Gatorade Maltodextrin mix and a sub 5 hour solo century

Was discussing this in the “Make your own Beta Fuel” thread and decided just to make a separate post instead of burying this in that thread.

One of my goals this year was to knock out a sub 5 hour solo century and this past Saturday I gave it a try as training for a 100mi gravel event I have coming up in July. I had been loosely planning the nutrition for the ride as seen HERE. After following that thread and the great advice of @Dr_Alex_Harrison and many others I formulated a plan…

The plan;

-2 parts Gatorade powder to 1 part Maltodextrin with Sodium Citrate (approx. 2tsp/4g per 1000ml)

-1000ml 150g carb bottle by hour 2:00
-1000ml 150g carb bottle by hour 4:00
-1000ml 150g carb bottle to finish

-Add in gels/waffles as I feel I can stomach them.

-450g-???g total
-90g or more per hour



But it ended up being a very hot/humid day, so things didn’t go exactly to plan.

The reality;

-Drank half of first bottle by 1:00 in as planned and ate a Honey Stinger waffle which caused a little gut pain but not too bad.
-Finished first bottle by 1:45, a little early but I knew I had plenty to make it to the water stop
-Had some gummy bears (@ 18g) at hour 2:00, slight gut pain
-Water stop mile 50/ hour 2:30 – chugged the second bottle because it was getting hot
-Had major gut pain from chugging all that mix after I got going
-I now had one bottle of straight water and one bottle mix to finish the ride after stop
-Had to back off on drinking for 10-15min while stomach sorted itself out after the stop
-SiS caffeine gel somewhere around hour 3:50
-SIS electrolyte gel somewhere after hour 4:00
-Completely out of fluids at mile 90
-Sis gel at mile 95 because I was thirsty

-555g carbs total
-around 110g carbs per hour (not consistently)


I guess if I was to change anything I’d drop down the amount of carbs in the bottles and make up for it with more gels. Having the mix that powerful was nice as it meant less to carry but not really a good idea to rely so much on it.

My power dropped towards the end as I started to go into survival mode from the heat and knowing I was going to run dry. Felt completely fine the rest of the day and next day with no crazy hunger spike or feeling like I dug myself a hole.

So given all that, I should be able to do this even faster. Anyways, here’s some numbers…


Great ride and I detailed report on the fueling. For the couple of long events that I have done I start with two bottles of mix, then switch to one mix and one pure water thereafter with gels to supplement as needed.

Where are you riding? I’m always interested in attempting sub-five-hour centuries. I did one two years ago as part of a gran fondo so the roads were mostly closed. I attempted one last year but the route had too many road crossings that cost me 20-30 minutes.

Thanks! I just made a route on Strava around my town on some roads I ride a lot.

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15% concentration for the first 2 hours probably did it. In general under 10% is recommended unless you’ve trained and know you can do 15%


I read that you had 3 x 1-L bottles of fuel mix onboard. Did you additionally carry or consume any plain water at the start? My understanding is that you only ascertained plain water at the half-way point. Correct?

Am I understanding that you added 2tsp sodium citrate additionally to the Gatorade + malto mix? If so, then your sodium concentration was ~2500-2700mg per bottle. Each bottle probably contained 0.9L water, unless you have found something larger than Zefal Magnum Bottles (32oz). That puts you at very roughly ~3000mg sodium per liter for the first 2.5 hrs.

Total fluid consumption for the first 2.5 hrs would have been roughly ~1.8 L.

Glucose to fructose ratio is probably ~3:1. Too high on the glucose side of things.

If I’m understanding correctly, then:

  1. You have very high gut tolerance for concentration of carbs and electrolytes, even if dehydrated.
  2. You were substantially dehydrated by 2.5 hrs. Ideal fluid consumption rate would have been ≥ 2.5 L, in all likelihood. Maybe much higher. I don’t have strong evidence, but plenty of pretty convincing anecdote now that some folks tolerate and benefit from >>1L per hour in hot/humid conditions. I need to dig into hydration literature more to explore because this “1-1.2L per hour” sort of dogmatic recommendation is something that I have not tried to look under the hood on as much as I have done with other things.
  3. It’s a wonder you didn’t have crippling cramps and diarrhea after the ride.

I bet!!!

I’m impressed it sorted itself out in that short time. I have not ever been so lucky unless I’ve only slightly overdone carbs or volume of intake. Usually once I start getting gut cramping, it persists for the remainder of the ride unless I take drastic steps to alleviate and for much longer duration than 10-15min.

Thanks for the great report!


How did I miss this? There must have been something lost in translation in the other post because 2:1 gatorade:maltodextrin IIRC hasn’t ever been recommended. Also the high sodium. How did OP not explode on the bike?



Thank you for chiming in on this @Dr_Alex_Harrison! I’ll try my best to get to everything (tricky on my old iPad)

Correct, I started with two bottles mixed and the other bottles worth of mix in a baggie for the water stop. I chugged some water at the stop (old well pump at a church) and left with one mixed bottle and one straight water bottle. No plain water at the start after I left home.

Correct but probably more like 1-3/4 tsp. I was going off of your recommendation of not quite a full tsp per hour. I must have messed that up somewhere it sounds lol.

I had SiS 1000ml big mouth bottles. Don’t think they sell them anymore.

Correct. As mentioned in the other thread these bottles usually get me 2 hours each but they’re usually not half full of powder lol

100g Gatorade and 50g maltodextrin per bottle.

I guess being brought up on mostly McDonalds has some benefit :man_shrugging:t3::joy:

Also, I did a real good job of “cleaning house” before the ride.

The gut pain I was getting was similar to what I get in XC mtb races where the effort level is too high for my stomach to handle even some off the shelf mixes so I kinda have a feel for getting through it. Usually a small break from putting stuff in my mouth and/or straight water helps it subside. If that doesn’t work backing off the throttle does.

I’m usually a little salty after a ride but was a little extra after this one…

Thanks again Alex!


After going through the DIY Beta Fuel thread multiple times I though that was the ratio everyone was shooting for. Reading never was my strong point though…

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Sorry, i didn’t look at your numbers you posted above closely, we don’t know gatorade’s exact ratio, @Dr_Alex_Harrison tends to think its closer to 2:1 already and I think its closer to 1:1, so using 2:1 gatorade:maltodextrin will end up somewhere between 3:1 to 2:1. I’d say try 2.5-3:1 gatorade:maltodextrin at those concentrations and see how your body responds, but the high concentration I think is the main culprit

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Ok that makes sense. I’ll try backing down the Gatorade and sodium citrate. Thanks!

you actually want to back down the maltodextrin you add since it is pure glucose


Ah ok oops. :+1:

I just found a few purchase options on Google. How do you like these SIS bottles? Have you tried the Zefal ones? Zefal is all that I’ve used and I’m tempted to try the SIS ones.

How is bottle security? I have had the zefal ones come out of a cage a couple times if I’m not using the best cages.

Cool. Yeah, that’s probably 116.7g glucose and 33.3g fructose per bottle. That assumes a 2:1 gluc:fruc ratio contribution from Gatorade, which is what they’ve marketed. Need more fructose overall.

Great point. I should look into this. 29 cent hamburger Wednesdays were a staple in my household. :wink:

Perfect strategy.

Also this. Great. I did a presentation on “on-the-fly” nutrition decision-making for USA Triathlon coaching education and you’d have made an excellent co-presenter.

Do you have insider knowledge or have you done an analysis? Very interested if so. Curious into your rationale for thinking that Gatorade is closer to 1:1 gluc:fruc.

If I were Gatorade, I’d market 2:1 until the popularity of that dies. But I’d put almost pure sucrose in it because it’s cheaper and more effective, and not tell anyone that it was 1:1.

Do you think that’s what they’re doing?

“2:1” will usually refer to glucose:fructose, and it has been the industry standard “ideal” ratio for 15+ yrs.

For your ratio thinking:
Maltodextrin = pure glucose, just strung together.
Dextrose = glucose.
Gatorade = sucrose + dextrose in undisclosed ratio.
Sucrose (“sugar”) = equal parts glucose + fructose


No, just an educated guess about their most recent formulation, precisely because they don’t market it that way. Gatorade used to get a lot of flack when it was pure table sugar, and I believe they added dextrose to say it wasn’t just sugar.

This paper from 2014 has it at ~50:50. but I don’t know if they formulation has changed much since then. Asker Jeukendrup was made director around that time so its possible he changed the formulation to be closer to 2:1 but its weird they wouldn’t market that way if it was.



Thanks for spelling it out like that, makes a lot more sense now!

So if you were me what would you do different for the ride above?

I feel like things were pretty dialed just the pacing of the carb consumption was off because of the heat, or maybe it was because of the sodium? Even with the issues I am happy with the performance but of course would always like to improve!

I owe you guys some beers either way :beers:

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Consume more water alongside all else. Consider reducing maltodex addition or also adding some sucrose.


Just for clarity’s sake I wanted to revisit this and ask which Gatorade powder are you referring to specifically? I’ve noticed some different ingredient listings on the Endurance vs. the “Regular”. I am/was using the “Regular”.

Gatorade Endurance…


Regular Gatorade …


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I thought you might be interested in this. I picked up some Zefal Magnums and took a comparison pic with the SiS bottles for you. I filled the Magnum to the top of that lip (red line, sorry for the crude drawing) and then poured it into the SiS bottle. Looks like the SiS can fit a couple more good pulls in it. If you find them for sale anywhere let me know, mine are starting to wear out a little. Oh and they seem to be better gripped by my cages (Amazon carbon and Minoura aluminum) than the Magnums.

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I’ve done 5 hour centuries with regular water and some gatorade, and a Clif bar, and I was around your same FTP but around 77kg weight. I tend to fall into the “don’t overthink it just do it” camp. Everyone is different I guess, I got back from the 52 mile hammerfest last wednesday with one of my bottles still full lol