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.
Jeff Contreras says
Someone suggested on my blog that I try Nuun products. I just ordered a sampler from http://www.nuun.com. I’m curious to see if it tastes good, and even if it works! This is not a paid endorsement, or even a free one…
Mike Weiland says
I think your hilly friend is on the right track, but not for the VFusion standpoint. I don’t think the drink is the magic bullet he speaks of, however I’ve never looked at the ingredients nor tried the drink. BUT, most people walk around every day a little dehydraded to begin with, so if you start a ride in a dehydrated state you already have started off on the wrong foot. I feel with proper nutrition and fueling you shouldn’t have any cramping let alone “limited” cramping. Since you brought up V8, I like the small little 4oz cans of regular V8. They make a nice recovery drink or they fit nicely into a jersey pocket when you need to replenish while in mid ride.
FYI if your pee is not clear then you’re dehydrated.
I’ve been drinking straight water lately but taking an electrolyte pill before starting my rides, and sometimes every hour or two into a ride depending on how long it is. A single tablet is good for about a 2 hour ride…if I know I’m going longer I usually take one every hour. I like Salt Sticks, they have the most “bang” for the buck and a single tablet is a “dose” where the other guys require you to take 2-4 tablets to get the same amount of salts…which makes them considerably more expensive! I actually have some Nuun that I received free, but I have yet to try it. I also have some Heed (I’m guessing it’s the same friend!) but I haven’t been using it all that much. I have found I do better with “real” food rather than a liquid supplement…find what works for you and stick to it. However Heed is better than nothing and it’s really great for long rides. For the 105 miler I used Heed and Perpetuium and I feel they worked rather well. Different things work for different people!
I hate to be a buzzkill, but I have been using plain old Gatorade for years with no issues whatsoever. I buy the gallon bottle at the store for about $3.79 and it does the job. I’ll ride for 3 hours with two bottles (1 liter each) and a gel. That’s plenty to last for the duration (about 50-60 miles).
I think a lot of the supplements are splitting hairs for those of us that aren’t racing. You need to replace what you lost and keep yourself from dehydrating/bonking. Your GC position will not be affected 😉
I like PowerAde Zero. Gets you the electrolytes, without any calories. If one reason you ride is to lose weight, those high-calorie fitness drinks are seriously undermining your progress. A lot of people don’t care about that, but I do.
I will also drink Gatorade or even use some of those weird gel things if I’m on a really long ride or need a performance boost. Also bringing powered Gatorade is great if you think you’ll run out of Gatorade, but will have access to water.
I usually just carry one bottle of water and one bottle of PowerAde Zero. Or sometimes two bottles of water and one fitness drink.
I never thought of the V8 thing, but it sounds interesting.
I like the V-Fusion Light, but just for a drink and to try to get more fruits/veg in my daily intake. I don’t like regular V-8 (not a fan of tomato juice). V-Fusion Light doesn’t seem too sweet to me, at least not the orange/mango. In general, not a fan of pre-mixed sports drinks. Too sweet. I either cut with water or just get powder.
I like all of the V8 Fusion flavors, but their sugar concentrations are too high to use them as sports drinks during a long, intense workout. My Fruit-Ade recipe shows how to dilute V8 Fusion or any other fruit juice to make a drink with the optimum sugar concentration needed for most rapid absorption of the fluid into your body.
Recipe for homemade 100% natural Fruit-Ade sports drink.
Some of the V8 Fusion flavors still taste great after dilution to make a sports drink. See my Fruit-Ade Natural Sports Drink Oct. 2009 Update.
Some V8 Fusion flavors are somewhat bland after dilution, so for these I use stevia for natural sweetening of homemade sports drinks.
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