If I have electrolytes in my bottles, do I want it in my gels too?

I’m using SIS electrolyte and carb powder, seems to be pretty good so far. I’m just about to buy some SIS gels, and unsure whether to go for the plain carbs or get the ones with added electrolytes. Can I have too much electrolytes?

What are you doing? For longer rides I carry one for emergency’s and for TT I down one before I start. I find them messy and hardly ever use them mid ride. Edit as to your question, it probably depends on your individual body but I can have too much as it leaves me wired/ unable to sleep for hours later.

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Electrolyte gels may make more sense for runners, who typically may carry gels but not water with them (drinking water at aid stations), than it does for cyclists who will more typically carry drink mix with them and consume it along the way on the bike.

Ideally, you want to think about how much sodium you need to replace each hour, then think about your total intake through gels, drink mix, etc. The amount of sodium people lose differs significantly some may need only 1000 mg per hour, others 2000mg. If your kit is often caked in salt stains at the end of a long hot ride, you are probably at the heavy end, and need an increased electrolyte replacement rate.

Yes, you can have too much electrolytes, but how much is “too much” differs with each individual athlete.


The strawberry SIS with electrolytes work very well under hot and humid conditions. If you are not riding in hot temps just get the plain. FWIW, I use both.

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Typically riding 2 - 4 hours but up to seven hours.

Thanks. I think I’m fairly salty, my helmet straps are usually a bit white after a ride and my sweat tastes pretty salty.

Cheers. Both and see how I go is probably what I’ll do

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For 2 hours I wouldn’t use them (unless it was a TT then I might take one beforehand); for 4 hours+ (and up to 7 hours) I would carry one as an emergency but I might not use it unless I was after a particular time and it was an intensity to benefit. The bottle suffices for me and too many gels would see me in electrolyte overload. We all different though you may find you need slightly more than me or even less but I’d be cautious of too many without real food.

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From sis site:

The gel not only delivers a rapid supply of easily digestible carbohydrates (22 grams) for energy, but also provides 118mg sodium, 9.5mg potassium and 1.5mg magnesium per gel.

That’s a pretty mild amount even if you have 2 per hour

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