Warm Sports Drinks

Warm Sports Drinks and Water


Most all sports drinks, and water for that matter, taste horrible when hot (which almost always happens on long rides in the summer).  What’s the best way to keep them cold…can I simply fill my water bottle ½ full with ice and then pour in the drink?

Kelli’s Answer:

I agree, this is a problem.  As per usual with my answers, it’s not an exact science and you’ve got options.  First, except for on a leisurely or short ride, it’s not a good idea to simply pour your sports drink over ice – as it melts, it will dilute your drink, thereby diluting your carb and electrolyte intake.  So, we need something that doesn’t dilute or is calculated into your drink.

1)      Not the best, but an acceptable option: If using a powdered drink mix, you can make your drink full strength in a smaller volume of fluid, and then pour it over the ice.  For example, if you usually use 2 scoops of mix in 24 ounces water, you can mix 2 scoops in 20 oz. water, and then make up the rest of the “water” with ice.  This is not the absolute best option since you may start your ride with a more concentrated drink and end it with a lesser one, but it will get the job done without dilution.

2)      Better option, but still not the best: You can pour your drink (already mixed), over non-melting “ice-ball” things.  You know, those blue things you freeze that don’t melt into your drink.  Only issue with this is that you will take up valuable volume and weight with something that won’t benefit you in terms of nutrition.  For most cyclist, volume and weight are crucial (I rarely work with someone who takes too much fluid on a ride, it’s almost always too little).  If this is still an option you like, you could also opt for a more natural freeze, and use frozen fruit (strawberries, grapes, etc) instead of the blue things.

3)      Best option, in my opinion: Make ice cubes out of your drink and use to keep it cool.  Or, fill your bottle 1/3 full of your drink the night before, freeze it, and then pour more non-frozen drink over it.  The only drawback to this option is the slight chance that your ice won’t melt during your ride and you won’t be able to drink it well.  Usually, in hot temps, this is not an issue.  Of course, every option requires a little trial and error.

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

  • http://twitter.com/steepclimbs Aaron – Steep Climbs

    Agreed on the Podium ice bottle. It keeps mine cool even on a long ride. I drink from the front bottle first while it is cold, and will save the Podium for later. It will eventually warm up some, but I have never found it so hot that it was nasty.

    On a real hot day, I will stick my bottles in the freezer an hour before riding. Helps a lot.

  • Guest

    Use a podium ice bottle by camelback with any one of your solutions and you will have a cold drink for over an hour in 100+ degrees

    • Anonymous

      +1. Podium Ice bottles by Camelback rock. I fill my bottles with water the night before and stick’em in the fridge overnight. I pull’em out the next morning and put in an Elixir tablet to dissolve.