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    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Home Brew Gatorade

    I read that you can make a fairly good home brew sports drink using sugar (or some other sucrose or glucose source), table salt and unsweetened kool aid. Anyone tried it?

    I've been drinking straight water but the sheer volume of sweat these days has my electrolyte balance off, need to do something starting yesterday.

    Also, I use a camelback but they are hard enough to keep clean, I assume you keep just water in that and carry a bottle or two of sports drink.

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    That will not work that well Tom. Gatorade is low on sodium. If they put sodium at the same level as what one has in one's plasma (liquid volume of blood), it will taste way too salty.

    You can get one of those low sodium salt substitutes to add in the next most prominant electrolyte, Pottassium. I think the salt substitutes are largely potassium chloride.

    You can also make a low cal sports brew by using your favorite artificial sweetener.

    The kool aid is a good choice for the source of flavor.

    I think there are some recipes for gatorade knockoffs on the internet. If you can't find one, it is simple to look up the mg of sodium and potassium in a serving of gatoraide and just adding that amount to your brew. Both salt and salt substitutes should tell you on the container how many mg of sodium or pottassium are in a teaspoon.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Seems the current recommendation is to stick to complex carbs for fuel, so no sugar in your drinks. Consider sugar free electrolyte drinks, like NUUN, CamelbaK Elixir, etc.

    http://www.nuun.com/
    http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recre...xir-Berry.aspx

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    I think the originator of Gatorade simply looked up the formula for warm-blooded ringers solution and used that to rehydrate his football players in Florida. It is the solution that was used in your biology class to keep tissue alive. It is incredibly cheap to make if you look at the cost of the ingredients, simple sugars and some salts. If you Google on "DIY Gatorade" or "DIY sports drinks" you can come up with quite a few that are based upon diluted fruit juice or Kool Aid for flavoring. If you don't want to use fruit juice but want to increase the potassium, you can substitute the reduced sodium salts made for people who are on sodium restricted diets (my dad used to use a brand named Co-salt). They are a mixture of sodium chloride and potassium chloride. That will increase the potassium and reduce the sodium which most of us get far more than we need anyway. I remember trying unflavored Gatorade when it first came out in the early 1970s and thinking it was like drinking urine. The taste was awful.

    If you don't want to bother with mixing your own, try the local dollar stores. I came across a box of 8 packages of Gatorade G2 in grape and fruit punch. It makes 20 ounces. It was one of quite a few different brands of drink mixes they had at between 10 and 15 cents per bottle.

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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I've been drinking straight water but the sheer volume of sweat these days has my electrolyte balance off, need to do something starting yesterday.
    That's why they make salty snacks.

    Gatorade is low on sodium. If they put sodium at the same level as what one has in one's plasma (liquid volume of blood), it will taste way too salty.
    Terribly silly comment, really? What does "low" mean?

    Anyway - this kind of topic has been covered - and my only two cents worth has to do with knowing your hydration status before assuming you have mineral deficiencies.

    Typically, anyone who is serious would use a bulk-purchased malto-dextrose product and a product like Morton Lite Salt. Short of that -fruit juice and fritos with some water will work. But again none of this matters if you don't know how much you weigh when loaded - and never check to see whether you are finishing on empty.
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
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    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Seems the current recommendation is to stick to complex carbs for fuel, so no sugar in your drinks. Consider sugar free electrolyte drinks, like NUUN, CamelbaK Elixir, etc.

    http://www.nuun.com/
    I'm a huge fan of Nuun tablets.

    Reasonably priced. No sugar. Carry a couple of tablets w/you on a ride, and pop them into a water bottle at a rest stop. I typically use half a table for a large water bottle.

    If you're going on long rides, vacations, etc., you don't have to carry sports drink w/you. Just water bottles, a tube of nuun tablets, and access to a steady supply of clean water.

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    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    Camelback bladders. After washing them out, put them in the freezer. Nothing will grow in them in the freezer.

    I run a small amount of bleach in mine while washing in very hot water, followed by a lot of rinsing, then into the freezer. Don't forget to run the cleaning/ rinsing solution thru the tube also!

    You can also get electrolyte tablets to go into your water. Works great.

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    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    A bit of trivia that probably won't help people much BUT green coconut is a great drink when you are hot. It is called pipa here and just like Gatorade, I hate the stuff if I am not thirsty. Supposed to be incredibly good for you, and I believe it.

    Regarding salt, my choice is pickles. I once spent eight hours in the desert riding, when we got out, we each bought a jar of pickles. After we ate the pickles, we drank the brine. Again, can't imagine doing that normally.

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    Gatorade is basically sugar, salt, and potassium. As a homebrew substitute I add a teaspoon of LiteSalt (half sodium chloride, half potassium chloride) to a cup of lemonade powder (sugar and flavoring). I use about half the recommended concentration in my water bottle so it's not too sweet/salty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude View Post
    Regarding salt, my choice is pickles. I once spent eight hours in the desert riding, when we got out, we each bought a jar of pickles. After we ate the pickles, we drank the brine. Again, can't imagine doing that normally.
    Actually, the Pickle Juice drink is gaining tremendous popularity, for a reason.

    http://www.goldenpicklejuice.com/

  11. #11
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    I read that you can make a fairly good home brew sports drink using sugar (or some other sucrose or glucose source), table salt and unsweetened kool aid. Anyone tried it?

    I've been drinking straight water but the sheer volume of sweat these days has my electrolyte balance off, need to do something starting yesterday.

    Also, I use a camelback but they are hard enough to keep clean, I assume you keep just water in that and carry a bottle or two of sports drink.
    Wait.... didn't you forget the yeast & hops?
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  12. #12
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I use Hammer Endurolytles, putting some tablets loose in a jersey pocket. It's easy to grab and swallow them when taking a sip of water, and it lets me use pure water. Having to mix anything in the water bottle is a pain, and generally messes with the taste. I avoid sugar drinks, preferring complex carbs.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    A little research yielded that gatorade and a couple of other brands are all close to for 8 oz:
    110 mg sodium
    30 mg potassium
    14 grams sugar (carbs)

    The low carb stuff is the same but aspartame replaces the sugar in part.

    Was just at the store and bought some Morton "Salt Balance", it contains sodium to K (potassium) in a 3:1 ratio, very close to the gatorade blend. I addition, I got some sugar, Splenda and 4-5 different brands of non-sugar flavoring. I'll probably start experimenting with a "lite" mix, 1/2 or the recommended sugar and some splenda and then fine tune from there. When I get what I want, I'll just batch a bunch of it.

    BTW: The Morton Salt Balance contains 300 mg salt and 130 mg K per gram, so one gram is very close to the recommended dose for a 24 oz bottle. So that, one package of flavoring, around 7 grams of sugar and a pack of Splenda will be my first try.

    I get plenty of complex carbs a day, oatmeal in the AM, fruits all day long and beans and veggies in the PM. I get very little to zero sugar, some from the fruit, I guess, but otherwise I don't eat sugar.

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Home made drinks. 50% fruit juice to your taste- 50% water. 1 teaspoon of sugar if the juice is not sweet enough and 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 1 litre.

    Camelback and that is where I put the energy drink. Wash out after the ride of course and Keep in the freezer is a good idea- but Baby feeding bottle sterilizing tablets are great for those occasions when you open the Cap and it smells a bit musty. Leave for 30 minutes at least and rinse out well.

    And salt intake on a ride- Cheesy biscuits-packet of crisps- OR the best I have found is Marmite sandwiches. Marmite is made from salt and will supply all the essential salts you have lost on a ride. Problem with Marmite is you either hate it or love it. It is also great to clear the palate after you have drunk nothing but the energy drink that you liked 5 hours ago at the start of the ride but just one more sip and you will up-chuck.
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  15. #15
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    I get plenty of complex carbs a day, oatmeal in the AM, fruits all day long and beans and veggies in the PM. I get very little to zero sugar, some from the fruit, I guess, but otherwise I don't eat sugar.
    Then why do want to drink it while you are riding? For the (short-lived) energy boost? You don't need sugar for electrolyte balance. And getting your sugar naturally, along with fiber, is far preferable than having sugar dissolved in a drink. Sugar is at the root of many health problems - evil stuff.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Then why do want to drink it while you are riding?
    You've a point, been riding a while with no sugar and no problem. Well one problem, I tend to go flat, bonk at about 2-1/2 hours. Maybe I should go sugarless for all but the longer rides.

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    In the wind mercator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    You've a point, been riding a while with no sugar and no problem. Well one problem, I tend to go flat, bonk at about 2-1/2 hours. Maybe I should go sugarless for all but the longer rides.
    I usually eat something if I'm riding more than 2 hours. I prefer to chew my carbs.

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    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    I eat very few prepared foods, no junk food etc. I do use hammer gel or brown rice syrup and ride 120 miles or so a week. Do I need to add sodium to my ride drink? What would I notice if I were running low?
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    the expensive sports drinks use Maltodextrin, not sugar or fructose, as your stomach can absorb it faster than other carb sources. It does not have any taste so add what you want for taste, plus any salt or whatever.

    It is pure carbohydrate, so it has 4 Cal per gram, and should be mixed such that you are taking in about 250 Cal/hour....so you need to consider the termperature and your sweating rate....for me I drink 26 oz of liquid per hour in 80 F and riding a very hard pace, so I add about 70 grams of Maltodextrin per bottle.

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    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    You've a point, been riding a while with no sugar and no problem. Well one problem, I tend to go flat, bonk at about 2-1/2 hours. Maybe I should go sugarless for all but the longer rides.
    No need for sugar; just take in some carbs, and if you are going for that long ride, some protein, to avoid scavenging your muscle. As has been pointed out, you can either use one of the many products specifically designed for it, or just add maltodextrin to your bottle. Lots of people have one bottle (or a pack) that contains the carbs, and one bottle that is pure water, which can be easily refilled. Of course you can also just stuff some food in your pockets. For me, that doesn't work so well when I'm on a fast ride - hard to handle and swallow - I need my carbs in a drink.
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    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    Do I need to add sodium to my ride drink? What would I notice if I were running low?
    For me, it's (1) that dry-mouth thirsty feeling that no amount of water will quench, and/or (2) the start of muscle cramps in my calves. Both indicate you are past the tipping point, and need a major dose of electrolytes. If you are sweating quite a bit, and NOT tasting salt, that is another indication. And you should see 'salt stains' on your clothes at the end of a ride.

    Note that there are other things that can cause muscle cramps - it isn't always electrolytes related.
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    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    I eat very few prepared foods, no junk food etc. I do use hammer gel or brown rice syrup and ride 120 miles or so a week. Do I need to add sodium to my ride drink? What would I notice if I were running low?
    In my case it had progressed through those symptoms and gotten scary, irregular heartbeat. I was feeling my pulse in the afternoon after a ride and my heart seemed to be skipping 1 of every 3 beats. I used to be predisposed to those, they are called PVC's (premature ventricular contraction), but never so numerous. I have a recent clean stress, nuclear and echo cardio. The Dr did an EKG and blood work. My sodium and potassium were quite low.

    I've been recently going through 70 oz in 1-1/2 hours and that's with loading up with water before leaving. Now since AzTallRider mentions it, I haven noticed salt stains lately.

  23. #23
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    No need for sugar; just take in some carbs, and if you are going for that long ride, some protein, to avoid scavenging your muscle. As has been pointed out, you can either use one of the many products specifically designed for it, or just add maltodextrin to your bottle. Lots of people have one bottle (or a pack) that contains the carbs, and one bottle that is pure water, which can be easily refilled. Of course you can also just stuff some food in your pockets. For me, that doesn't work so well when I'm on a fast ride - hard to handle and swallow - I need my carbs in a drink.
    1 hour rides: water only
    2 hour rides: water in one bottle, nuun in the other

    2 hour plus rides:
    - Bottle 1: alternate water and nuun
    - Bottle 2: Hammer nutrition maltodextrin mix

    Above applies to my climate. I would imagine in hotter areas you'd want to go heavier on the nuun than I do.

    The advice I've read -- which I tend to believe -- is that you don't really need to eat calories if you're riding less than 2 hours. If you *are* on a long ride, though, don't wait 2 hours to start eating, you'll never catch up. Start eating steadily from the beginning. That's what the drinks are good for, even if you don't feel hungry you can sip your 250 cals. per hour.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness...sponsibly.html

    For some reason, that page is missing the formula in the sidebar, but I saved it from that issue:

    Jeukendrup's hydration recipe:
    0.5 cup maltodextrin
    6.5 tsp fructose
    0.25-0.5 tsp table salt
    Combine in one liter of water, shake, and serve!

    I usually add instant green tea for flavoring.
    You can get maltodextrin and fructose from places like http://www.bulkfoods.com/

  25. #25
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    I take a GU Gel before a long ride and one every 10-15 miles into the ride. I also use GU Chomps which are like gummy bears except harder and last much longer. They are sort of like using a gel, but only meant for short bursts of energy. I normally let them dissolve rather than chew on them as the effects last longer and it keeps me from breathing through my mouth. I also have a bottle of Hammer Perpetuem, a powder mix which is used for quick recovery and helps decreases the build up of lactic acid in the muscles. I also carry some electrolyte powder in case I start to perspire more than normal. I only add the electrolytes when I need it and it goes in only one of the water bottles (I normally carry three for anything 50 miles or over). I get the electrolytes at Sam's Club and are cheaper than buying the equivalent in Gator Aid or other sports drinks. A peanut granola bar and a PBJ helps too. This works for me every time, but may not work well for someone training for a race, triathlon or time trial as the biggest issue here would be the extra weight that one would have to carry vs the benefit of products.

    I think that making your own Gator Aid substitute is great if you can produce a product that works as well as or better for less than what the same amount of product would cost compared to the purchase Gator Aid. For some reason, I just can't drink warm Gator Aid and I don't really know why.
    Last edited by John_V; 07-05-11 at 05:55 PM.
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