Food is fuel

Performance Plate

The Best Ways to Hydrate, According to Us

Pounding fluid during a race doesn't have to be a miserable experience

I ride a lot in the Santa Fe heat, and I find myself using hydration mixes religiously. (Courtesy Skratch Labs)

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Pounding fluid during a race doesn't have to be a miserable experience

Dehydration is a total, potentially dangerous buzzkill. Here’s what our editors drink to make sure it doesn’t strike on the trail and in the office.

Cusa Premium Instant Tea ($10 for a 10-Pack)

cusa
(Courtesy Cusa)

Sometimes I end up dehydrated because I just forget to drink. But Cusa Premium Instant Tea helps combat that problem by encouraging me to keep sipping. There’s nothing special in these packets other than the tea itself (the Mango Green is my fave), but it’s so convenient to be able to mix them into hot water without waiting for anything to steep. —Svati Narula, assistant social media editor

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Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel, Lemon ($18 for 7 Sticks)

tailwind
(Courtesy Tailwind)

During long runs, the first thing to enter the pain cave is my stomach. Sugary sports drinks and oddly textured gels often do nothing but make a bad thing worse, which is a problem when you’re trying to fuel something like a 20-miler. But when I tried Tailwind for the first time, I realized that I could keep my nutrition and hydration in check without having to (literally) stomach any pain. The mix uses natural, real ingredients and tastes more like water than a sticky, flavored beverage. —Carly Graf, assistant fitness editor

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Arizona Liquid Water Enhancers, Green Tea and Gingseng ($25 for a 4-Pack)

Arizona
(Courtesy Arizona)

There’s nothing better in summer than a $1 tall can of Arizona iced tea from a gas station. But when you’re venturing into more remote areas, that road-trip ritual isn’t always the most convenient. For a portable, on-demand facsimile, I like these little squeeze bottles of concentrated mix that are perfect to keep in a glove compartment, office drawer, or backpack. And since it’s a concentrate, it’ll last you for weeks. —Chris Thompson, visual producer

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DripDrop ORS ($10 for an 8-Pack)

DripDrop
(Courtesy DripDrop)

I tried these packets from DripDrop, which feature a medical-grade rehydration formula, when I was traveling at high altitude, and they became a go-to for me this winter. I struggle to hydrate effectively in the mountains, especially in the cold, when stopping to dig a bottle of out my backpack is low on my list of priorities. The DripDrop supplements (which apparently hydrate as effectively as an IV) were convenient and made my less-frequent hydration breaks pack a bigger punch. I kept a couple in my ski pack or one in my jacket pocket and added them to a glass at the lodge or a water bottle in the backcountry whenever I felt myself really fading. Plus, they actually taste good! —Abbie Barronian, assistant fitness editor

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Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix, Lemons & Limes ($20 for 19-Serving Bag)

skratch labs
(Courtesy Skratch Labs)

I ride a lot in the Santa Fe heat and find myself using hydration mixes religiously. But drinking fluorescent sugar water under the desert sun causes one thing: horrible gas. I find gas—especially the doubled-over, cramping-and-explosive kind—rather unpleasant, on and off the bike. Enter Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix. It’s kosher, GMO-free, and delicious. Most important, it’s basically just a pinch of sugar and salt. The combo keeps me hydrated and forces me to fuel with real foods (preferably nuts and sardines) instead of trying to get all my nutrients from supposedly gut-busting maltodextrin. Plus, it’s pretty expensive, so I’m never tempted to waste precious calories on short spins. The result? A good belly and an outrageously fine figure. —Scott Rosenfield, digital editorial director

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MTN OPS Yeti Pre-Workout ($40 for 30-Serving Jar)

yeti
(Courtesy MTN OPS)

I get bored by the idea of drinking only water and need an extra bump before a big workout. So I kill two birds with one stone by adding a single scoop of MTN OPS Yeti to a glass of water before every workout. Besides the caffeine, which gets me pumped for a trip to the gym, it’s filled with vitamins, creatine, and nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels to allow more blood flow to muscles. The Strawberry Banana Flavor is delicious. —Ben Fox, associate reviews editor

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Nuun Vitamins, Grapefruit Orange ($7 Per Tube)

nuun
(Courtesy Nuun)

While I’m normally a cold tap water kind of girl, I’ve recently taken a liking to the Nuun Vitamins line, specifically the Grapefruit Orange and Ginger Lemonade flavor (it’s also good hot). They’re pegged simply as daily supplements for optimal health and hydration, so Nuun tablets have become a refreshing way for me to spike my tap water to get over the afternoon work slump. —Jenny Earnest, social media manager

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H2O

Does water count? That’s all I drink, and I’ll occasionally add a gel for extra nutrition. —Nick Hunt, associate editor

Filed To: Nutrition / Fitness / Food and Drink
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