20+ years in triathlon and for at least 17 of those I really didn't pay a ton of attention to what I was eating/drinking during training racing. It was just like well as long as I was eating and drinking enough, it didn't really matter what the actual product was... I felt like I could eat/drink just about anything #ironstomach and get away with it. I don't often have any GI issues. My hypothesis on that is that I grew up as a swimmer and we ate and ate and ate because we swam so much and we were hungry all the time so I don't know it's like my gut is trained to eat whatever and be fine with it.
Anyway, a few years ago I started to learn more about actual hydration and I switched over to Osmo... partly b/c the Coeur team was sponsored by them so I could get it for free/cheap... but then I realized like no shit this stuff actually works better and I feel better when I drink it... Stacy Sims taught me a lot about hydration and what our bodies need and how we absorb fluids and Osmo just makes sense so I have used it pretty much exclusively for the last 2 years. Unfortunately Osmo has gone out of business. Gah! I got a huge shipment of it before they did so I still have some
I received some samples of a product that was new to me and today I decided to try it with an open mind and see how it went. This drink is more of your standard energy drink I guess... I was slightly nervous about the fact that it had a fairly significant amount of sugar, but then remembered that I used to drink all my calories when training/racing so maybe I could go back to that method and be ok? The sugars in this drink were maltodextrin, dextrose and fructose, which worried me a bit just b/c of what Stacy taught us about how maltodextrin and fructose are absorbed (or not) but again #ironstomach I figured I'd be fine. I mixed up 2x bottles with 2x scoops each as the directions suggested. They tasted sticky sweet and salty to me but maybe I could get used to that again...
Anyway, long story short, I did a brick today as 2.5 hour ride with some race efforts (3x10min; 5x7min) followed by 4 mile relaxed/aerobic run. After drinking that first bottle at full strength, I stopped and drank a bottle of plain water (it was so salty it made me thirsty!) and then split the other bottle in 2 by watering it down b/c it was just too much for me, and I thought if it was less concentrated maybe it would be absorbed better? The good part was that I didn't feel like I needed to eat very much at all b/c I was drinking my calories, but the bad part was that throughout my whole run off the bike I was burping up that product and I was getting more and more bloated. My fingers were like fat sausages by the time I finished! Anyway, fair to say my body did NOT absorb the fluids in the way I want it to (or the way it does when I drink Osmo). Turns out, the products we use when training/racing actually do matter and make a difference. Now I look back and wonder how the hell I functioned racing for like 17 years drinking whatever random drink mix I had? I did spend a lot of time being bloated I guess, and thinking that was just part of the sport.
So, back to the drawing board for me! I'll be looking to replace my beloved Osmo with a product more along the same lines (focused on actual hydration)... Not with one that tries to cram everything we might need into one "simple" bottle... Today was a good reminder though... Don't try anything new on race day! I'm SO glad I tried that stuff today vs next Saturday!