You are hereWhat juice will you carry in your Hydration Pack this summer?

What juice will you carry in your Hydration Pack this summer?

MPN's picture

By MPN - Posted on 14 December 2013

Just plain old water
64% (47 votes)
GU Tablets
1% (1 vote)
5% (4 votes)
5% (4 votes)
Home made
1% (1 vote)
11% (8 votes)
12% (9 votes)
Total votes: 74
Oldernslower's picture

Given that the research indicates that just about any sport drink is better than water if exercising for more than an hour the current poll result is surprising. The poll could need a exercise time factored in.

The current recommendations for hydration and energy refuelling indicate:
1: Use a sports drink with carbs instead of water if exercising for over an hour. Water is fine if exercising under an hour.
2: Small amounts of protein enhance hydration (and Carb absorbtion) via stimulation of insulin release.
3: Caffeine does not affect dehydration/rehydration and improves performance (but not via energy systems).
4: 2% dehydration seems to impair performance BUT endurance athletes finish a race around 7% dehydrated. Weight loss during exercise is not due just to sweating, so measuring sweat rates by measuring body weight before and after exercise overestimates sweat rate. Also 1 gram of carbohydrate burned in exercise may result in 3 grams of water being released which can act as a reservoir.
5: Current research indicates 5% to 7% solution of carbohydrates is optimal for most, and using two Carb types is more effective.
6: A few sips every 10 minutes OR a few swallows every 15 sustains water absorbtion.

So does what 'juice' is carried depend on length of time exercising, intensity, temperature, humidity and personal sweat systems?


wal's picture

Anything apart from water in your hydration pack, potentially can turn into a majical science experiment.
Water is the only fluids I'll put in the bladder, however, I'll always carry an additional sports drink if needed

Oldernslower's picture

Agree up to a point Wal - but if you clean out the bladder after a ride, OR replenish and use it two or three days running and store in a fridge then there is little to no chance of unapproved biological experiments occurring. But for social, short time and/or low intensity rides water + sports drink (or gels) is good.


MrMez's picture

The question is pretty limited, and doesn't take anything else into account.

I only use water in my 'hydration pack' for the above 'science experiment' reason. However, I also carry a bottle of sports drink which I'll use first. I still answered "Just plain old water".

As for what your body needs... thats a bit different for everyone.
Depending on who you are, how hard and long you ride, and how much you sweat, you could run out of either fluids or sugars first. Drinking sports drinks is great to replace sugar, but the sugar impedes your rehydration.
Building muscle glycogen (sugar) stores is quite easy, even a moderately fit rider will have enough glycogen to ride at over 75% of their max HR for ~90 min. If you're a heavy sweater and ride slower/shorter, using plain water will rehydrate you the best.
I use gatorade because it tastes better. Hahaha.

wal's picture

I have to admit that when hydration packs 1st came out, beer was a used. Plus everything else.
Hence, the Magical science experiments quickly put an end to all that..

ptpete's picture

After you give your bladder a quick rinse, throw it into the freezer until your next ride.
it will eliminate the chances of any science based offspring, and is always easy to find as well.
Though the wife may object to it being in there.. so be prepared for that.


radar36's picture

I've found that water is fine. I've been following the Paleo diet for the past 7-8 months and I have never felt better. I used to go all for the carb drinks and have one on pretty much every ride regardless of road or MTB. Now I just drink water and I still have plenty of energy.

Over Xmas and New Years weeks, I did several 130k+ road rides with the Fremantle Papa's groups, riding in from Rockingham, then doing the group ride at an average of 40kph. The Boxing day World Champs was 1 banana at home, then a 50k ride in to Freo where I had another banana and a short black coffee, then 75k of absolutely smashing myself trying to stay near the front group while using only 2 bottles of water. Then a small black coffee again in Freo, before heading back to Rockingham. 163k total on 4 bottles of water and 2 bananas, plus 2 short black coffees. Following week was exactly the same for Wednesday (140k - 1 banana) and Thursday (116k - 2 bananas).

I just think that people become reliant on energy drinks or bars and gels. We've become blinded by the fact that there are plenty of natural sources of energy out there, it's just that the normal diet is so heavily loaded with carbs anyway that people seem to think that they need that little bit extra from a carb drink/bar/gel to get through a normal training session.

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