Advice Requested on Hydration/Electrolyte Supplements
I'm looking for advice or opinions on supplements to use for replenishing electrolytes while riding. I currently ride about 20 - 25 miles/ride, at about 16MPH average speed. I sweat a lot, lots of hill climbing in my local area. I weigh in at about 250 lbs, and typically consume 1 - 2 bottles of water during my rides. I'm thinking I could benefit from replenishing electrolytes and other nutrients while riding. I've always just consumed water. I have been looking at powders to mix into my water, it seems to be the most cost effective solution. But, there are many options available. Can anybody provide their opinion(s) or experience with the various options out there?
Long Distance Cyclist
Aim to consume somewhere in the neighborhood of one 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours. If it's hot and/or if you know you sweat a lot, go for a bit more.
As for sports drinks, I use HEED. I discovered that Gatorade gives me mouth sores, and I've never really liked the flavor. I recently tried GUs sport drink and it seemed all right too. It also has maltodextrin, like HEED, rather than the simple sugars Gatorade has.
As for electrolyte replacements, you can go natural, and eat things like salted almonds, potato chips, dried apricots, bananas, etc., or you can get a pill (I have a bottle of "Essential Electrolytes" I use on hot days), or you can get flavored electrolyte "singles" in the powdered drink section of your grocery store (check the section where you find your Crystal Light and Nestea singles).
I like Nuun, mixed with water. The citrus version adds a great light flavor to the water.
Nuun is very versatile, since there is no sugar in it. For a short ride (or any other physical activity in hot weather), it just gives you basic electrolytes and makes the water taste good. For longer rides, you can use any gel or other energy source of your choice.
No, I'm not a Nuun representative... I just read their FAQ a few times, and like the product.
A better value though, is Endurolyte capsules from Hammer. A bit cheaper, per serving.