Fuel on trainer, only fluids ok? (sports drink/gel)

Hi, i follow Trainerroad guidelines on how much kcal-carbs/hour.

But is it ok to drink all the carbs from sportsdrinks (high 5/wiggle) up to 3 hour high intensity workouts/races?.

Have done this for a long time and my stomach has no issues with it.

±1000kcal workout on low intensity 0carb.
<1000kcal workout 30carb/hour Sportsdrink
<2000kcal workout 60carb/hour Sportsdrink
+2000 kcal workout 90carb/hour Sportsdrink + gel

From a fuelling perspective no problem at all.

If you’re training like that all the time then I would strongly recommend rinsing your mouth out with a gulp of water each time you drink sports drink or take a gel. And maybe consider brushing with a high fluoride toothpaste before a workout. There’s a lot of evidence out there linking use of sports drinks and gels to dental issues in sportspeople. If that’s all you’re drinking then basically your teeth are just being subjected to constant sugar throughout your workout, and if you’re doing a lot of 3 hour workouts then that’s likely to give you some problems.

Other factor is the impact on your wallet, personally I tend to save the sports nutrition for race days when I’m happy to pay for the convenience of carrying drinks and gels and the marginal gains of having something that is scientifically tailored for easy ingestion. For an indoor trainer ride where I don’t have to carry the nutrition and I’m not as fussed by eking out every last gain, I tend to go for cheaper and tastier sources of calories including dates, trail mix, bananas, maybe some Haribo or jelly babies if it’s a tough session! (and I still drink water after eating to rinse away as much sugar as possible)


I think i use 0,44Euro/hours worth of high intensity training in sportsdrink. Not sure if thats much?.

Either way I do try to train up to my bodies limit and I am most interested in the recovery. It’s my belief that if i use as little of my stored glycogen and most from fuel my body uses less time to refuel and recover after workout?.

The teeth factor i will think about, maybe i should start to eat some high Gl bread with chocolate instead of sportsdrink and rinse with water instead.

Yeah, the powdered drinks aren’t too bad cost wise, the gels can add up fast though!

Re how many calories to take on it really depends on balancing out your goals. If it’s all about recovery then yes, taking on as many as you can during and immediately after the workout will help. But if you’re trying to lose weight or improve body composition then doing some workouts fasted or with minimal carb replacement can be a good way of running a calorie deficit. And if you’re training for longer events like 70.3, IM or centuries then doing some workouts (typically lower intensity ones) fasted or carb depleted can help your body to get better at utilising fat as an energy source.

Only on races i will go above 60karb/hour and gels.
For the next 4 months i should probably gain some weight (hard mentally), so its all about reaping benefits from the workout and recovering as well as possible. I always fuel up 250cal with carbs and protein within 30 mins of the ride.

But then i will keep my usual habbit of only fluids + gel on races and maybe try do some more solid food and only water for the trainer.

Just got an idea for when on the trainer.
I will mix a very strong sportsdrink and divide it in very small cups that i will drink each 15min.
I think that will be a good solution, easier than eating when doing intervals with very short breaks, better for the teeth.
Gonna try 50cl w/15carbs for each cup.

For the future/outdoor rides i will try read up in here for ideas what food that is easy to make/cheap.

I can’t remember the last time I took in solid food on the trainer, or hell any ride less than 3 hours…

Most of my 90 min+ trainer sessions I get by with 250-350cal/hr, usually from a Tailwind bottle (2.5 scoops) and maybe a gel. For the long duration sweet spot sessions:
60 min: Water for most, Skratch bottle for anything with intensity.
90 min: Tailwind bottle, gel, Skratch bottle (roughly 400 cal total)
2hrs: Two tailwind bottles, gel as I feel I need it based on intensity.

Gels: buy a bulk container from Hammer or Honey Stinger, use a flask. Saves tons of money and waste.

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I’ve just recently started doing this after reading about it here and it has been fantastic. Add however much maltodextrin to a bottle with a little powdered gatorade for flavour. Really cheap and so easy to consume on the bike.

One of the things I like about the trainer is the ability to use solid food because I don’t have to worry about jamming a jersey pocket or handlebar bag full…

Lots of dried figs, dates, gummy bears, little “bruschetta chips”, pretzels, etc…


Thanks for the tips on the maltodextrin, never thought about that. just searched and its crazy cheap!!!, and yes should work super for all interval days up to 2 hours. Maybe think about electrolytes and such for the longer ones.