Back in the (good) old days.
I am lying under a thorn tree in the dirt of the Namibian desert.
Pretending that the thin branches actually contribute some shade and relief. Ross hands me a 2l Coke bottle filled with a mixture of salt and sugar. I get told to finish it. I don’t feel well.
Our day starts like this:
At first light we walk up to the base of the soaring and blank expanse of South West Wall of Spitzkoppe. The first pitch is scary polished little edges to the base of the long crack system. A few rope lengths later we watch our only water bottle for the day disappear into the depths of the crack system. The sound of it bouncing down the crevasse like darkness echoes in my ears still.
We continue upwards as fast as we can, trying to beat the sun. Sometime on our upward journey the sun catches us and on the last scary, run out hard move before the summit our resolve and strength melts away.
The only alternative is to descend.
Several stuck ropes later. One resulting in both of us tugging on the stuck chord and not being attached to anything else. Consequences of brain fry. Potentially fatal consequences. It did not seem so serious with our back up water glistening on the ground 30m below. Those 30 m are enough to kill. To say we were stuffed by the time we hit level ground is an understatement.
Subsequently I have used very diluted juice as a post exercise re hydrate solution.
I never feel that water alone does the trick.
I have also used Nuun, Zym, Rehidrat, Hammer electrolytes, Gu Brew, Concentrace and more recently Dripdrop. Thanks to Willie at John O’ Connor to give me a box to test.
All agree that we need to consume trace elements and minerals for optimum hydration. Water alone is not good enough.
What concentration and exact mix is required is science that is beyond me.
I do know that it works. Which one of the above works best I can not tell you.
Dripdrop is offered in sachets similar to Rehidrat. Two sizes of sachet are available 225ml equivalent or 450ml. So it is super easy to mix either at home or while on the go. I prefer to mix mine fairly weak. About half the dosage when I am exercising. But if I have to get my hydration levels back to normal after a day out then I consume it pretty concentrated. This does wonders!
I believe it is best to separate electrolytes from nutrition, caffeine and glucose etc.
This way you can dose each in a variety of conditions without affecting the others.
The problem with energy drinks is that they offer you caffeine as a quick fix to fatigue without addressing the underlying issue which is often dehydration. Fix that and the theory goes that you won’t need caffeine.
A matter of taste:
I only got to try the lemon flavour of Dripdrop but it is fairly pleasant if on the sweet side.
I would prefer to have a large bucket or refill pack that I can choose my concentration from. This for me was a great selling point of Rehidrat when they still sold refil packs. But they have seemed to discontinue this offering.
Dripdrop seems to have the medical grounding and be deeply involved in humanitarian efforts. Dehydration is a massive problem. Especially in developing communities where water quality and related pathogens cause huge issues for infants, and compromised individuals. The potential performance problems for us athletes is one thing but infant mortality due to dehydration is another level.
We can all strive for optimal health despite the consequences being on a different scale.
On your next ride or run try to play with nutrient levels via one of the above.
Try use DripDrop it might just improve things
I was given a box of DripDrop by John O Connor to try out.
The opinions here are my own.
I did not receive any financial reward for writing this.