Women's Nutrition

Great point re: drink mix choice. Consider making your own, or at least understanding the sugar considerations well, while choosing new commercial products if you go that route.

Lots of great info related to that in threads below. Much discussion of gut tolerance etc.


Thanks! It definitely tasted gut-clenchingly sweet. Though I think Tailwind has 100 g carbs/ liter and I didn’t finish a bottle every hour. Just how do I get enough carbs down my throat? Will I get more used to it?

I just picked Tailwind to start somewhere and because someone recommended it. Seems to get good reviews

@Dr_Alex_Harrison can probably get into the details of this much better than I can describe, but from what I understand, your body produces only so much enzyme to process the carbs. You “train your gut” to process more by just gradually increasing the amount of carbs/hr, which makes your body produce more enzymes so you CAN process the carbs without GI distress. I don’t remember what the numbers are, but 100g/l sounds kind of high to do per hour unless you’ve “trained” your gut for it. But I still think you should consider that the drink mix itself may be an issue. You need to figure out what works for YOU. Try Tailwind in a smaller amount and see if you still have the GI issue. Like I said, my friend tried this other mix a few times and every time she felt nasty, culminating in the bush/puke incident, when she decided that mix was not for her.

Ok, that makes sense. When I calculated what I ingested over the whole ride it was only 47 g carbs/hour, but the drink mixture was 100 g/liter, and I guess that will still mess with the osmosis of the stomach. I think before I throw the (fairly expensive) bag of Tailwind out after one use, I’ll try again but with lower concentration. The next bi one is in three weeks, but I can try it in training sessions before that.

Quick summary:

1:1 Glucose:Fructose Ratio Works better than 2:1.

90-150 grams of carbs per hour during exercise may be beneficial. 90 is not the limit.

Sucrose works as well as maltodextrin:fructose, and glucose:fructose 1:1 mixtures. >>90g/hr is optimal

Isotonicity is not as important as meeting carb and hydration needs. Both can be met with hypertonic solutions, greater than 90g/hr.

Detailed how-to guide for intra-workout fueling: (scroll to near bottom)

Running intra-workout fueling, sweetness discussion

Really spelling it out: HOW TO:

Even more how-to, with savings calculations:

FWIW: My wife weighs ~140 pounds and was able to do (and enjoy) 100g carbs per hour with virtually no gut training. She now can do 120-130g/hr without issue. I suspect “gut training” is only a small part of what allows for increased carb consumption rates during exercise. Skills and drink mixing training is probably more important! (ie. optimal sugar ratios, adequate sodium and fluid consumption).


look if you keep coming on here with comprehensive, research-based answers to people’s questions where are we gonna go to speculate wildly man


Thanks! This is very helpful. Will read everything. I felt quite demoralised after yesterday’s ride and I have a 400 km coming up in three weeks, so I’m a bit worried about how I will manage. However, on my last 200 km ride I actually made my own drink from 1:1 guava juice and water with a teaspoon of salt per liter. That went down easily and I had no problems until I ran out of water, but that’s an entirely different problem. Maybe I should work out the sugar content of the guava juice and replicate that in the first instance.


That’s a huge ride!

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I think all of the reading material from @Dr_Alex_Harrison will be super helpful. You have time to figure this out, and you had some success with the guava/water, so look at other ideas. But I think you might need to break out the calculator and figure out different ratios of things that work/don’t work, and keep records so you can hone it. 400km is giant… have you thought more about the gel flask thing?

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Yes I got one of those too. It’s definitely better than the gel packets - less mess, easier to access. And I can see the advantages of keeping sugar and hydration demands a bit separate.

Just my .02, but here in the Midwest we’ve had weeks and weeks of 90 degree days and while I usually only have issues getting food/drinks down at the end of an epic ride day, the intense heat has made eating and drinking in general VERY difficult! Combine that with my husband being a very heavy/salty sweater and we both nearly died on what was supposed to be a fun Gran Fondo event a few weeks back! :rofl:

All of that is to say we looked at changing our fueling strategy and merely adding a few pinches of salt to our existing mix (Gatorade Organic ESSNTL electrolyte powder) and MAN! What a difference for both of us (MUCH more palatable, encouraged both of us to drink more AND my husband didn’t bonk/become a salt mine)!

Again not as comprehensive an answer as previous, but just hope it helps some folks dealing with heat intolerance/inability to eat or drink in those conditions.

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the artificial sweeteners put me off SIS and Gatorade (Acesulfame K)

Gatorade doesn’t have acesulfame potassium in it. Only their low-sugar options might. Maybe things like G2 or G-zero or others.

I wouldn’t recommend low-sugar Gatorade or anything with any artificial sweeteners in it for endurance activity.

Sweetness reduction is a goal for optimal beverage tolerance as workouts get longer, for most folks personal preferences. It’s beyond me that SIS (and others) add a sweetener to their beverages.

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Guys I did it! I managed my 400 km ride yesterday. Fuelling worked quite well though I was often a bit nauseous and struggled to get food down me at the control stops but I just made myself. There are a few things I would tweak but on the whole it was ok. The beer and bean stew that we got at the finish at 2 am was possibly the most delicious food I’ve ever had


So you added more salt to the electrolyte mix? That sounds like a good plan

AWESOME! Well done. 600 next? :wink:

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Yes, that’s kind of the pan, but in my present state of tiredness and soreness I can’t imagine doing a further 200 km…


Amazing achievement! Massive well done :star_struck:

Yep, and after having done a couple more hot rides and longer rides it may just become our new “normal” mix, so much more palatable for me and a lot less salt loss for my husband! It was literally just a couple of teaspoons to the entire canister of mix, but made a huge difference!