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Elete Hydration

Caro's picture

By Caro - Posted on 02 March 2007

Hi everyone!


Has anyone heard of the product "Elete". It is an electrolyte add in either in from of salt water drops or tablets. It is an awesome product cause it is really ONLY electrolytes (Mg, Cl, Na, and K) no sugar, flavour or anything.

Unfortunately I can't find it anywhere in my area anymore. I rang most of the bike shops I know but nobody knows or sells it. I can order it over the net but heaps more expensive, so I thought maybe one of you has heard about it or knows a shop that sells it? That'd be great!


Ian's picture

I've heard of it and wanted it but never found it anywhere in Australia.

I looked in GNC - they have all sorts of useless junk - but was told in one that "no such thing exists" and "you can't get back electrolytes orally" (!).

So far I rely on vegemite sandwiches. Even the little bit of salt in most sports drinks makes them unpalatable to me. Jerky or salami sticks are another good source of salt.

Truthman's picture

I make my own Electrolyte/Sports Drink using unprocessed organic Sea Salt, fresh Lemon juice, 100% Maple Syrup, and water.

Works great and no artificial junk...

Got the original idea from a recipe here:

Ian's picture

Woah - maple syrup? Blech!

I did try the salt with my homemade drinks a while back. Didn't like it, so I stuck with the solid foods.

I find the sucrose difficult to digest after a while (it's not as fast as straight glucose). The flavour is also difficult once you've been drinking it for a few hours.

For a while I was just dissolving glucose powder from the chemist into a water bottle and adding a touch of cordial for taste. The glucose is tasteless and so remains palatable in high concentrations.

Recently, I've been playing with homemade gel (since I only put plain water into my Camelbak). It goes something like:
- 140mL water
- 250g dextrose ("brewing sugar" from the supermarket)
- A tiny tiny bit of flavour (orange or lime essence)

Stick in a saucepan and heat it until the dextrose dissolves and goes clear. Makes about 8 shots of gel for < $1 in ingredients!

It's a lot runnier when it's hot, so be careful about reducing it too much to get a more solid gel. The above mixture is between Gu and water in terms of runniness - think chocolate syrup.

ar_junkie's picture

I must admit, when it comes to drinks I usually drink what I'm given (not a good practise to be following, I know) but as long as it's palatable, down it goes... This excludes race day as that is the biggest no-no i.e. trying something new without seeing how the body will react, that's what training is for.

Depending on the duration of the event, water is my primary form of hydration. I might supplement it with a fruit juice (some may classify it as a food) or if I have been really slack, resort to good ole Gatorade. I know some people might disagree, but I also tend to pop one or two pills during the longer events (6 hrs+) as its easier to plan (and manage) intake this way. I'm also a fan of jerky or biltong (the better of the two) as it gives you something to chew on and can take your mind off a long discipline.

Cytomax, USN, Powerbar and the likes are all good products, but you need to factor in cost and availability as one should train and race with the same/similar product. At the end of the day, whatever works best for you, both performance and financially... then again you could always go this route...

Truthman's picture

Yeah, for longer rides I usually have a 750ml bottle of my homemade sports drink brew, and a few litres of water in the Camelbak.

Paul's picture


I ran this by my wife (she a naturapth/nutritanist)and she hasn't heard of Elete.
Following is her thoughts on this thread.

A well-designed sports drink will include
• A readily available source of carbohydrates that are palatable and easy to digest
• A mineral balance that can alleviate cramping and decrease recovery time through increased lactic acid breakdown
• Sodium to help the body to retain the fluid that is being ingested
• The correct concentrations of the above to enhance gastric emptying

To give adequate fluid replacement the sports drink needs to be at least
• 4% CHO concentration at 600-1250ml/hr
• and include at least Sodium and Potassium, better drinks also include Magnesium and Calcium to prevent muscle cramping

Good sports drinks will also include protein to:
• produce a stronger insulin response
• give a faster transport of carbohydrates and protein to muscle cells
• this allows the body to conserve its glycogen stores and thus delay fatigue
• conservation of glycogen reduces the release of cortisol, which breaks down muscle tissue
• protein with carbohydrate enhances POST workout recovery

Using a home made blend of sugar and salt with water, may not be in the correct concentration to rehydrate the body and renew energy sources. Almost anything that is added to water will slow its absorption. Water passes easily through the walls of the intestines but most particles do not. Dissolved particles also slow the passage of water from the stomach into the small intestine, where it is absorbed.
• If you drink 360ml of plain water, 240ml will empty from the stomach within 15 mins
• A 10% sugar solution results in only 30ml emptying in the same period
• A lesser level of sugar e.g. 1-5% hardly inhibits gastric emptying at all.
• Fructose at 2% enhances stomach emptying and restores liver glycogen

Also sodium is not the only mineral lost during exercise, just as important is potassium as well as calcium and magnesium. Protein is also required for quicker recovery.

Some of the better sports/fluid replacement drinks are
- Cytomax Recovery (Health food and Sports stores)
- Enduro Booster (Health food and Sports stores)
- Metagenics Endura (Naturopathic and Nutrition practitioners)

I hope this isn't too confusing - I used the Metagenics Endura in the Scott24 and had no problems with energy or cramping.


Ian's picture

I do like the scientific approach to this, really, I do. But it completely ignores individual physiology and practicality factors.

One of the major sports drinks - Powerade, I think - has the right mix of everything assuming 400cal/hour, 1L water/hour and 1g salt/hour. It's awful - salty and sickly sweet.

- For me, getting enough water in isn't a problem. The consequences of running a litre or two low on water aren't major.
- Getting enough sugar in is a BIG problem. The consequences are severe and sudden - you bonk and will have difficult recovering.
- Getting enough salt in is damn near impossible for me because I'm very sensitive to the taste. It's not a big deal for under 8 hour events. Past that, and I have to start sacrificing some sugar in order to eat solid foods.

For an endurance event - 8-24hr MTB, Audax or AR - I budget around 300 calories an hour. Finding food that
a) I can digest that fast, and
b) Is still palatable after a few hours
is the major challenge in nutrition as far as I'm concerned. My race diet is generally gel, weak Gatorade/Powerade, little jelly/fruit cups, jelly snakes and Vegemite sandwiches on white bread.

4-5% is current trendy sugar concentration in water. (I say trendy, because every five years someone comes along and says "we were wrong, now it's x%"). This isn't a lot of sugar compared with the amount of water. It's fine for Sydney summer where getting enough water is an issue, but in the winter months (when most of the MTB events run) it's way too much water.

I'm not convinced of the benefit of protein in a during-event sports drink (post-event, I can see the point). Sugar and protein in water is usually a good recipe for mould (as anyone who's mixed up a protein shake and forgotten to wash the container immediately will attest!) For events over 12 hours I'll fit in a protein shake at the 8 hour mark, but that'll be it.

I tried Endura today and it was truly awful. It said 'Lemon and Lime' flavour, but I'd be damned if I could taste anything except salt.

The nice thing about Elete would be that you can get a good hit of salt and not have to deal with solid foods, awful tastes or stomach bloating - all of which means more space for sugar!

Rob's picture

I recall reading an article a while back about how a salt imbalance can become deadly. In which case, just think you guys should be very careful if you're mixing your own drinks.

On short rides, it's probably fine to try things out, but over 'marathon' type distances (3 hours plus was one definition of that I read) maybe you should stay with the tried and tested stuff.

If you Google 'salt imbalance coma mtb' you'll find a lot of stuff about hyponatremia (when you have too much water and not enough salt). However, think I recall the other article saying the opposite can also happen and it's also pretty nasty.

Anyhow - on Sat it was hot and I could feel being very, very close to cramping up (the legs were twinging in a way that said, "Try one more lap and I'm gonna really hurt you!"). This was after at least 5 litres of water and 1.5 of Gatorade - and was still re-hydrating heavily for a few hours afterwards.

I have tried Enduro drink in the past and although it seemed to stop cramping, etc. messed up my stomach real good after the event - perhaps I should try it mixed a little weaker? Or even combined with Gatorade? Nah - now that's not taking my own advice is it?! Eye-wink FWIW - I do like Endura chocy bars though.

Given these experiences think what I'm gonna do next long ride is having more Gatorade to water ratio, or mix it stronger (I make from the powder as directed normally).

Of course, I'm no expert - these are just random things I've tried. Oh, also eat loads of bananas the week before a big event. Dunno if it's psychological, but they are tasty and not priced like gold any more, so why not? Eye-wink

Caro's picture

Hi all,

thanks for lot's of knowledge, thoughts and ideas.
I guess I will have a bit of a trial over the next weeks. my biggest problem is my stomach getting upset. On Saturday I was drinking water and very diluted Endura (can't drink it at normal concentration) and was struggeling big time with drinking enough. Always feels like the water stays in my stomach forever. But now I got lot'S of options Smiling.


Bruce's picture

All this talk of hydration is very interesting. For many years I have been able to drink water or any of the sports drinks & feel good throughout almost any long distance ride.

During our ride on Saturday I drank 3.5 litres of gatorade & about 4.5 litres of water between 9am & 6pm, this still wasnt enough. After feeling quite sick for the entire drive home, I weighed my self to find that I had lost 2.5kg, I suspect mostly in fluids.

Am going to try some of the above mentioned products to see what works best, as the gatorade became impossible to drink in the end.

Another thing I am going to seriously look into is food during long days on the bike, I am finding it very hard to eat enough lately.

I would be very interested to know how much & what other people are drinking/eating during larger rides.


Stuart M's picture

response to this very topic that was discussed many, many months ago

Look for my post on this and follow the Beechworth Chain Gang link and then the forums. If you delve far enough through the forum discussion you will discover that it was a very well known sports drink developed for a certain american gridiron team.. say no more.

Anyway, given the above discussion, this original post might be worth a second look.

The simple solution to this is, well, never enter an endurance event.

And Ian, as for the problem with lack of sugar "you bonk - then have trouble with recovery" I have found this to be an age related issue Smiling sorry should I say I have heard this is an age related issue, I'm not there yet.

Little-Ditty's picture

Some sound advice from Stuart about long distance events!

3 hours the max I say! Cheers to that! Laughing out loud

Justin's picture

We've tried all sorts of different stuff and we also read that story about the guy nearly killing himself on gatorade... we usually mix up a double strength bottle of enduro and sip out of that and drink plain water as well at the same time... most of the time I just want plain water and anything else is hard to take

but keeping the sugar / protein levels up is the key to endurance... the first dirtworks 100k I did I completely bonked at about 6 hours... walking the bike slowly up hills and out of food. Some guy came past and threw me a protein bar... 10 minutes later was enough to get me back on the bike.

I had the heart rate monitor on the whole time, and you could see my heart rate steadily dropping, then picked up after i had that energy bar... nothing dangerous, just was unable to get the heart rate above 130, after eating it got to 160 for the next hour, and after that was flat to the finish line yippeee!

My average heart rate for the 7.5 hours of riding time was 160... biggest peak over 200, and the altimeter shows me going downhill at the time (!)

So... eat early, eat often, peanut butter and jam sandwiches work for liz, they work ok for me but I can also take the protein bars (which also means some lengthy sessions in the bathroom afterwards, but hey I survived)

Stuart M's picture

I was surfing last night and thought I should double check the link. Unfortunately Beechworth have modified their forum and it appears as anything before Feb this year is no longer available.

Basically for those that didn't see the story last year, it was a thread by a guy that was relatively fit, had been riding longer distances for some time and was entered in an endurance event. He was using Gatorade as well as water but started feeling very flat from early in the event, just couldn't get into the groove for lack of a better word. He pushed on thinking that things would come right but they never did. He practically fell into a coma at the race event and ended up in hospital for some time. The problem was that his drink of preferrence didn't contain the sodium, or maybe the potassium (don't remember which) that his body needed. From memory the emergency room doctors claim that he was within a couple of hours of permanent damage / death (which I guess is fairly permanent)

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