I'm doing my first triathlon and I'm wondering what to have in my water bottle during the bike ride. People will be handing out plain water during the run.

It's this weekend 1500m Swim, 40km Cycle, 10km Run. I am skinny and weight 132 lbs.

EDIT: for the people saying use whatever I use in training, how does this even make sense? I don't do a full triathlon each training session so the needs are different. Also it would be a bit expensive to use a gel pack each work out (considering technically there's more than 7 a week).

  • 2
    Generally, whatever you've been using in training is what you should have in your bottle during the event. However, if you want more specific answers, you should add details about the event, such as when it is, distance, etc.
    – JohnP
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 4:47

2 Answers 2


At this point, recommending anything specific is just as likely to cause bad effects as it is good. By this I mean that you have no time to test during a race type workout that a drink with additives (Such as electrolytes, calories) won't give you an upset stomach or similar.

By now you should have been on several training rides of at least the same distance as the race, so whatever you have been using during those rides is what you should use during the race.

However, if you have only been using water during training rides, you may need some supplemental calories, as an Olympic distance race will likely take you 2.5 - 3 hours or more. I have had good success with Gu (100 calorie gel packs) and Clif Shot Bloks. However, if you have never eaten either of these, be warned that it may give you stomach upset. I usually chase the Gu with water as well, since for me it has a strong aftertaste.

  • +1 on this. You could pick something that would work really well, or you could pick something that would give you gastrointestinal problems. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 3:27

Coconut water will be a good choice. It is full of natural electrolytes.

This article gives a number of advantages of using it as a sports drink.

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