DIY Sports powder carb drinks - please share your recipe

Pr bottle (500ml) I use:

  • 60-120g table sugar (depending on ride duration/intensity)
  • ½ electrolyte tab for taste

This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get the carbs in I’ve found. 1:1 glu:fruc ratio as well :sunglasses:

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The focus is always on what is the max amount of carbs per hour that you can take and studies look at any additional Watt that can be squeezed out by adding more sugar. However for my long rides, most of the time I am not at the absolute limit and slowly I am now trending to less is more:

I used to put 120 g of table sugar in a 800 ml bottle, 2g of regular salt and 1 g of citric acid for the taste. Then I would also need a second bottle with regular water as sometimes on the bike I just want water.

This worked fine and would get me through 100k rides of moderate to high intensity. A while back I finished up the commercial sports drink mix I had laying in the cabinet. Following the dose on the package it got me only 35 g of sugar in a bottle. And I must say that I really really liked this. I could put the mix in both bottles on the bike and it was much more enjoyable to drink without having to use the second bottle with only water. Also I was using this lower dosage much more often, also for <2h rides that I could normally do without any carbs.

As I have finished the package and will now start making my own mix, I want to try and see if it is still good with 60-70 g of sugar. That way the strategy could be to do the 35 g for medium intensity and go to 60-70 g for high intensity / long rides. By putting it in both bottles I would still take with me the same amount of calories in the bottles as with the original strategy.

Now I just need to decide what to do with salt. The 2g of regular salt gives 800 mg of Na. I found out the other day that I am sweating between 750-1000 ml per hour and I can see salt crusts on skin and clothes on warm days. So I might need to aim for the higher range of Na concentration in my sweat of say 1000 - 1500 mg/l. So assuming I drink a bottle per hour that would bring me more to about 2.8 g of regular table salt in a bottle, which is a bit more than what I was doing.

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1L bottles.
60G maltodextrine
30G pure fructose
Bit of sea salt
Sugar free syrup (Strawberry, pear of raspberry flavor).

One bottle an hour. That’s my default for intense training rides. For zone 2 rides i change the amounts a bit and use more solid food.

Rather than mess with the formula(s) I use, the two bottles that I mentioned in the race which was 2 hours or so last me a 4 hour club spin. I’m not necessarily under the pump, have time for solid food, coffee stop etc.

Only for “training the gut” somewhat, I may not even bother as it’s usually regroup at the top of climbs where I could have solid food. I definitely wouldn’t have a gel on those spins, and normally I just coffee and go (as opposed to getting my porridge/ oatmeal into me on a race day).

620ml or 710ml Podium bottles

30-60g table sugar (depending on overall ride duration and intensity)
10% Decathlon Aptonia peach drink mix for flavour (cheap as it gets)
1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of salt (for 30 or 60g sugar) - should probably weigh this out at least once to get an idea of mg

I vary the concentration to get close to the recommendations in @Dr_Alex_Harrison g/hr table, and I’m playing with his FUEL app (which so far is giving me recommendations that are pretty close to whatI usually do… so I obviously like it)

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I use two 600ml bidons.

For 70g carb mix - 39g maltodextrin + 31g fructose + 5g sodium citrate (one teaspoon) + 1 scoop of GAME (sports drink, likely akin to Gatorade but unsure of this).

For 85g carb mix - 47g malto + 38g fructose +5g sodim citrate + 1 scoop GAME

I aim for the 1:0,8 ratio as having tried Tailwind find that too sweet/off putting/GIT stressing.
I supplement the mixes with one packet Energade Jellies at 63g carbs per packet and one PowerBar bar at 37g carbs per bar, and 6 SIS Isotonic gels.

Typically a 300g/3 hour ride is 2 70g mixes plus 3 gels and either the jellies or the bar, the second 3 hour stint is the same with the remaining bar or jellies, depending what I ate first, but I usually snack from both within both 3 hour stints.

The above gives me flexibilty for either 300g carbs or 400g carbs per 3 hour window, weather dependent (hot vs cold), ride with 2 bidons full of a carb mix each with 2 ziplock bags of one carb mix each.
I chase that down with a USWE hydration pack, minimum 1,5L plain water.

My latest race this past weekend, I went with 4 70g mixes plus supplemental extras and water as above, stopped once at halfway (2:40 and 78km) to refill the two bottles.

Rode 160km in 6:11 with 2800vm, only concern was that I didn’t have the urge to urinate during the ride and wandering if 4L of fluid the whole day was too little. Also didn’t eat nor drink from any of the 6 water point/aid stations buffet style nutrition, only taking water to refill those two bidons and add the 2 ziplock 70g mixes.

Did find even with 5g sodium citrate/600ml bidon to be sweet, but that could be from the 1 scoop of GAME that is added for flavouring.

Your thoughts @Dr_Alex_Harrison ?

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Looking pretty solid there! You’re right. Might benefit from a bit more water if there was absolutely no urge to urinate for a 6-hr event. Not needing to go is a convenient ‘problem’ to have, but is a double-edged sword if taken too far, or if the event pushes out much past 6 hours.


I think many of us here appreciate when you do respond, thank you for your time.

There is no ‘if’, I even went to the extreme of trying to create that sensation. Definitely a convenient problem, for the race, This was not my intention at all though. To not pee that is.

What would drinking more water allude to, short of making an assumption of a fuller belly, kidneys having to work, bladder likely fuller. Better organ function no doubt, but we are not talking of taking things to the extreme by design by not drinking ‘enough’ plain water.

Any worthwhile comments/thoughts/links on drinking too little, not necessarily to the point of being dehydrated. I likely would have drunk more water if the weather was warmer/hotter/sunnier but it was a cool overcast day mainly, cool temps 5-22C with an average of 16C.

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I have the opposite problem, where I need to urinate quite frequently, sometimes as much as once per hour. I don’t usually drink a lot during a ride, maybe 500-750ml per hour @ about 60-75 grams of carbs depending on conditions. Sometimes I do drink 500-750ml in the hour before the ride though.

Could this urge to urinate be due to lack of salt, the mix that I used to use provides about 380mg salt per hour (not sure, which type). It has a bunch of other minerals as well but vert small doses. By the way, I’m not that old yet: mid-thirty’s.


For drop rides or races when I am going to be on my limit for 2+ hours, I do the following per hour, typically with no other food or water: in a roughly 700ml bottle of water, I have 60 grams of maltodextrin, 30 grams of fructose, about 1/2 tsp of sodium citrate, a tea bag for caffeine, and some lime juice or citric acid to balance out the sweetness. Sometimes I’ll have a pop-tart or other bit of sweet food and maybe coconut water or coffee right before the start as well, so I end up averaging ~80-110 grams of carbs per hour, in 700 ml to 1 L per hour of fluid per hour.

I’ve been doing this for about 18 months (including on races and fondos up to 6 hours, in a wide variety of weather) and have never had any issues. It took me awhile to be able to tolerate 60 grams per hour of maltodextrose when I started that probably five years ago, but then when I started adding in 30 grams of fructose on top of that last year, I had no distress.

This is a somewhat sweet, viscous, bottle, and a bit of a mess when I spill it on the bike. However only having to worry about the bottle makes fueling very straightforward (and is much less sweet and sticky than gels, which I do not enjoy).

For shorter and/or less intense rides, I eat more casually and more varied, eg 30-60 grams of carbs per hour (eg banana or baked goods), and for low intensity 1 hour rides, I don’t always fuel.

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Yes. Double the sodium and you’ll see the need to urinate decrease.

If there is no need to urinate over the course of a 6-hr event, you are getting a bit dehydrated. Cardiac drift is the result. (Higher HR for power, also known as “decoupling” in some circles).

Performance benefit of drinking more: same power stays easier for longer. Lower risk of GI issue. If you felt great though, I might only bump it up 50-150mL per hour for the same conditions & effort in the future.


Sugar (caster sugar is fine ground table sugar - same carbs but dissolves quickly and easily).

Bulk Powders electrolyte mix (powder).

Bulk Powders flavour drops (4 drops / 500ml, 6 drops / 750 ml does it for me - just enough for a little background flavour).

Cheap and effective. No need to muck about with ratios. Sugar is virtually 1:1 .

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2 scoops NOW maltodextrin
1 scoop fructose (bulk, ordered online)
1 scoop blue gatorade from costco
1 teaspoon sodium citrate (bulk, Amazon?)

1 scoop is 50-55g, so about 200g carb/800cal per 1 liter bottle.

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I just started following the @Dr_Alex_Harrison approach. Table sugar with a bit of Glacier Frost Gatorade plus sodium citrate. Makes life so much simpler (and cheaper). He’s da real MVP. Yesterday was 105mi in Southern Georgia heat for 5 hrs. 110g/hr carbs and 1200mg/hr sodium citrate was awesome. Felt good all day and I’m not as fuzzy brained today. Win all around.


I’m sure that I’m not, but thank you. Your fuel approach looks very similar to my own now. I do enjoy the cost-effectiveness, especially when the wife’s training hours quadruple what mine are!


Now I have to make the critical decision…how much of your knowledge do I share with my riding buddies?

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Just yell back to them as they drop and fade away, “You need more Fructoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooose…”


I know the struggle. @michelleihowe and I had a very serious and lengthy conversation about this before we made the app and youtube channel. We’ve always been of the mind that we want to beat our competitors on their best day, not their worst, but had never considered that we might raise the level of play entirely, without increase to our own. That was a new, but short-lived ethical dilemma for us.

Our conclusion:

  1. Do the greater good. (still a slightly hard pill to swallow when you pour a lot into your performance!)

  2. The stiff drink that made the hard pill easier to swallow: If the content & tech we produce ends up improving her competitors in the pro peloton or triathlons, we’ll be likely to have at least have gained enough status/connections to negotiate for some aero testing and some sweet bikes & kit.

As far as your conclusion, @Motard … I can find at least one big silver lining of telling the riding buddies, especially if you happen to be the sprinter among them. They’ll tow you to more KOM’s during group rides! :wink:


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Currently using 2:1 Maltodextrin:Fructose - Actual weights dependent on activity and temperature.

Bulk Electrolyte powder - one small scoop using the scoop that comes with it

LiquiFlav - ~12 drops / 500ml

Not sure about watermelon & strawberry flavour. Anyone have any favourites?

Props for the your perspective on your dilemma…and thanks for the YouTube content and the app. The sweet bikes & kit will come I’m sure.