Super concentrated carb mix bottles

I searched and couldn’t find examples of how much people add to bottles.

I’ve used skratch and never second but never experimented with adding a ton to a single bottle then hydrating with plain water. I mean I’ve done 2 scoops in a bottle for skratch and same for never second but I wouldn’t consider that super concentrated.

Say for a 4 hour ride if you wanted 50g carbs/hour from your never second c30 mix you would add just under 7 scoops to one bottle, take in a 1/4 bottle per hour and use plain water to hydrate.

Are people doing this?

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Haven’t used Skratch specifically, but I do mix fructose/maltodextrin in bottles and will do a max of 200g in a bottle. If I need to go 4 hours or more without stopping, I’ll do 2 bottles with 200g each, then have a hydration pack with water. Obviously it’s really important to keep up on the water, super concentrated carb drinks are very hypertonic, so they pull water out of your cells and into your gut, dehydrating you.

One potential issue I see with doing 50g/hr for 4 hours with only one bottle, is trying to gauge how much you’ve drank to stay on track, and take small enough sips that you don’t go overboard. With my 2 hour bottles, it’s a bit easier at 30 minutes to say “yep I’ve drank some” and at an hour “that’s about half”, and so on. I feel like it’d be hard to gauge at an hour whether you’ve consumed 1/4 bottle or 3/8 or 1/8, etc. But maybe not an issue.


There’s a “gel” recipe thread that’s doing this


Ultimately, you’re still going to need X amount of fluids per hour depending on conditions, so concentrating everything into one bottle doesn’t seem to have any advantages in my opinion.

I usually fill up 2-3 bottles with the amount of carbs I’ll need assuming I’ll be drinking ~1 bottle an hour, again, depending on conditions.

If you’re going to have to stop to fill up on water at some point you could always bring some of Skratch’s individual packets to add to your water. Their high-carb 200-cal packets have 50g of carbs each, so perfect for your needs. Their Hydration Sport mix is great for electrolytes so I usually use a bit of both if I’m going to be sweating. :sweat_smile:

I personally much prefer sipping on a nice drink mix over a super high concentration chased by water. At that point, you might be better off using gels instead. :man_shrugging:


I am about to head out with my USWE 1.5 liter and 400 grams of sugar in there. I like doing the fuel in the pack so it’s easy to access, especially in races. Then I supplement with water bottles depending on temperature, and it also gives me the option of pouring water on me when it’s hot out.

But if it’s cool and rainy, I don’t need as much hydration, vs. if it’s hot out. And I’ve been caught with having a less concentrated mix then just having to stop to pee way too many times.

So the concentrated mix with water in bottles works for me, and I’ve easily done 400 grams in 1.5 litres of water. I’m sure I could do it even more concentrated if I needed to.


Do you find it easy to gauge how much you’re drinking out of the pack? I have been wanting to try mixing the carbs in the pack, but am worried that I’d get to the first pit stop (thinking Lumberjack 100, ~3 hour laps) and I’d still have half a pack left or I’d finish the pack half way through the lap.

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I tried timing 2/3 of a bottle per hour once and it was way too much mental fatigue on the bike after a couple hours.

I also do 1/2 a 32oz bottle per hour but depending on length of ride modulate the bottle between 80-120g of carbs and supplement with a gel and/or solids to get to around 100g/hr.


This has come up mostly in long races. I just did Unbound and had been training with never second in my Uswe pack but at Unbound I could no longer choke down the drink mix and my body seemed to only want plain water. So I switched to plain water and had to adjust plan and get the missing calories by eating extra gels and other food.

That’s why I was thinking maybe concentrated mix bottles and water in pack.

ahh, sure.

For those really long rides, I’d recommend eating a variety of things as often as possible. Typically I’ll start with some solid food and start to lean more on the simple sugars later on as trying to only consume gels, drink mix, etc. for 4+ hours never works well for me either.

This could be a gut-training thing too. I’ve found that you need to train your gut to take in sugar over the long haul in the same way as you do with quantity. I can take in 100g/hour for 2-3 hours, but not any longer. I had to build up to that, and I think if your body is saying “enough” a few hours into a ride, it’s probably not used to digesting only sugar for that long.

Some training might help, but the easier thing is to postpone the simple sugars until you don’t want to eat anymore and need to keep getting calories in. :rice_ball:


Yeah. That all makes sense. The second half of the race I leaned heavily on untapped maple syrup as those are so easy to consume. Very late in the race a honeybun got me to the end. I just need to keep working and testing things out.


I have been doing some longer rides/races and I will typically have two 26oz bottles with about 70 to 90 carbs per bottle. I will do 3-4 Skratch High Carb scoops and 1 Skratch Hydration scoop or Tailwind Scoop to increase electrolytes. I take a sip every 12 -15 minutes and will also have a hydration pack with clear water to be able to sip on occasionally. Having clear water is really nice on the longer rides. If I go higher in concentrate for bottles it seems to give me more gut issues. I then try to take a gel of 20-30 carbs every 30 minutes.

A bottle will last me about 1.5 hours at this pace so I can get 3 hours from two bottles. Did a 100 mile gravel race couple weeks ago and the only stop I had was at mile 50 switching the two bottles from a small cooler I left on course. I had no support crew and total stop time was less than 30 seconds. Worked almost perfect with total race time of 5:48.

I’ve had success with 100g table sugar with some table salt in a 25oz bottle. Anything higher than that tastes gross to me. Before water is added, the dry sugar fills like 1/4 to 1/3 of the bottle.

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Yeah, that’s an inexact science for sure. It even depends on the flow rate of your nozzle.

I’ve gotten pretty good, taking a couple of swigs every 20 minutes or so as time allows, and my last race I did in 3:45 and had just a little left (I had 400 grams of carbs based on a 4 hourish time). That takes a bit of practice I think.

The imprecision of it is outweighed for me by the ease of getting the fuel with the pack, and the ability to tailor how much extra water I’m having. But there is no way to really be sure that you’ve had say 1/4 of the bladder after 1 hour. That part of it is definitely easier with bottles if you just plan 1 bottle per hour.

Having said that, I usually use bottles for road races, although I still go with a concentrated bottle and a water bottle. But on a lot of gravel races, I just find drinking out of bottle to be more difficult if they’re remotely technical. On the road it is much easier to find time to grab bottles.

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I think this is the approach most of us should have with regards to fueling, especially fuelling on the bike! I find that it’s an area that can be continuously dialed in and adjusted depending on conditions, our changing tolerance of certain foods and our preferences. Understanding that it is something that will require continuous adjustment takes the pressure off of needing to perfect it now! Progress > perfection :sparkles:

My only advice on top of the helpful comments so far is to document what you try, in what conditions, and the effects you feel it had. That will help you dial in what you uniquely need.


That’s a great suggestion. Thanks.

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What helps me lately is Garmin asks for calories and hydration consumed at the end of very ride or workout (I use my Garmin on the trainer). That gets written into the fit file, for easy reference later on.


I’ve had really good luck with Hammer Perpetuem for longer rides. I’ll mix 3-4 hours worth in 1 clear bottle and use a Sharpie to mark the side in third or quarters and then I can see exactly how much I need to drink each hour


I really like to have one bottle of plain water. And the other with carbs. Multiple reasons.

One, it allows for rinsing after a sip of sugar to minize dental risks. Two, I can drink to thirst without worrying of over fueling, at least here where I live I can easily plan my rides so I go past safe water fountains every 30km / hour. Three, it keeps the mental math very easy for carbs/hour by just drinking from the other bottle every 20-30 min.

For my carbs bottle, I mix maltodextrine, fructose and/or sugar and a little bit of flavoured mix (and sodium and caffeine if required). I’ve gone up to 300g in a 750ml bottle just fine when prepared ahead of time with hot water. I used a marker to place dashes on the bottle to easily identify 1/5th and 2/5th and so forth (or 1/4th, etc). For longer rides I add in bars/gels to meet the required carbs.

For me it is the easiest (and cheapest) way to be in control of my fueling.


I disagree. I’ve been doing super bottles for years and it works great. I’ve used this strategy in training and racing up to 5 hours (targeting 100-110g per hour). My mix consists of Gatorade powder, sugar and sodium citrate in a 1 liter bottle. Then I carry plain water in other bottles or USWE pack. I can’t do solid foods or gels, so all my fuel is liquid.

The benefits are that it’s easy to regulate fuel and water intake separately. I sip every 15 mins and then rinse/drink plain water. It’s so refreshing to have plain water and keeps flavor fatigue and sugar mouth at bay. Often times it’s cooler in the morning and I don’t need as much water, but as it warms up I do. If I put mix in all my bottles I’m forced to drink them to get my fuel and then I have to pee a bunch of times.


This has definitely been an issue for me. I used to try to just mix 90g of carbs in my bottles and it just forcing down liquids and peeing a lot. Weirdly enough my garmin edge when it estimates the amount of liquids I should have consumed for the ride for me is pretty accurate when I drink to thirst.

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