Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Gatorade has been doing it for decades. They have been telling us that their drink is better than water, not just because it helped Florida Gator football but because it replenishes electrolytes and other nutrients that we need (Its like Brawndo).
There are a bunch of electrolyte replacement powders and gels on the market for us in the hiking world and my only direct experience is with Vitalyte (which is a powered) and GU which can be a thick syrup, among other things.
My first experience with GU was on an ill-fated trip to Whale Peak. Why was it ill-fated; because we got off the trail, tromped around and then made it to the top of a mountain and I was completely spent. My hiking partner had some GU in his bag and gave me this little marvel for the trip down to the cars. The plus side of the GU is that it worked. It perked me right up and put some pep in my step (and old phrase, google it you youngsters). The downside is that the amount and variety of the ingredients in a GU boggles the mind and you hope all these -trins and -croses are the way to go in a supplement.
Vitalyte has a bit more sugar in it than GU (11g to 6g) but it gives you a more mellow effect than the energy spike of GU. When I was on the trail one day struggling, this guy I met recommended Vitalyte to me as a way to cut down on leg cramps and other aches and pains caused by the trail. After using this for the last 2 years, I have to say, if you are going on a long hike, definitely put one of these in your water bottles, it really does help to smooth any cramps that might be experience due to dehydration/long miles. I don't know how it works it just does.
Personally, I think eating properly and staying hydrated is probably the best bet against boinking (energy crash) or cramping up but some of these products can fill in the gaps since a lot of us don't eat/drink proper in any event (where are the donuts?).
This post is written in partnership with WiseJack Cooking, a new cooking website for guys which you should check out here: www.wisejackcooking.com I will be writing more about the food I use on the trail and I look forward to trying our your suggestions or recipes, let me know!
Posted by Peter Flanigan at 9:22 AM