Should I keep my Gatorade PERFORM regimen or switch?

So I have been buying canisters of Gatorade “Perform” since I started bike training indoors about 9 months ago. I put 2 scoops in about 32 oz. of water and have another 32 oz. of plain water beside the bike as well. It’s hot in the room usually and for a 1.5 hour ride, I’ll tear through both bottles. I seem to like the SUPER sugary drink for energy/pain relief. But I can’t help but feel like it’s not a healthy choice. A friend of mine said get some EFS electrolyte powder and some “pure carbohydrate”. I exclusively train indoors and am doing the MVSSB and 5.5 weeks through and will start the next block soon. Usually I have a banana or nothing before the ride in the morning and I feel like this amount of sugar with or without the banana keep me afloat.

Should I keep going with this easily available product (here in Mexico) or switch to something “cleaner”?

I’m likely biased, as my entire time training I’ve just gone with the more affordable and easily accessible route.
I don’t remember exactly how Allen Lim said it in a webinar I was watching a few months ago, it was basically along the lines of “food that’s bad for you off the bike can be good for you on the bike … and then off the bike eat lots of vegetables” … not his quote by any means (I couldn’t find my notes from the webinar), but what he’s trying to say is that it’s okay to eat simple carbs on the bike as it will be used as energy. I’ll add his actual quote if I can find it later today

In my mind, as long as you’re getting carbs and adequate fuel and electrolytes from the Gatorade , and as long as your stomach is handling it so it’s not negatively affecting your performance in that way then I don’t see any problem with it as it’s more available and likely more affordable than EFS and other brands.

Just make sure this is strictly on the bike and on rides/workouts where it makes sense to have drinks other than just water. Your body will use the sugar and carbs in your workout if used appropriately. Off the bike the Gatorade will most likely be a poor choice in my opinion


Yes the problem seems to be my wife drinks it as a dessert before bed !

Thanks! Good feedback

There’s not a huge difference between commercially available sports drink, and stuff you can make on your own. They all have a bunch of carbohydrates, and usually electrolytes. Looking through the ingredients on gatorade, the last two ingredients are gum arabic and ester gum, which appear to be emulsifiers. I’m not super familiar with each. All of the rest of it is just generic sports drink ingredients. You want those things in your sports drink.

I will say that if you try to research gatorade ingredients, you get a bunch of junk websites full of false and/or misleading info about how “healthy” the ingredients are. One claimed that sodium citrate was just a preserative, and must be bad for you because of it. It didn’t bother to mention that it was an ideal electrolyte, and that in comparison to sodium chloride, is less likely to cause stomach distress, because you don’t need as much chloride as you do sodium when replacing electrolytes.

IMO, the reason to switch to something simpler is because its probably cheaper, and you can dial in the recipe to taste. You’ll also probably learn a bit about why the different ingredients are present in specific quantities throughout, though you could certainly just copy someone else’s recipe and still have great results.

Personally, I used to keep gatorade powder around, and I’d use that for my drink mix. Lately I’ve been making a maltodextrin+fructose mix, and that works great too. Sometimes I’ll raid the house for whatever simple sugars are around. I’ve literally had a bowl of marshmallows, or gummy bears as my on bike fuel. They also worked great. Mostly I just figure out how many grams of carbs I want to take in on my ride, and I set that next to the trainer. Its easy to get complicated, but for most 2 hour and shorter rides, just about anything full of carbs will work.

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Easy availability is worth it. After @ambermalika (I think) mentioned it, I’ve started using regular Gatorade powder with protein powder instead of a more expensive recovery mix, too.

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For my recovery drinks, I mix 12oz of skim milk with 3 Tablespoons of “Tang”, almost a perfect 4:1 Carb:Protein ratio, and costs less than 50¢ per drink!
Seems like the gatorade/protein combo is a very similar approach

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Hope you didn’t mind me taking a drink from your beverage … it’s the closest I could get to tasting in you in someway. – Anonymous

Water is the most logical form of hydration. However, sports drinks like Gatorade contain sugar and electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Sports drinks can help replace what we lose during longer duration exercise, especially in the heat. Electrolytes are minerals that maintain your body’s ionic balance. This balance is essential for nerve, muscle, and brain functioning. An imbalance may lead to an electrolyte disorder. Examples of electrolytes include: calcium magnesium chloride phosphate potassium sodium Electrolytes and carbohydrates help athletes refuel and rehydrate. This is what makes sports drinks popular. Electrolytes help regulate the body’s fluid balance while the carbs provide energy. Gatorade claims their product hydrates better than water because of these additional ingredients. Some research backs their claims. A report from the University of California at Berkeley says that sports drinks might be better than water for children and athletes who engage in prolonged, vigorous physical activity for more than one hour, especially in hot conditions. However, you should note that people exercising for less than 60 to 90 minutes may not need Gatorade to maintain or improve performance.

For those trying to kick the coffee habit it is an alernative to think about. Check out this article

Stick with Gatorade. It’s basically $1 a gallon, tastes fine and is available everywhere. Maurten Is about $24 per gallon. Pretty easy choice and for me zero performance differences and yes I’ve used both extensively.

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I’ve gone through a bunch of things and a lot of money over the years and am now back to Gatorade, which I spike with 1/8 tsp of pure sodium citrate. I have a super-high sweat rate and sodium requirement - trying to meet this with something off the shelf is way expensive. It works great for me, riding here in the hot, humid southern US.

I carry my customized G-ade, and pure water to wash down a gel, banana, half a Clif bar or similar – every 30 minutes on hard group rides; every 60-75 mins going easy.

All of these products have a couple of weird items in them. If that were a disqualification, we wouldn’t use any of them.