Okay, so I'm a bladder of water and pork pie/cereal bar kind of refueller but Matt Hart's column in the latest STW has got me thinking. I'm starting to be open to the idea that energy drinks might be useful for 'normal' riding. I'd always associated energy drinks with racing/enduros and they're not really for me but it seems clear that they're useful for keeping on top of things during longer rides. Do non racing snakes use 'em? Would I notice a difference if i used 'em? What's a good, economic one to try? Ta.
Energy drinks for 'normal' riding: worth it?
Are you talking high five, SiS, etc or red bull type things?
i use them for enduro type stuff and there fore a couple of months before for 'training' type purposes.
orange squash and some food is a much better option imo.
torq is the best tasting by a country mile.
Yep, high five, SiS, torq; thomthumb has confirmed my suspiscions
I use 4:1 and only if the ride is over 2 hours - else I just take water and a back up Torque bar - I think it helps on long and or hot rides
i make my own "energy" drink for most rides. a 750ml bottle of squash at about 4:1 mix with a quarter teaspoon of salt in it, makes me feel less dehydrated after than if i just drink water.
I use high5 zero if the ride is less than 2-3 hours but on a typical weekend ride i'll grab sis go or 4:1.
Always keep bars and gels on board just in case i bonk.
Couple of hours or under; juice/water, and real food (banana/cake sort of thing). 3 or more hours at a decent pace with lots of hills then I'll use energy drink, normally GO seems to agree with me, and energy bars simply because it's a known measure of carb intake, and a long as you're stuffing it in at the right time, you'll be good to go. Nowt worse than bonking or cramp to eff-up a big day out
I find it much easier to keep topped up without stopping/remembering to eat. If you pick the right ones they have electrolytes too, so "better" than water. Plus they don't have the fat of pork pies! Gradual fuelling over the whole ride. I watch my buddies (who are naysayers) fade fast after around 2 hrs and that convinces me. The non-electrolyte consumers always get cramp too, but not me, anymore!
Around an hour and you don't need extra fuel, but after that, perfect. 5 hour rides would need a lot of food stops to keep properly fuelled with the carbo to body weight info Matt Hart suggested.
Yes most of the time unless its a short ride
Torq is my choice
SIS makes me vomit
High5 gives me wind
Lucozade powder not only gives me wind but also has some dodgy colouring because it stains things
Bottle of lucuzade sport in a 2 litre bladder seems OK
Why do you feel you need them? Are you bonking or struggling to hydrate? I personally use them only if I'm going to be riding hard, otherwise I just use normal food and maybe diluted fruit juice. Energy drinks are very sugary, which can be hard to digest, and are also quite expensive to use all the time.
Why do you feel you need them? Are you bonking or struggling to hydrate?
Energy loss but not bonking at around 2 hours or so. Judging by some of the above answers I'd guess that it might be worth investing in some.
Thanks for the thoughts and advice so far
Why do you feel you need them?
I don't need it, I can give it up any time I want
Just find it easier as I usually don't feel like eating a huge amount.
Torq natural is not that sugary and pretty cheap if you buy it in bulk.
water in the camelbak (that way it doesn't get foul and smelly), banana/flapjack/sandwich/energy bar/fruit loaf to eat. IMO a cheaper and just as 'good' option
2 hour mtb ride - water
Big road ride - Nuun tabs in my bottles - otherwise I cramp.
pink grapefruit torq is my choics for 3hr+ rides especially if I'm going to sweat a bit no dehydration. Works well on night rides when I can't eat enough before hand too
Berry Powerbar is my favourite.
I'm definitely not a racer and I swear by the stuff. I'd even go as far as to say it makes me enjoy my riding more. I usually ride with people who are much quicker than me and although I still struggle to keep up at the start, after the first hour I can generally stay with them until the end - another 5+ hours usually.
The times I've been out with just water I've dragged myself round.
I usually have a 750ml bottle on the way to the ride / pre ride and then stick 2 to 3 litres of the stuff in my camelback. I have it quite weak though - about half strength
As above >3 hours / more than on bottle needed road rides yes. Not felt the need on the mtb yet.
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I read somewhere recently that energy drinks inhibit growth hormone, so recommended for events but counter productive in training.
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In the middle of "summer" I was using nuun as I was getting headaches after rides and becoming dehydrated. Otherwise on normal ride it's normal food and water. Never needed anymore. Have used energy stuff on particularly long or hard rides or even If I've been feeling a bit off my best but still want to ride (usually if I've done a hard ride in the last few days).
You need to define normal ride. For me it's about 4 hours pedalling over 5 hours with a group so lots of faff through mechanical, punctures, different paces.
if you want cheap carbs - you can buy a big bag of from the agricultural suppliers... lol
Juice all round for me with food when needed, but alwaysmake sure I have Mag Phosphate pills in juice to keep cramp at bay later, nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with raging cramp
Cheers all. I may well give some Torq Energy Drum (love CRC's 'Sale': £7.99 from £8.00)/Hi5 zero pills/pizza a go.
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