Saturday, 18 December 2010

Homemade sports drinks

Over recent weeks with the decision to cut down on calorie intake on long runs and a definite reduction in the use of over-rated carb gels. I have found I have about 20 in a lunch box in my kitchen cupboard and in my sports bag about to go past their sell by date.

The problem I have found with gels is that you are advised to use one every 20 minutes with a good few gulps of water this causes a big influx of glucose to the system. Sometimes you can actually feel it doing its magic more with your mental faculties as your brain takes up the glucose that it would have been craving. Each satchet is about 75 pence (cheapest) and I used to go through the box load .

So what to do with this surplus? I decide on an experiment for tomorrow's run andmade my own sports drink with them

  1. Warm some water in a kettle ( do not boil)
  2. Pour 250 mls of it in a 500 ml jug
  3. In this warm water squeeze one carb gel and stir until dissolved
  4. Once dissolved add cold water to fill the jug.
  5. Leave to cool
Just add this to your ordinary sports bottle, if you want to make it isotonic add one of your favourite tablets such as Nuun. Be careful of the flavours I am lucky as everything I use is orange flavoured but that bit is up to you.

Not the cheapest drink on the market but it saves wasting unwanted gels...enjoy


  1. Gels are a magic-trick best saved for races. I don't think they have a place for every day training-life.

  2. Andy I don't totally agree with that as you have to train your body to be able to digest them and be used to them on the Race Day. I am forever practicing and experimenting, how else would I have known that I can digest banana milkshake, Peperami or hotdogs (with extra mustard and tomato sauce). :-)

  3. Here's a recipe for an isotonic sports drink I use all the time for training:

    200ml fruit squash (not reduced sugar or sugar free)
    800ml water
    0.25 tsp salt

    Place the salt in a saucepan with a bit of the water and heat gently until dissolved. Add the squash and the rest of the water. Cool and keep in fridge for up to 24 hours.

    I use this stuff for all my training runs of 12 miles or over; but not for races. I use Lucozade Sport for ultras and keep a careful note of my proposed vitamin, mineral, electrolyte uptake so that I can also take on board electrolyte tablets or extra vitamins & minerals if necessary.

    This, and other stuff, can be found on the Help And Advice page of my blog. Use the link on the right of my homepage.

    PS ... I don't use many gels. None when training, maybe five in a 24 hr race. They taste disgusting!!!

  4. WOW thank you Chris, that looks like a recipe even I could get right. I tested my little recipe out today and added an electrolyte tablet to it. All went well, it seemed OK but the temperature was so low today that it turned into slush as it began to freeze up.
    Your recipe will really be useful over coming weeks as the long runs really kick in.