I’m curious to what the community thinks about hydration packs vs a water bottle? I’m a Road cyclist whom typically does longer rides like 100 plus miles during a race. I’m also curious on what your recommendations for hydration are. I love the GU Octane but wonder how much is to much in longer rides? Should I start with GU octane then switch to something else?? If any recommendations?
Water bottles Vs hydration packs? Doesn’t matter at all, personal preference.
However, water bottles AND a hydration pack can be ideal in long races where you either don’t have many places to stop and take on more fluid, or you want to avoid stopping as much as possible. Lots of riders in long gravel races set off with two bottles and a full hydration pack. That may be a good option for you. Or, you might be doing races where staying light can have benefits, and where aid stations are fast and efficient. Really comes down to knowing the race and doing some planning beforehand.
Gu Roctane is ideal as a drink mix because it contains a solid amount of sodium, and more importantly, contains a carbohydrate mixture which blends glucose and fructose, which raises the amount of carbohydrate your body can absorb.
If you tolerate it well, I see no reason to switch. Continuing that steady dose of carbohydrates and electrolytes along with your fluid is a huge key to performance.
Some cyclists start to struggle with stomach problems at the end of long races or just detest the sweetness of drink mix after awhile. Mixing in some plain water can be a good way to combat that, but only as much as is necessary, because water just won’t fuel you the way a good quality drink mix will.
And finally, just a reminder to practice your nutrition and train your stomach on your training rides. The more you use race-day nutrition strategy in training, the more confidence you’ll have on race day.