Best liquid products to provide energy/hydration on long group rides


I’m looking for a solution to a problem fueling problem I’m having while on long group rides on the weekends.

It is starting to turn cold in the Northeast USA. If I’m out riding with a group it is very hard for me to fuel correctly since the group doesn’t necessarily stop long enough for me to get a heavy glove off, reach into a pocket, pull out something to eat, open the wrapper, etc. If I’m doing a solo ride, this is not an issue.

I’m starting to think I might be better off just trying to consume all my carbs, protein, electrolytes as liquid.

I’m resistant to opening anyone’s bars before the start of the ride, as my experience has found that if I don’t use the bar that day, the next time I go to do an outdoor ride, whether it be a few days or a week later, the opened bar is no longer good.

I’m also resistant to opening a gel, as I find they will then ooze out all over my pocket.

Does anyone know of some combination of products that I can use for both hydration and energy while on a ride that can be mixed into the same bottle of water? I’m not opposed to trying energy chews, another brand of bar. They just need to be survive being exposed to air for 7 - 10 days, after they have been first opened.

Thank for your help.


For liquid, take a look at Maurten. It comes in a 160 calorie and 320 calorie versions, so the 320 might be perfect for you if not supplementing with other things.

Others can chime in too, but the one limitation of Maurten is that they are very specific that you should mix one package in 500 mL of fluid. In the summer I carry larger bottles, usually 620 - 700 mL, but at least strictly following the instructions you are only supposed to mix it with 500 mL for the hydrogel to work properly.

One other thing to try are Clif Bloks. It’s pretty easy to open the top at a start of the ride and then squeeze them out as you go. Another option are SIS gels as they are fairly easy to open while riding. They are liquid, not gooey, so easy to consume.

I don’t usually worry about protein in the middle of a ride… but I have two options to suggest.

One is EFS Pro ( that mixes well even at high concentrations so you can pick the amount of carbs and electrolytes you want and just go with it. It also includes some amino acids. It’s expensive, though, so I generally just use it for races.

The other - what I do day to day to be cheap - is just regular ol’ Gatorade powder with a pinch of salt mixed in. My main issue with Gatorade is that it doesn’t really provide much electrolytes, so this addresses that. Just mix your bottles before you go.

I’ve also found the Clif Bloks work well with minimal time, because the package is designed to pop open at one end if you squeeze hard enough. So one-handed you can squeeze the chews into your mouth as you ride.

1.) Dump in a 24oz waterbottle:

  • 1/2 cup dextrose
  • 1/4 cup fructose
  • 1/16 tsp salt

2.) Fill the bottle with water

3.) Shake the bottle

4.) Put the bottle in the bottle cage & ride


@Brennus, you mean dump or is nDump a product?



Yes. I mean Dump. But as of right now, nDump is copywritten. Because who wouldn’t want to hydrate with a product called that??

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Banana’s are pretty easy to open on the fly, easy enough to peel with one hand and a mouth.

The amount of bananas where I’ve just exposed the end and then pushed the rest in to my face & mouth with the peel wrapped around my head like something out of Alien :smile:

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I’m jealous. If I eat a banana on a ride it makes me feel like I’ve been shot in the gut.

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@BennyC, i already carry two bananas with me. They are typically the first things I eat. i’ve tried to carry more than two, but they don’t handle long trips very well.

Thank you everyone for your input.


I really like CarboRocket Half Evil 333.

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I use Skratch Labs products. I suffer from terrible stomach distress if I try to drink all my carbs which led me to finding Skratch several years ago. Their Sport Hydration mix gives you what you need electrolyte wise with a few carbs. I then use their chews and bars for on the bike nutrition. I almost never preopen anything, I’ll drop to the back or pull off and ride no handed to open a wrapper. For me there is enough flavor options to not get flavor fatigue but for long rides I’ll make rice cakes, cookies or a few other things that don’t bloat me up.

Also check out the Feed Zone Portables cookbook for rice cake ideas.

When I was searching for a solution to my bloating problem years ago, Dr. Lim very serendipitously produced this video around the same time and it changed my on the bike hydration philosophy.

I have used Tailwind for two Dirty Kanzas and one Land Run. No food, only liquid. Plenty of energy, no gut rot.

I first tried Tailwind a year or two ago @ Interbike + forgot about them.

I saw them again in Reno at this past Interbike. They gave me a metric ef-tonne of product and I’ve been trying it over the past few months. It’s works really well with my body/stomach.

The flavors are decent enough but what I was really interested in is their “unflavored” flavor – trying to avoid flavor fatigue. It still has a sweetness to it, of course. But it does well. I’ve mixed it up with green tea and with lime juice, seems to work. Their recovery mix is pretty rad too. Overall, I’m digging the products more than what Scratch, Osmo, Hammer, and Enervit have offered.

We’ll see how it holds up in the coming months after hours and hours in the saddle. I’m hoping to use this stuff for BWR, DK200, Crusher and maybe Leadville.

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Rather than a product I would recommend three sources of information to help you help yourself

  1. Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed. by Monique Ryan, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

  2. Asker Jeukendrup and specifically this post Recommendations for carb intake during exercise

  3. DataDriven Athlete Are you Fueling enough on the bike


It is important to weigh the recommendations in the info I linked above with how hard you are riding. For example the racing I do now is ultra endurance racing (15+ hours per day for 3-4 days) during which my average efforts are rather low (average 120-150watts) so my carb intake is also low and I would never line up wth the recommendations of 90g/hr. But, if I am doing a shorter harder gravel ride/race then my intake is ~50g/hr.

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What do the macros on this work out to? How many g of carbs?

If you want to try gels, if you transfer them to a Gu flask they’re easier to handle one handed and no litter to worry about.

According to the labels on the packaging it’s 280kcal dextrose & 180kcal fructose. So 115g carbs total. My strategy is to make one bottle last two hours. At the X:20 mark I drink 1/4 bottle…at the X:40 mark I take a gel…at the (X+1):00 mark I drink 1/4 bottle.

If you think that’s too much concentrated carbohydrate to take in, consider this recipe that Allen Lim once gave me (long time ago!):

heaping 1/2 tsp sodium citrate
3 tbsp glucose
1 liter water

Not many calories but great for staying hydrated.