60+ milers, what's in your bottle?

petemadoc Posts: 2,331
edited April 2011 in Road beginners
I'm doing some longer rides now and trying to get the whole food, carbs and drink intake thing sorted so I don't "bonk"

Food seems simple enough, raisins, flapjacks, energy bars, bananas

But what do you have in your bottle?

I've never bought energy specific drinks but it looks like SIS PSP22 is what you should have for long rides (full of carbs) but is this any better than water mixed with fruit juice? Does adding a pinch of salt to some fruit juice give you an electrolyte drink or is there more to it?

So what's in your bottle for 60+ mile rides


  • fizz
    fizz Posts: 483
    Kona Kola Nuun

    I've been finding the SIS Stuff to sweet and it started repeating on me, its the drink that keeps on giving if you get what I mean.

    The Nuun is electrolyte only no carb in it, so I take power bar energy gels with me and make sure I take them regularly as I find I struggle to eat whilst on a big ride. So the banana flapjack route doesnt work for me.

    Which leads me on to. try lots of stuff and work out what you do or dont like.
  • I've started dropping a High5 Zero tab in my 800ml SiS bottles, and I take 2 out with me on anything over 25 miles or when I am not sure how long/far I am out for.
  • Erudin
    Erudin Posts: 136
    edited March 2011
    I've used electrolyte powders from myprotein.com after someone on the forum recommended them. Did a fairly hilly 75 miles today, started with a couple of water bottles with some electrolyte powder in (add a bit of fruit juice normally if I have some), added a nuun tablet (tube of 12 lasts me ages as I don't use them most rides) to one later as I was sweating quite a lot, also had a pouch of Capri orange juice, bought a 400ml bottle of orange and mango juice, and had a couple of coffees at cafe stops .

  • lfcquin
    lfcquin Posts: 470
    Nuun Elecrolyte tablets, or straight water and a couple of banana's does me. Always make sure I have had my porridge before I go out too.
  • paultrueman
    paultrueman Posts: 118
    One Bottle has plain Nuun, (usually the berry flavour) the other has a 'turbo nuun' this is a bottle of lucazade sport with a nuun chucked in, you can supercharge this with a redbull or relentless, very usefull on an early morning ride

  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    I just use water unless it is a competitive event. Get all the nutrients I need from my food. I think it depends on how hard you go though, and if you sweat alot, then you will need electrolytes to be replenished quickly and this is where Nuun and the like come in.
  • s25scd
    s25scd Posts: 84
    Swear by High5 4:1. I was so drained after being out on the bike for rides 50-60 miles even though was taking on fluids etc i would cramp up at times. Bonked on one occasion and swear its an experience i dont want to go through any time soon. Bought High 5 and touch wood ever since ive never had a problem. Weather was decent ish on sat so had a hilly 65 miler on sat which would have totally done me in without the high 5 , ended up i cantered it, cant beleive the difference this has made to my rides. No doubt theres other good drinks but this works for me so im sticking with it.
  • Scrumple
    Scrumple Posts: 2,665

    Anything else is a waste.

    Electrolytes if it is very hot, or you are a sweaty mester. Sweet stuff in a bottle rots your teeth, and you can get it quicker and better from food.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Can't see that you can get energy quicker from food than you can from liquid.
    For long rides I do use sis or high five but if I'm out of that - sugary water with a dash of salt. But I just use water for say 50 miles or less.
  • Philby
    Philby Posts: 328
    Tend to use a weak solution of SIS, Powerbar Energize or ZipVit energy drink - have it weak as otherwise taste is too sickly. On longer rides or when its very hot I would also take a second bottle with a Nuun tablet in.

    As mentioned above a solid breakfast with something like porridge and maybe a banana is key to having the energy for a good day in the saddle.
  • ilm_zero7
    ilm_zero7 Posts: 2,213
    I've started dropping a High5 Zero tab in my 800ml SiS bottles, and I take 2 out with me on anything over 25 miles or when I am not sure how long/far I am out for.

    +1 for Zero - taste ok too
    Wiliers: Cento Uno/Superleggera R and Zero 7. Bianchi Infinito CV and Oltre XR2
  • durrin
    durrin Posts: 123
    well, on the 128 mile trip I did saturday... water. On a ride this long, I generally stop for lunch underway.

    But yeah, water, and lot's of it. I just try to make sure I eat enough, I find that it helps having different stuff with me, instead of 3-4 of the same thing, otherwise I get sick of the taste. I eat a fair number of Snickers bars, after all, it's mainly the sugar my body needs, I like them, and candy bars tend to be a lot cheaper than sugary energy bars.

    On tour (100km days) I eat a lot of yoghurt (obviously (perhaps), I stop to eat it). I like it, and non-diet yoghurt has a reasonable amount of carbs and protein.
  • springtide9
    springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    Don't think one is better than the other (i.e. taking on energy via food or liquid) in terms of how your body turns it into something usable.

    Always use isotonic drinks, but at a less concentrate than suggested - mainly due to taste.
    I figure that if I take on carbs via fluids, then that's a little less I need to do via solids.

    Ideally I'd take fruit or other items for variety, or buy something while out, but I generally ride solo and pushed for time, so don't stop (apart from the odd bio break!) - so just eat the energy bars. Not ideal, but they are still edible if squashed, wet and have been at 37deg C for several hours!

    For carb quantity, I haven't found a site with cycling specific info. There are a lot of triathlon sites with good guides, so base intake on that. I also figure intake is also related to effort, so you'll need to also factor that in.
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    This time of year on the long rides (100 or 200km) I am doing 3 scoops of maltodextrine +a good glug of fresh OJ in a litre bottle

    In the summer when I'm doing a really long distance (300km+) I have tried lots of different stuff but now tend to use electrolyte powder. This is part of a fueling strategy that I explain it this blog article http://audaxing.wordpress.com/2010/06/0 ... ngredient/
  • Summer fruits juice :D

    60 miles aint too much of a worry for me at my pace solo or group ride!
    Coveryourcar.co.uk RT Tester
    north west of england.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    2 x bottles made up of rich squash does fine for that sort of distance, with a top up near the end of plain water & a Nuun tab chucked in, if it's a warm day and you've finished the pop.
  • macleod113
    macleod113 Posts: 560
    Water all the way. maybe some no added sugar oj or vimto if i fancy a bit of flavour.
    Cube Cross 2016
    Willier GTR 2014
  • TomBombadil
    TomBombadil Posts: 263

    Nice and simple one 800ml - with one can of coke topped up with water for under 50 miles for over 50 miles - 2 cans in each bottle topped up with water.

    If it's really hot maybe a pinch of salt quarter/half teaspoon of salt. Buying the cans in bulk gets the price down to 30p a can!

    Added bonus is that has caffeine in and if you wait 45 minutes before starting to hydrate you will really feel the impact of the caffeine and sugar - your legs just become lighter! Don't dismiss this without trying it. Also Coke plus a third/half of water and a a little salt is pretty isotonic and will rehydrate pretty well. Pro's often use coke towards end of race!

  • turnerjohn
    turnerjohn Posts: 1,069

    Nice and simple one 800ml - with one can of coke topped up with water for under 50 miles for over 50 miles - 2 cans in each bottle topped up with water.
    Don't dismiss this without trying it. Also Coke plus a third/half of water and a a little salt is pretty isotonic and will rehydrate pretty well. Pro's often use coke towards end of race!

    Just make sure its FLAT Coke (or Pepsi ;-) ) :oops:

    Don't get carried away with food though...small amounts but regular intake otherwise the body will over load (blood goes to the muscles with excersise not the stomache!) which you dont want ! Taking "Power Drinks" could end up giving you more calories then you need. I do 50/50; only one bottle of SIS and a small NutraGrain bar; long as I've had porriage beforehand thats enough for 60miler.
  • hammerite
    hammerite Posts: 3,408
    Do people sweat that much this time of year that Nuun or Hi5 zero is required? I thought they're only electrolyte/salt replacement drinks? Surely replacing calories is the most important thing?

    I usually take a 750ml bottle of PSP22, and a 500ml bottle of water. I rarely (never) actually go into the water supply, but take it just in case. Will take a couple of cereal bars and a banana to eat, usually aiming to eat one an hour.

    These are my current fave, probably no good for me, but they're easy to carry/eat and taste quite nice - http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/tesco-price-comparison/Patisserie/Tesco_Chocolate_Filled_Crepes_8.html
  • I sweat like a scouser in the dock even when it's -2 degrees Celsius out.
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,807
    2 x 500ml bottles with a tab of citrus Zero in each do the trick for me. Plus I take about a dozen jelly babies/wine gums and some home made 'sports bars' - basically the same flapjack recipe that BR show you how to make but with less oats and tonnes of dried fruit. They work better for me than any other bar I've bought and now I'm handing them out on the Sunday runs :D
  • TomBombadil
    TomBombadil Posts: 263
    I find I have to keep decent layers on to stop the chill factor killing me - so that means I still sweat if I'm working aerobically. Sweating is generally considered a good sign of fitness and conditioning with the body responding well to increased performance.

    Anyway that what I put my soaking wet cycling gear down to even if it is only 5 degrees C :wink: .

    Hydration is way more important than solid food which takes hours to digest! Digestion is a very complex process. Simple sugar drinks (glucose / Fructose - or even Sucrose which is a combined Glucose and Fructose molecule) are the only way to go for on bike energy. If you drink sugar in your tea, you probably best just using Sucrose as that's what your body has already been trained to make the most of it (Icing sugar is the same stuff but in a powder form and will dissolve in your bottle (it has a bit of corn starch and some calcium phosphate (which is the same form as milk to deliver calcium) - just put a couple of table spoons in your drinks bottle with flavouring if you really want to make your own, and maybe a little salt. Sports drinks tend to use Maltodextrin which is a chain of between 3 &20 glucose molecules derived from corn/maize starch and is also in coke.

    You can but Glucose in Maltodextrin form as a powder from any chemist and it's a lot cheaper than an sports drink powder so you can experiment with your own mix etc. Just ask for Glucose powder. It's often on the shelf in an orangy box with a big label that just says 'Glucose'.

    Go on...try the Coke/Pepsi. It can be that simple.

  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    Thanks for the replies, quite a range of suggestions so I guess it's what works best for the individual.

    Not the best place to be testing things out but I've got my first 100 mile sportive coming up on the 27th March. I'm gonna do 60-70 miles at the weekend so I'll see if I can get things right then.
  • nickwill
    nickwill Posts: 2,735
    Allsports Winter Formula at this time of year and Zipvit energy drink in the Summer.
    Hats off to anyone who can do 60+ hilly miles at a decent pace on water.The allsports stuff claims to reduce the need for food as well as drink. On an undulating 60 miler it is enough (1 large bottle for two hours). On a hilly 70+ mile ride I usually have a couple of gels as well.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,624

    Keeps the weight off too.
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331

    Keeps the weight off too.

    I weigh 64Kg
  • chunkytfg
    chunkytfg Posts: 358
    Anything over 40 miles and I have 2 750ml bottles with Nuun tabs in. I sweat like you would not believe so although i've never cramped from cycling I use them as a precautionary suppliment and tbh they make the water more palletable
    FCN 7

    FCN 4

    if you use irrational measures to measure me, expect me to behave irrationally to measure up
  • Hugh A
    Hugh A Posts: 1,189
    +1 for the High 5 1:4 drink. Usually mixed pretty close to recommended dose when its cold and a bit more water when not. It is not as sickly sweet as a lot of the energy drinks (e.g. SIS) - depends on your taste really - a lot of people seem to love very sweet drinks but I find it hard to get them down.

    The sachets are very handy to carry with you too if you get them in that form. Before they started doing them I spent a lot of time measuring the stuff out of tubs and into small plastic bags so I could travel or top up en route.

    All the water boys will say that you are mad to waste your money etc. and that you don't really need it to stave off cramps if you are fit enough or eat a banana occasionally, but personally I find the drinks help.
    I\'m sure I had one of those here somewhere