination - luckily two people caught him before he fell.  He finished the ride after a 20 minute rest and getting some sports drink and salt into his body (I'm not sure that it was a wise decision, given his symptoms, but.....).

post #6 of 9
I used to be a long distance runner and have two marathons under my belt. Ultima was with me all the way and I still swear by it for hydration and electrolyte replacement, all year long For hard cardio workouts, I supplement with a gel packet like GU or Cliff shots. That way sugar is reduced and therefore stomach issues. Ultima is best when served cold so I always put ice in my water bottle and it is wonderful for all hydration issues whether it be hard cardio workouts, altitude or the dreaded hangover :-)
post #7 of 9

Got Hammer Gel from a bike shop.  Great stuff, can be squeezed from a small bottle as needed while on the go, or mixed in with water to the concentration of your choosing.  


I learned the hard way, do not skimp on electrolytes.  Water alone won't cut it for me.  

post #8 of 9

Hammer's electrolyte caps are decent; SportLegs is not quite as electrolyte-complete as Hammer but seems to fight cramps better.


Gels and mixed drinks are one or the other for me ever since I took a Clif Shot on top of Perpetuem and wound up blasting out both ends (and blasting out of either end is a paid ticket to Cramptown).

post #9 of 9

I have no issues with Accelerade fortunately and like that the best. I like that for skiing and biking. I don't like overly sweet/sugary stuff, the accelerade seems to work well with a more sustained energy. I have tried a couple of other brands but I seemed to spike and crash.

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