I’ve had a couple of incidents this year caused by inadequate hydration. There was a bonk in April and a difficult hot weather ride last month. So I’m paying more attention to hydrating these days, and replacing lost electrolytes. I usually drink lots of water and one glass of electrolyte replacement before starting a ride, and am getting better about taking a drink every 10 minutes or so during a ride (It used to be 20-30 minutes).
Currently, I’m using Hammer Nutrition’s HEED, on the recommendation of a friend. The jury is still out, but it seems to do the job. I have also used Accelerade, with good results. On rides of more than one hour, I have discovered that plain water simply isn’t enough for me.
A man who recently completed a hilly 100-mile ride said his job was made easier by hydrating with V8 Fusion the day before the ride. He drank most of a 46-ounce bottle, and says it left him with “limited” cramping on the ride. V8 Fusion is a mix of fruit juice and V8’s traditional vegetable juice. There is lots of potassium in the mix, and no added sugar or frutose, but the Fusion, with its fruit juice, is sweeter than all vegetable V8.
The downside? Cost. V8 Fusion runs about $4.50 per 46-oz. bottle. However, a minimal amount of online searching will locate wholesale prices of about half that amount, and a case of eight bottles for about $22.00.
I’ve had the Fusion, just to sample it, and had never thought of it as a sports-type drink. My sweet tooth likes its flavor, so gulping down a big bottle the day before a long ride would not be a problem. I think I’ll pick some up on my next run to the supermarket — just for experimental purposes, of course.