By Mathieu Bélanger, Cyclist, Coffee critic & XACT ambassador
5 minute read
I’ve been riding and racing my bike for more than 15 years now. I have a cross-country background, and I used to ride. round a very small circuit 5 to 8 times within 1.5 hours. I needed to be punchy and on top of my game each and every race.
A couple of years ago I switched to longer distance races. As you might know this means longer training rides and a lot of hours on the bike. I thought I was getting lazy and wanted to get into something that would allow me to be a little less punchy and demand more stamina. I was completely wrong, I had to put in a whole lot more work, wake up early and get on the bike for 2hrs per day on short days and up to 7hrs on longer days.
To be on top of your game for 7hr rides or 5hr races you need to stay on top of your hydration. That being said you don’t want to just put ordinary water in your body and hope that everything will be fine. On the other hand, chucking down Gatorade from the corner store may not help you out either.
Racing under extreme heat means getting fluid into your body without having GI issues
Finding the right drink mix is key to your success. After a couple years of trying a too sugary drink mix, having GI issues during races, getting fed up of sugar on hot days, I think I have finally found what suits me: Electro2. Those tabs have 2 main advantages. First they have all you need in them to survive a long ride in terms of electrolytes. In fact they have more potassium and sodium than most other brands. But they actually don’t taste of anything… WOAH, WHAT? Yes, I am only using the Electro2 ‘’Naked’’ version.
I’ve been testing these tablets during training rides in Costa Rica in overwhelming humidity, and in the French Alps during one of the worst heat waves ever. In all situations it was always refreshing to get water that actually tasted like water, while knowing I was getting all necessary electrolytes to get through the day.
The event that was really an eye opener for me was the Everesting Challenge (article in French) I did in June; after 12 hours of riding I was really fed up of sugary drinks and sugar in general. For the remaining 4hrs I only drank Electro2 Naked. I’m not sure if this helped me finish the Everesting Challenge but I sure finished it without throwing up Coca-Cola or Gatorade.
Climbing the last few meters of the Everesting Challenge while avoiding sugary drinks
XACT also provides a caffeinated option (Electro3) and a flavoured option of the Electro2. I really encourage you guys to give it a try and think about it as being a game changer in your ultra endurance events or training.
Mathieu races MTB - CX - Gravel for Pivot Cycles and is an Engineer 🤖 at Robotiq in Québec City, Qc.