Bicycle Travel > Food Talk

Sports/Endurance Drinks on Tour?

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I am joining ACA's Southern Tier self-contained tour this fall.  This will be my first tour.   What are the thoughts/experiences on the use of sports drink mixes or endurance mixes, such as Perpetuem, Heed, Sustained Energy, Poweraide, Gatorade, etc.?  I used to use Perpetuem when riding centuries and doubles, but that was several years ago, and only one day events.  Not sure about carrying the extra weight and bulk.  Thoughts?

Pat Lamb:
More than a couple days, and I revert to living off the land.  If you're having someone at home mail you packages, you might get them to mail you half a dozen packets of Perpetuem or Heed every few weeks, but other than that, plan on buying water and whatever else looks good.  (V8 has a lot of salt to replace what you sweat out.)

I generally bought something to munch on at convenience stores, and water to drink.  I'll confess that after a few days or weeks of water, other things start to seem attractive.  Almost every gas station will have either Powerade and Gatorade, so you may as well buy them bottled - sometimes it's cheaper than water. 

Milkshakes or ice cream taste really good when you can get them.  One of the highlights of our cross-country was buying a jumbo (1/2 gallon?) slushee.  I couldn't drink it all in the store, but we walked across a four lane intersection (with zero traffic) to where we were spending the night, where I finished it.

This is a very personal issue, i.e. you have to find out what works for you.

That said... You will find a lot of people telling you to just drink water, maybe supplement with a bit of electrolyte replacement.  There is nothing magic about drink additives.  They are not a silver bullet for keeping you going.  You should be getting your nutrients from food, including your electrolytes, and this works for almost everyone.  Keep it simple, keep it light, keep it compact, keep it inexpensive. 

You might want to take some kind of drink powder or MIO bottle, just for taste variety.

I never drink gatorade/powerade in my day to day life but when riding on the transam in 90+degree heat there is something very tempting about an ice cold sportsdrink. I began drinking at least a few a week- but in all honesty dont think they are any better than straight up water.

I prefer to fill one bottle up with each(Water and Gatorade) when I am doing a ride in the heat. I do water down the gatorade some, I find it to be way too sweet to actually consume when I am exercising, it will upset my stomach on it's own. For longer rides, a lot of the endurance mixes like cytomax are pretty good.


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