Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Elivar Hydrate Plus - Mini-Review

Elivar Hydrate Plus is the fourth product from the company that focuses on sports nutrition for the over-35s (one of Elivar’s key beliefs is that athletes over 35 have different nutritional needs to their younger counterparts, such as different carb-to-protein ratios).

Hydrate Plus is more like a traditional carb and electrolyte drink, designed for use in warmer weather or indoor sessions. Unlike the other carb drink in the range, Elivar Endure, Hydrate Plus contains no protein or vitamins, instead focusing on delivering ‘sustainable’ carbs (24g per serving) and minerals including sodium (202.5mg), potassium (41mg) and phosphorous (30.8mg).

From what I can see from a quick trawl on the internet, that seems to be a higher per-serving quote of sodium than a lot of similar drinks (see my post on H2Pro for the importance of sodium), while the carbs, potassium and phosphorous all seem to be about in the middle of the range.

Hydrate PlusIn use

Right now, Hydrate Plus is available in ‘Orange Juice’ flavor. True to the rest of the Elivar range, the taste is excellent; noticeably less ‘sweet and sickly’ than many other carb drinks and with a more water-like consistency compared to the protein-enriched Endure product (which has a slightly thicker consistency, although still far short of a protein shake). In the middle of a hard ride, the very slight bitter tang of the orange juice flavor is a winner and if anything feels a little more thirst-quenching because of it.

Thanks to my high sweat rate and high sodium loss (again, see my post on H2Pro), I often supplement the Hydrate Plus with a 500mg H2Pro sodium tablet, which adds a slight lemon tinge to the flavor, but still works very well.

Having used the product for a couple of months now, I can happily report that Hydrate Plus sits well on the stomach, even in the middle of high intensity reps. I’ve used it on rides, runs and during swim sets with no issues. I've also used the product on longer (up to 100km) rides and it seems to deliver as much energy as you could hope for, when coupled with gels and other normal nutritional products.

Choosing between Endure & Hydrate Plus

With two ‘carb drinks’ in the range, it’s understandable that people may face some confusion when choosing between them. I’m no sports scientist, but it seems logical to me that the Endure product is better suited to longer, lower-intensity workouts, where the focus is on delivering the nutrients to support a sustained effort over three-or-more hours.

In contrast, I’d suggest the Hydrate Plus drink is better suited to efforts where you expect to sweat a lot (whether through ambient temperature or effort) and you want a product that’s going to prioritise on fluid replacement rather than long-lasting energy.  Again, it's worth noting that whereas some people do experience issues trying to digest protein at high effort levels (which can lead to discomfort), there are no such issues with Hydrate Plus. 

In triathlon terms, I guess I’d say the Endure product is the Ironman solution, whereas Hydrate Plus is your choice for an Olympic distance race. But that’s just my opinion.

Whichever way you look at it, Elivar has produced another strong product. The taste is up there with the best and having used it in everything up to 42 degrees C, I can vouch for its effectiveness.

Right now, the product is available in single-serving sachets, but I am told a large-volume tub is on the way shortly. Just as well, I’m running out!

For more information, or to order online, visit: http://elivar.com/product/elivar-hydrate/