You can make a tasty sports drink at home to fill up your bidons (otherwise known as bottles) with. Just keep in mind the main objective of any effective on-the-bike drink: hydration, not carbo-loading, says Sims.
An overload of sugar in your drink—just as in your gels—can cause a nasty chain reaction of GI distress and even cause dehydration. Focus on getting your calories through your food, and make sure your drink mix actually hydrates you.
For the perfect homemade solution, mix 16 ounces of water with eight teaspoons of table salt and add a dash of lemon or orange juice for flavor. “The sodium’s there to help you absorb the water, while the juice adds a bit of Vitamin C,” which helps your body make the most of beta-alanine,” a naturally occurring beta amino acid that has pronounced effects on high-intensity performance, Sims says.