Which carb drinks do you recommend from personal use?

daniel_b
daniel_b Posts: 11,570
Afternoon all,

I use a few items when out on rides.

High 5 Zero Xtreme caffeine tablets - 1.5 tabs in a 750ml bottle, and normally take 2.
I also use the Tropical clif bloks, which have a bit of caffeine in.
On a longer ride I might stop and have an energy bar, sis normally, but that is about it.

I'm pondering whether I should be looking to swap one of my 750ml bottles out for one containing carb energy drink instead, but having never looked into this specifically before, am not sure where to start.

I've found a couple of obvious ones to look at (The below is very cheap at Amazon currently):
https://chainreactioncycles.com/high5-energy-source-drink-powder-2-2kg/rp-prod4208


Comes in a few flavours, some of which would hopefully be palatable, seeing as I like the tabs they make in pink grapefruit flavour.

A few reviews mention it has an awful lot of sugar in it though, and looking at the ingredients it is indeed 40% sugar.

Contrast that with SIS Go energy, which seems to be more like 8% sugar.
https://scienceinsport.com/shop-sis/go-range/sis-go-energy-powder-1-6kg://



It's a bit more pricey, which is fine, but the only downside I can see is that I am only able to find the Orange flavour one, and I'm not sure if I'm going to like it or not - I appreciate it's all a gamble.

The other option, if it exists, would be a flavourless or neutral powder, I could then put that in both bottles, and add maybe just one tab of my high 5 zero xtreme into it.

If anyone has any recommendations, for either of the above, or something I have not heard of, I would very much like to hear from you :-)

Thankyou.
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Comments

  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,415
    Slug of Orange squash (other flavours available); 4 heaped tablespoons of white sugar; pinch of salt; water to make up to 750ml

    Seriously this is all you need and cheap. This is backed up by a Doctor of Sport Science at my university who is also head nutritionist at Ineos.


    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,570
    edited June 2021

    Slug of Orange squash (other flavours available); 4 heaped tablespoons of white sugar; pinch of salt; water to make up to 750ml

    Seriously this is all you need and cheap. This is backed up by a Doctor of Sport Science at my university who is also head nutritionist at Ineos.

    I will give that a go, but it does sound like around 140g of sugar per bottle!
    Deffo tablespoons and not teaspoons?

    I'm not up on my food science, if that is a thing, but what of the above provides the carbs?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,415
    edited June 2021
    Yup tablespoons. He did a lot of research on glucose absorption in athletes specifically cyclists and found plain white sugar more easily ingested with far less stomach upset than any other energy drink containing other carbs/sugars

    Edit: sugar is a simple energy dense carb

    1 Tablespoon is around 15g so total is around 60g sugar to the 750ml. I think your body can absorb about 90g of carb per hour and this is what he gave his test subjects.

    You can read his research here:

    https://journals.physiology.org/doi/pdf/10.1152/ajpendo.00376.2015


    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,608
    Half apple juice, half water, pinch of salt.
  • The missus makes elderflower cordial, so a slug (50ml ish) of that and water, she makes enough to last all summer and most of the rest of the year.

    If we run out, vimto cordial (100ml ish) and water.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    I think I would rather drink my own urine rather than drink Vinto or Elderflower cordial. Each to their own.
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,608
    webboo said:

    I think I would rather drink my own urine rather than drink Vinto or Elderflower cordial. Each to their own.

    Do you add a pinch of salt or does it already contain sufficient electrolytes?
  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,415
    webboo said:

    I think I would rather drink my own urine rather than drink Vinto or Elderflower cordial. Each to their own.

    Urine doesn’t actually taste of much. It’s a useful measure to test your blood glucose levels if you are diabetic as you will piss out the sugar if it’s too high. Handy if you don’t have your finger prick test handy.


    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    mrb123 said:

    webboo said:

    I think I would rather drink my own urine rather than drink Vinto or Elderflower cordial. Each to their own.

    Do you add a pinch of salt or does it already contain sufficient electrolytes?
    I could send you a few bottles maybe you could do a review for Bikeradar doing a double blind test against Vinto, Elderflower, Redbull and any other sports drinks.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    Why do you need that crap?
    Even when I was doing ultra stupid distances, I never felt the need for additives. And that includes adding sugar to your water... are you really pushing that hard?
    left the forum March 2023
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,608
    webboo said:

    mrb123 said:

    webboo said:

    I think I would rather drink my own urine rather than drink Vinto or Elderflower cordial. Each to their own.

    Do you add a pinch of salt or does it already contain sufficient electrolytes?
    I could send you a few bottles maybe you could do a review for Bikeradar doing a double blind test against Vinto, Elderflower, Redbull and any other sports drinks.
    No, I draw the line at Redbull...
  • super_davo
    super_davo Posts: 1,125
    I've attempted the "bit of squash with salt and sugar", diluted fruit juice, water and just eating more; I find sports drinks just easier and nicer tasting for the most part.

    It's not like they are megabucks - certainly not in relation to other cycling stuff or to a man with 400 yellow and black jerseys!

    You can't really go wrong with High 5 - 2.2kg for about £20, lasts for ages. I use it if I'm riding more than 2 hours, tabs if less (and never on short intense rides like time trials). Mojito flavour is really nice, Citrus close second. SiS perfectly fine too and generally more widely available (and their site always has great discounts).

    As for the "sugars" bit - well that's the point of them really, the sugars are what is giving you the energy and "carbs". But some will be fructose, others dextrose, High5 might call both sugars in their "gram count" and SiS only one count the dextrose. If you're cycling to lose weight and need to worry about these things, use tabs. If you're cycling for a long time and want to ensure you don't bonk - that's where sports carb drinks are useful.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065

    Slug of Orange squash (other flavours available); 4 heaped tablespoons of white sugar; pinch of salt; water to make up to 750ml

    Seriously this is all you need and cheap. This is backed up by a Doctor of Sport Science at my university who is also head nutritionist at Ineos.


    I'm sure it does the job but that sounds dreadful.

    I get why you need it but all that sugar can't be good for your teeth.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,705
    ibr17xvii said:

    Slug of Orange squash (other flavours available); 4 heaped tablespoons of white sugar; pinch of salt; water to make up to 750ml

    Seriously this is all you need and cheap. This is backed up by a Doctor of Sport Science at my university who is also head nutritionist at Ineos.


    I'm sure it does the job but that sounds dreadful.

    I get why you need it but all that sugar can't be good for your teeth.
    Be interesting to see a comparison between that and energy drinks.
    I suspect energy drinks are far from healthy. There is a reason SIS suggest a maximum daily intake.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,705
    PS - I use squash with a pinch of salt. I will have cafe stops if more than 50 miles.
    Proper breakfast before, proper lunch/dinner after.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,728
    All these sports drinks are bad for your teeth though aren't they?

    Personally I rarely use them - I might use a fairly weak solution - I find them far too sickly full strength - in a road race or maybe a sportive if I was riding it for a time. I'm not sure how I'd recommend one over another except by flavour.

    I have bought some of those zero cal electrolyte tabs in recent years just for flavour.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    pblakeney said:

    ibr17xvii said:

    Slug of Orange squash (other flavours available); 4 heaped tablespoons of white sugar; pinch of salt; water to make up to 750ml

    Seriously this is all you need and cheap. This is backed up by a Doctor of Sport Science at my university who is also head nutritionist at Ineos.


    I'm sure it does the job but that sounds dreadful.

    I get why you need it but all that sugar can't be good for your teeth.
    Be interesting to see a comparison between that and energy drinks.
    I suspect energy drinks are far from healthy. There is a reason SIS suggest a maximum daily intake.

    I tend to stay away from all this energy stuff by enlarge TBH.

    I'm probably pretty old school that I'd rather take "real" food / drink on a ride rather than gels & that kind of stuff.

    That may or may not be the right thing to do in terms of fuelling for a ride but in the long run IMHO it's better for you than shoving loads of gels & energy drinks down your throat.
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921

    Why do you need that censored ?
    Even when I was doing ultra stupid distances, I never felt the need for additives. And that includes adding sugar to your water... are you really pushing that hard?

    Don't get coming on here spouting common sense based on real world experience. ;)

    For me, it's vimto squash or if we've run out, whatever other squashes the missus has picked up whilst shopping.
    But there again, I'm not an elite athlete (or elite anything) and just cycle for the enjoyment.
    I suspect (and this isn't having a go at anyone) that very few posters on here would be classed as elite athletes, but are susceptible to companies advertising that they must have X or take Y.

    Fwiw, If I was to start shovelling cack down my neck I wouldn't be doing so on the advice of random people on t'internet. If you are at a level where these products could make an appreciable difference, I'm sure there are experts to advise.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,840
    edited June 2021
    Usually it's jelly babies (1 every ~10mins after the first hour) washed down with plain water, sometimes I might use squash instead.

    I've tried tablets from time to time over the past four years, got last 1.5 tabs of SIS in the cupboard that would go in one 750l bottle, but I don't recall ever arriving home feeling more refreshed or having had a better workout for them.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,728
    I don't disagree with the sentiment that they are marketed as being more necessary than they are - that said I don't think it's a case of being at a certain level more a case of the activity you are doing.

    You might be a 3rd cat 2 hours into a road race - it makes sense to neck a gel or have a swig of energy drink rather than fish a foil wrapped pack of ham sandwiches out of your pocket.

    But for me these days I doubt I'd get 20 minutes into a road race if I entered one.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    Hi Daniel. I think if you're diet is generally good, then unless you're racing GTs you don't need to overthink this. Take something like a couple of Nak'd or Clif Bars (or similar) and make sure you hydrate properly (i.e. enough water, but also topping up electrolytes - I use High5 tabs).

    If you're on a long ride, then get your carbs/protein at a cafe - stopping and putting your feet up and chatting to others is all part of the fun of a long day on the bike!
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
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  • darkhairedlord
    darkhairedlord Posts: 7,180
    Watered down instant mash with a large spoon of muscovado sugar.

  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 14,615
    Beer is pretty high carb.
  • Defblade
    Defblade Posts: 140
    I'm a poor absorber of fructose and most sports energy drinks are shoved full of it... 36/48 hours after drinking, I get terrible cramps and very, very, urgent loo trips :(

    I now use Skratch Labs - it does have a little fruit in it, and a little sugar, but mainly I use it as electrolyte replacement 'cos I sweat like nothing else when riding.

    Or plain water if out for less than an hour.

    But plenty of it, either way... I've been laughed at for having 2 750ml bottles on, on a long ride... and they didn't know about the 2 more in my pannier ;)
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    edited June 2021
    You will not run out of electrolytes on a bike ride unless you are riding for 2 weeks in a desert. The more you sweat the greater the concentration in your blood.
    The tabs taste quite nice though.