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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I was using Osmo but they are gone... In checking out products to change to, I started reading up, both older and not so old threads here, then looking for scholarship. At the same time I'm reading ingredient labels on products online... I fully realize this topic has been around the block, but I'm interested in information folks have or can point to, even personal experiences, with electrolyte replacement. Sifting through scholarship it takes a while to get past the clinical usage like post ops etc... Then you kind of hit a desert. Sure, needs vary dramatically, but lots of products and the little research I have seen kind of point to supplements being close to useless? Clinical levels are super high, that's RX territory. Supplements we talk about.have very little sodium, like 1 green olive worth. Our diets get plenty of sodium? Magnesium, potassium and calcium don't seem to deplete that much (from what I can tell) and vitamin D to metabolize calcium? When you are in the sun for 3 hours? Confusing territory.
 

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Hi all, I was using Osmo but they are gone... In checking out products to change to, I started reading up, both older and not so old threads here, then looking for scholarship. At the same time I'm reading ingredient labels on products online... I fully realize this topic has been around the block, but I'm interested in information folks have or can point to, even personal experiences, with electrolyte replacement. Sifting through scholarship it takes a while to get past the clinical usage like post ops etc... Then you kind of hit a desert. Sure, needs vary dramatically, but lots of products and the little research I have seen kind of point to supplements being close to useless? Clinical levels are super high, that's RX territory. Supplements we talk about.have very little sodium, like 1 green olive worth. Our diets get plenty of sodium? Magnesium, potassium and calcium don't seem to deplete that much (from what I can tell) and vitamin D to metabolize calcium? When you are in the sun for 3 hours? Confusing territory.
With no research at all I have settled on NUUN. I was using something I got from work, but since retiring it's been NUUN. I've cramped with plain water but haven't had an issue with either the stuff from work or the NUUN, so that's good enough for me.

I've heard of people making their own with salt and some sugar, but don't know the mix what is used; but a little experimentation would probably find something that would work.
 

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For just electrolytes and a few calories Scratch labs hydration mix is hard to beat IMHO, it works great for me. That said, I've switched to Infinite Nutrition, a custom blend (they will build a custom blend for you and tweak the formula based on your results) which is about the same price I would have paid for Scratch Labs and Gels combined for long rides, maybe less. This stuff when dialed in just works.
 

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I use gatorade (aka the cheapest crap I can find besides table sugar) but primarily for the carbs. Electrolyte loss doesn't seem to be nearly as big a deal as it's marketed to be (imagine that).

So yeah, useless supplements sounds just about right.
 

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I like Skratch as a replacement for Osmo. However, on long hot rides its not enough. I supplement with electrolyte tabs like endurolytes or salt caps.

I also sometimes use a concentrated electrolyte solution like lyte balance added to tap water with something like a little juice for flavor. This option allows you to choose your own concentration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, thanks all, I'm trying to put this into some kind of perspective... One article (albeit 2004, but peer eviewed real) says30-60g carbs per hour
Fluid 600-1200 mL/hour
Na(*) .5-.7g/L

Lets diss carbs here for a minute...
So, working with some averages: Fluid- .9 (or 1 for damn sake) L/h
Na(*) .6g/L (aka 600 mg)

Get that, over a 3 hour ride that's 1,800 mg Na. At 110-120mg per tab that's like 16-17 salt lick pills. A tube of Nuun.

No mention of calcium, magnesium or potassium in the article's recommendations.
3 L of water sounds perfectly reasonable, maybe even a tad low.

Just thinking out loud...
 

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I use gatorade (aka the cheapest crap I can find besides table sugar) but primarily for the carbs. Electrolyte loss doesn't seem to be nearly as big a deal as it's marketed to be (imagine that).

So yeah, useless supplements sounds just about right.
They probably are useless for many people. If you're not cramping & have no issues on rides, you might be able to skip them. I've got issues with cramping, sometimes extremely painful, so I use stuff (& keep reading research). When I think I'm 'cured' & start using water again - back come the cramps. The longer, hotter, more intense the effort - the more likely the cramping.

That said, I've switched to Infinite Nutrition, a custom blend (they will build a custom blend for you and tweak the formula based on your results) which is about the same price I would have paid for Scratch Labs and Gels combined for long rides, maybe less. This stuff when dialed in just works.
I've also switched to Infinit & find it works better than other stuff I've tried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BTW, not dissing electrolyte replacements value at all, just trying to understand it better. I swear I felt a difference on a long or very hot ride with one OSMO bottle and a frozen bottle of water... And it isn't a carb difference, OSMO doesn't have enough to notice... I'll get my carbs separately with gels and food... I like Cliff Strawberry, no caffeine. If I was racing? Same but with caffeine. But caffeine leaves me feeling weird after ride... I drink it too, just a weird thing when it's in my fuel... I feel like I need a cool down for a good hour after riding still. Just me... Caffeine is wonderful in every other application.
 

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Hi all, I was using Osmo but they are gone... In checking out products to change to, I started reading up, both older and not so old threads here, then looking for scholarship. At the same time I'm reading ingredient labels on products online... I fully realize this topic has been around the block, but I'm interested in information folks have or can point to, even personal experiences, with electrolyte replacement. Sifting through scholarship it takes a while to get past the clinical usage like post ops etc... Then you kind of hit a desert. Sure, needs vary dramatically, but lots of products and the little research I have seen kind of point to supplements being close to useless? Clinical levels are super high, that's RX territory. Supplements we talk about.have very little sodium, like 1 green olive worth. Our diets get plenty of sodium? Magnesium, potassium and calcium don't seem to deplete that much (from what I can tell) and vitamin D to metabolize calcium? When you are in the sun for 3 hours? Confusing territory.
I hear there's a new miracle ingredient that nearly identically matches the electrolytes you lose in sweat. Some call it halite, others call it sodium chloride, but most just call it table salt. Of course you need to add some hype to it in order to get a commercial product that cyclists will buy, but you can get it pretty cheap if you know where to look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I hear there's a new miracle ingredient that nearly identically matches the electrolytes you lose in sweat. Some call it halite, others call it sodium chloride, but most just call it table salt. Of course you need to add some hype to it in order to get a commercial product that cyclists will buy, but you can get it pretty cheap if you know where to look.
Right? That's where I'm at... Reading scholarship as much as I can find... Not even table salt, just salt... Kosher... No diff. But a lot. At least considering the meager amounts in the supplements out there...
 

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I'll get my carbs separately with gels and food... I like Cliff Strawberry, no caffeine. .
I used to use Gels, but they are messy - stuffing the spent containers in my Jersey pocket (I don't litter) can leave a stain in addition to making it uncomfortably sticky. Easier and less thought required to put the calories in the bottle IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I used to use Gels, but they are messy - stuffing the spent containers in my Jersey pocket (I don't litter) can leave a stain in addition to making it uncomfortably sticky. Easier and less thought required to put the calories in the bottle IMHO.
I carry gels in a snack size zip lock bag to avoid that. It's about the same size as the gel packet. Cliff has an attached top strip so it stays with the package. Empty goes back in the bag. No litter and no sticky mess! It is a few extra steps though...
 

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Right? That's where I'm at... Reading scholarship as much as I can find... Not even table salt, just salt... Kosher... No diff. But a lot. At least considering the meager amounts in the supplements out there...
If you don't want to get sucked into "if it has a fancy name and lots of hype it must be good" then use -

1/4 teaspoon of salt per bottle.
Pinch of "No Salt" per bottle (potassium).
For carbohydrates add -
8 tablespoons of Glucose powder
3 tablespoons of Fructose powder
(both avail at bulk food stores)
The carb powder gives you 90g of carbohydrate per bottle (I drink one per hour).
Add an inch of fruit juice for taste.

If I will be re-filling bottles on the ride I take the ingredients pre-mixed in small baggies - one baggie per bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you don't want to get sucked into "if it has a fancy name and lots of hype it must be good" then use -

1/4 teaspoon of salt per bottle.
Pinch of "No Salt" per bottle (potassium).
For carbohydrates add -
8 tablespoons of Glucose powder
3 tablespoons of Fructose powder
(both avail at bulk food stores)
The carb powder gives you 90g of carbohydrate per bottle (I drink one per hour).

If I will be re-filling bottles on the ride I take the ingredients pre-mixed in small baggies - one baggie per bottle.
Hi Mike! Found a little more research and a few things are looking consistent. For salt, any salt is fine... I only keep Kosher salt around, so my number will be bigger than yours because the crystals are so much larger. 1/2 tsp per liter is approximate amount, close enough anyway... And I have yet to find anything that supports replacing anything other than salt? No Potassium, no calcium, no zinc, no ascorbic acid, no magnesium, no B6.... All the most common ingredients in electrolyte replacement products.

Even from a convenience standpoint... It doesn't get easier than getting 1/2t of salt and dumping it in your water bottle.
 

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I carry gels in a snack size zip lock bag to avoid that. It's about the same size as the gel packet. Cliff has an attached top strip so it stays with the package. Empty goes back in the bag. No litter and no sticky mess! It is a few extra steps though...
When I was using gels it was Carb Boom or Hammer Gel that I would buy in the bulk bottle and transfer the gel into a 6oz refillable flask. I don't think that Carb Boom is sold in bulk bottles any more. I preferred the Carb Boom.

No litter, no mess.

Plastic bottle Bottle Plastic Fluorescent lamp Light bulb

Once the bottle was open it was kept in the refrigerator along with the flask between use. The flask was easy to keep topped off between rides and I kept two so I could cycle them through an occasional cleaning.
Hot water would dissolve the gel out of the flask easy enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, if anyone is still interested... Here is my lit review: definately split carbs for fueling from hydration. Definately INCLUDE carbs for hydrating! Just a little, well actually, delaying gut emptying (hyperosmotic) takes greater than around 2T per litter, but as little as 1/4t per liter will get you the improved osmotic effect. Potassium MAY be a factor but isn't likely. Everything else is not a factor.

So. 1/2t Kosher salt and 1/4t sugar to your bottles for rides over an hour. Or, just ask Kerry Irons who said this in another thread a while back!

Under an hour btw, you don't need anything. Level of effort is insignificant. You don't even need water.
 

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Hi Mike! Found a little more research and a few things are looking consistent. For salt, any salt is fine... I only keep Kosher salt around, so my number will be bigger than yours because the crystals are so much larger. 1/2 tsp per liter is approximate amount, close enough anyway... And I have yet to find anything that supports replacing anything other than salt? No Potassium, no calcium, no zinc, no ascorbic acid, no magnesium, no B6.... All the most common ingredients in electrolyte replacement products.

Even from a convenience standpoint... It doesn't get easier than getting 1/2t of salt and dumping it in your water bottle.
If you want to read up more about this, go to the RoadBikeRider.com site and buy and download the e-article by Coach John Hughes titled "Eat and Drink Like the Pros - How to Make Your Own Sports Food & Drink –Nutritional Insight from Pro Cycling Teams". It's a wealth of low-cost, no-BS nutritional advice - and all for about $5 for the download.

Oh by the way, I add an inch of fruit juice into my bottles - just for taste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you want to read up more about this, go to the RoadBikeRider.com site and buy and download the e-article by Coach John Hughes titled "Eat and Drink Like the Pros - How to Make Your Own Sports Food & Drink –Nutritional Insight from Pro Cycling Teams". It's a wealth of low-cost, no-BS nutritional advice - and all for about $5 for the download.

Oh by the way, I add an inch of fruit juice into my bottles - just for taste.
Thanks Mike, I'm off to check that out. Just an FYI, in the 14 articles I went over, fruit juice came up repeatedly, like 4 or 5 times, as correlated with diarreah. I didn't read closely and I'm sure an inch or so is irrelevant but I figured I'd mention it. Strangely, caffeine also came up in that regard. Again, I didn't bother to look closely, I was looking for other information...
 
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