Loving the BITE: Make Your Own Sports Drinks

The art of drinking the right thing at the right time on the bike can take years of practice.  We’re gonna speed that up for you.  Really, it’s simple.  It simply depends on 3 factors:

  1. Your primary goal: Are you riding mostly for health and weight loss OR for cycling performance?  This can become less clear when you’re trying to do both, but by establishing a primary goal, you’ll set the foundation for a fueling strategy.
  2. The duration and intensity of your ride.
  3. The weather conditions – temperature and humidity.  A little subjective, I consider low temps under 50 degree F, moderate at 50-70 degree F, and high at 70+ degree F (especially with high humidity).  What can I say?  I’m a cold-weather-loving cyclist.

This week, we’re going to explore some simple homebrew sports drinks and strategies for choosing the right one on different types of rides.  Proper hydration and fueling can be all the difference between Loving the Bike, and bonking in the heat and dragging yourself back home.

Take a look at the Hydration Chart I’ve created below to see what ingredients you’ll want in your drink for your ride.  Then, see the recipes that follow.   You’ll be ready to “rock” your next ride, well-hydrated!

 Click to Enlarge

Recipes of the week:  Simple Homemade Sports Drinks

Water + Electrolytes (sodium) Drink:

1)     64 oz. water + low-calorie sweetened flavoring (such as True Lemon Lemonade, lemon or lime juice + Stevia, or Crystal Light PURE – look for Stevia or sucralose-sweetened, to taste) + ¼-½ tsp. salt

Per 8 oz. serving: 0-5 calories, 0-1 gram carbs, 75-150 mg sodium; Per hour @ 20 oz.: 0-12 calories, 0-3 grams carb, 187-375 mg sodium

Similar Commercial Drinks (in terms of carbs and sodium): NUUN Tablets, Camelbak Elixir

Water + Diluted Carbs + Electrolytes (sodium):

1)     64 oz. water + ¼ cup sugar + flavoring (such as unsweetened lemon juice, unsweetened Kool-aid, etc.)+ ¼-½ tsp. salt

2)     56 oz. water + 8 oz. 100% juice + 2 Tbsp. sugar + ¼-½ tsp. salt

Per 8 oz. serving: 30 calories, 8 gram carbs, 75-150 mg sodium; Per hour @ 20 oz.: 75 calories, 20 grams carb, 187-375 mg sodium

Similar Commercial Drinks (in terms of carbs and sodium): G2, any powdered sports drink mixed to half-strength

Water + Carbs + Electrolytes (sodium):

1)     64 oz. water + ½ cup sugar + flavoring (such as unsweetened lemon juice, Kool-aid, etc.)+ ¼-½ tsp. salt

2)     48 oz. water + 16 oz. 100% juice + ¼ cup sugar + ¼-½ tsp. salt

Per 8 oz. serving: 60 calories, 15 gram carbs, 75-150 mg sodium; Per hour @ 20 oz.: 150 calories, 38 grams carb, 187-375 mg sodium

Similar Commercial Products (in terms of carbs and sodium): Gatorade Pro, 1st Endurance, Skratchlabs Exercise Hydration

Easy Add-ons for experimentation:

Potassium: Potassium is another important electrolyte in training, and it can be easily added from Morton’s Lite, which can be found at your grocery store next to the salt.  If you do decide to add it, try ¼ tsp. per 64 oz. fluid (44 mg Potassium per 8 oz., or 109 mg per hour with 20 oz.).

Page 1 of 3 | Next page