The heat is upon us in Austin, so it's time to fill our bottles and bodies with good hydrating fluids and nutrients. Our staff of riders are constantly looking for the perfect stuff to make sure their chemistry is right.
Staff Electrolyte Favorites
We've asked the staff to weigh in on what electrolyte supplement they rely on to keep them upright on hot, long rides. Maintaining health and performance demands two things: hydration and electrolytes, and a combination of the two. First we'll provide some sorta-science around electrolytes and hydration.
ELECTROLYTES & SPORTS DRINKS
Electrolytes help our cells work, sending electrical impulses that influence our heart, muscles and nerves. They also play an important role in fluid balance and hydration in our cells, tissues, and our muscles. Lack of sufficient electrolytes can contribute to muscle cramps, delayed muscle soreness and spasms following exercise and for some can contribute to headaches.
Personal preference weighs heavily on this choice, but start with a baseline of the stuff you need, or the stuff you lose on a ride.
Your drink should contain these essential items
Lots of foods provide electrolytes in their everyday, natural form, so it's smart to load your diet with electrolyte-rich foods. We will go over these in another story.
WHAT ABOUT SUGAR?
Many sports drinks have sugar, whose purpose is to give you fuel and fight the bonk. The consensus in our shop is to get your carbs from gels and food. Will Black, general manager and ultra-experienced bike racer, says that drinking a sugary drink throughout a long ride makes his stomach parts very angry. He drinks water and a clean electrolyte drink for hydration and chemical replenishment. Fuel comes in more solid form, like Clif gels, Bloks, Bonkbreaker bars, Clif Bars, Honeystinger Waffles, and Skratch chews.
Cassandra Powers, Fulfillment Coordinator
- Skratch Labs Matcha. Skratch Labs is a staff favorite for its flavors, natural ingredients, and effectiveness. It's tasty, effective and is easy on the stomach.
Dave Ryther, Service Manager & Parts Buyer
- Skratch Exercise Hydration. See above. Natural and effective.
Ben Cross, Service Tech
- Nuun Tabs for hard days, during and post rides to deal with cramping. Skratch for overall hydration maintenance. Ben thinks whatever ingredients, along with the fizz of NUUN, delivers more concentrated elements of what his body needs when he's at the limit.
Patrick Bray, Service Tech
- Water and everyday diet. Patrick uses daily nutrition and H2O and prefers this over powders and supplements.
David Garcia, Sales Associate
- NUUN for effectiveness, flavor and fizz. However, when temps go above 95°, he switches to Skratch. He thinks the binding ingredients in the NUUN tabs turn on him at high temps.
Lou D'Amico, Sales Floor Manager
- Skratch and EFS. Lou's answer is a bit more complex. He makes Skratch Slushies post ride, He blends ice, Skratch powder, and fresh fruit and nurses several of these concoctions after a long day. He uses pre-ride EFS for a bigger boost of electrolytes for longer days on the bike.
Will Black, GM
- NUUN with Skratch a close second. Will likes NUUN and Skratch for their mild sweetness, but goes to NUUN first for the fizz and convenience. During a ride it's easy to pop a tab in a bottle. He insists his 'lyte product is stomach-friendly and light.
Although the above are favorites, many staffers believe other products do the job as well.
- Osmo Preload Hydration
- GU Roctane Electrolyte Capsules
- Clif Shot