5 Energy Drinks to Fuel Cyclists

Our testers uncork the best drinks to fuel your ride. See the four new products that will give you a jolt when you need it most. (If you're not sure how much you really need, learn the rules in How and When to Hydrate.)

More: How to Fuel Your Body for Energy

In the Heat

OSMO PreLoadHydration. One serving contains 3,000 milligrams of sodium, so even the saltiest of sweaters can fend off cramps and perform well in the heat. Drink a bottle before bed and another 30 minutes before go time. Tester says "Salty, like the rim of a margarita! Tastes better ice-cold and with a squeeze of lime." 60 calories/16-oz. serving, $25/10 servings.

For Long Rides

PureSport Workout Formula. Made with whey protein and slow-burning maltodextrin to fuel muscles and prevent the tissue damage that can happen during long, hard rides. Some research also suggests that protein-laced sports drinks help you recover more quickly. Tester says "Tastes creamy, but goes down easily. Needs vigorous shaking." 40 calories/8 - 10-oz. serving, $50/80-serving canister (Not into sipping for energy? Try these Top New Energy Bars.)

Off the Bike

Nuun All Day. Staying hydrated is important even when you're not riding to fend off fatigue and keep you ready to perform. These mildly flavored, caffeine-free tablets not only perk up the taste of your H2O but also deliver antioxidants, metabolism-fueling B vitamins, and immunity-boosting minerals.

Tester says "Effervescent. Better than gulping sugary soft drinks." 8 calories/16-oz. serving, $30/60 servings.

More: Carbohydrates: Fuel for Your Cycling

When You're Fried

Vega Sport Performance Protein. Each serving of this plant-based, dairy- and soy-free formula delivers 5,500mg of amino acids, vital for muscle-building and energy metabolism. The formula also contains SaviSeed, a source of tryptophan, a component of the feel-good hormone serotonin. Tester says "Easy to drink. Chalky texture and herbal flavor." 110 calories/8 - 10-oz. serving, $65/24-serving canister (For more on post-workout recovery, try these Foods That Heal.)

On Race Day

GU Roctane Ultra Endurance. A maltodextrin-fructose carb blend pumps maximum energy to your muscles, while caffeine and taurine provide additional energy. Beta-alanine improves muscle-firing rates and recovery, and amino acids help delay fatigue. Sodium and potassium keep you hydrated. Tester says "Very drinkable. Slightly sweet aftertaste." 240 calories/21-oz. serving, $45/24-serving canister

More: 6 Extra Energy Sources

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