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Hydration on the Road

The Best and Worst of Sports Drinks

I have known for a long time that I am better hydrated while riding my bike than when I am sitting at Backroads Central. My Camelback is a constant companion.

The brain is powered by hydration. Even the slightest drop affects us in ways we’d never think.

JungleVitaminH20How many times have we pulled into the WaWa, or the like, and while taking a pee have thought… “I am a little tired, I can use a little pick-me-up.”

Let’s throw the evil under the bus right away… ‘cause we can. Those little bottles of 5-Hour Energy Drinks, cans of Red Bull, and Rockstar Energy Drinks are maybe not really the best for a late afternoon pick-me- up for today's rider.

According to the medical people:

These style drinks have a whopping amount of some ingredients. Specifically, too much caffeine can cause nervousness, trouble sleeping, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeats, and higher blood pressure. Many makers of energy shots say children and those who are pregnant, nursing, or sensitive to caffeine should avoid the beverages.

So, what is out there?electrolyte

Even the perennial favorite Gatorade has a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar. With 15 calories in a single teaspoon of sugar, consuming a 20-ounce Gatorade means you are drinking 135 calories of sugar. Gatorade Zero all the electrolytes you might need and none of the sugar. So, if you need to Gator, go that way.

We like to play pharmacist when we stop for that “Dilithium-Powered” hydration so we’ll grab a sugar-free Vitamin Water and add a little kick.

For many years our “Kick” of choice has been Zipfizz, which I have gotten in the habit of mixing into a zero-sugar “Squeeze” Vitamin Water drink (lemonade). In addition to the neat tidbits and facts on history on the label, the company also packs this drink with 100% of vitamins b5 and b6, 50% of your daily antioxidant needs and a good dose of zinc and electrolytes. But add in a Zipfizz and you have a serious and healthy hydration drink that will do your body good and get and keep you in the riding game – alert and sharp for the rest of the day.ZipFizz

These come in a small and easily carried tube. ZipFizz energy drink-mix delivers a powerful charge of micronutrients to the body's fuel system. Zipfizz has packed a convenient rush of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and key amino acids that protect the immune system and provide enhanced hydration in each tube.

Yes. It has 100 mg of caffeine from natural sources of green tea and Guarana. That's less than one-third the caffeine in a Grande Starbucks drip coffee.

We usually get our Zipfizz by the 30-packs and spend about a dollar a day on this.

Right behind this option is another we came across at CLASS Motorcycle Riding School - Tactical Electrolyte Drink Mix.

They now offer a few different mixes – an electrolyte replenisher and a new ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) for rehydration from the most extreme conditions and environments. Created from World Health Organization standards (don’t hold this against them), this formula turns 16oz of water into delicious electrolyte replacement when you really need it.·These also are easy to carry in a tank bag or fairing pocket.

So, the key here, my friends, is to stay “more” than hydrated.

Water is great and I have it all the time, but it never hurts to get a good dose of daily electrolytes and vitamins. Think of these mixes as today's Chocks, One-A-Days or Flintstones. Your mom would be so happy! •