Is Liquid IV worth the $$$

I’ve been going through 4 to 5 Transcend gels (15 g glucose each) plus about 32 oz of diluted Powerade during Thursday night 3 hour hockey sessions. Looking to reduce the number of gel pouches mainly because they are creating a big mess. Sticky fingers etc. They are fine in the locker room but not working out very well on the bench.

Has anybody tried Liquid IV or equivalent powders that are easily dissolved in water? I am looking for something that would provide about 50-60 grams of glucose per quart of water. The Liquid IV would be a pretty expensive way to go and contains a lot of sodium.


I think it depends on how much you normally drink, and if you are using it for hydration or for sugar.

Liquid IV does not have a lot of sugar. So if you are using it for sugar, you would be in a jam because you’d need to drink a lot of it.

I suggest having 2 drink sources. One for hydration, lower carb - like just water or Liquid IV or G2. And a different bottle that has a higher amount of sugar, which you would use for BG maintenance.

For the higher sugar drink, you can make your own mix. Get Gatorade powder and add some table sugar and some maltodextrin to it. (You can get maltodextrin from Amazon). Using different types of sugars makes absorption faster.

That bottle would be the “high octane” bottle for when you are low or trending low.

And then the other bottle would be the lower carb bottle, just for normal hydration.

(I used to run with 2 bottles - one was a water bottle and the other bottle was full of Gatorade Prime, which was the Gatorade company’s higher sugar drink. Unfortunately, the Gatorade Prime drink is hard to find. Now I just use gels and water.)

Anyway, that’s what I’d suggest, 2 drink bottles - low carb hydration, for when your BG is high or okay, and high carb hydration, for when you are low.

Make sure the 2 bottles are different colors so you don’t mix them up.


Hi, John, I was going to tell you how to use corn syrup to make your own sports/energy drink. Pure corn syrup is 100% glucose. But I just found out that the light corn syrup I have been using is adulterated with HFCS, this includes Karo. It is about 20% HFCS. This is just too bad because this stuff is really cheap, a quart equal to 60g glucose (carbs) would be 20 cents. The only pure corn syrup I can find is Golden Barrel Corn Syrup. To get 50 g of glucose would take 1.5 OZ at a cost of 53 cents.

When I decided to answer your question I was pleased with the Light corn syrup, and then I did a closer look at the label on my bottle. I was surprised to see that 1 OZ has 10g added sugars. So I guess I will be ordering Golden Barrel Corn Syrup at $11.25 for a quart (at Amazon) vs $3.00. Ah well, it is still cheaper than GU gels and glucose gels. Live and learn.

I am not against HFCS particularly. The glucose and fructose is basically predigested sucrose (table sugar), so the simple sugars are immediately available. But to treat a hypo or rapidly decreasing blood glucose levels during physical activity, I want glucose. Live and learn, and READ LABELS CAREFULLY!

Looking at the nutritional label for Liquid IV, it would take a 5 sticks to get 55g of carbs and way too much sodium.


Thanks for the ideas! I’ve been finding that gels work great, have not had any BG issues while using the Transcend gel. I’ve been taking one gel (15g) immediately before warmups plus about 15g of “extra during the game” glucose every 30 to 60 minutes seems to be required depending on all the usual variables.

Might try the 2 bottle approach first, one with diluted Powerade and one with adulterated syrupy Powerade, Ideally I’d like to drink a small volume of high sugar drink when I need to boost my BG instead of all those gels.


The reason I mentioned two bottles is because no matter what your BG is, you still need to hydrate!

If you only have a single bottle and it has carbs in it, you are unable to hydrate when your BG is high or trending high. And that’s a problem.

Have you ever checked your sweat loss rate? Hydration is so important. If you get dehydrated, your blood gets thicker and your heart has to work harder to pump it.

Sounds like a good plan having the diluted Powerade and the thicker one. As long as you can still drink the diluted one no matter what your BG is. :+1:


Yep the dilute is tried and true, never causes a spike even if I start out at higher BG than preferred. I’ve been varying my dilution ratio based on gut feel and BG trend before the games. If I know I will drink a quart plus I’ve been going at about 20grams total in that quart which is not much. Unless I start out below 90 and dropping in which case I go 50-50 which probably triples the carbs and triples my confusion.

The whole setup with the gel is a little discombobulated and I think the two bottle method will help straighten things out. The gel has done an excellent job of reversing downward trending BG though.

Have not figured out the sweat weight loss mainly because this 3 hour skate is still a fairly new challenge and the start time/ length of break after the first hour has been varying. So far so good though, it has been a great experience and unbeatable workout with some long time friends.


I carry 2 20 Oz water bottles on my bike with a 5 Oz flask with 30 g corn syrup, contents of 2 electrolyte capsules, strong black coffee and a 1/3 teaspoon of instant espresso. I will drink 1 Oz for 6g carb if trending low. The coffee and espresso is to cut the cloying sweet. The plastic flask is from Hammer Nutrition. It has a bite valve like a bicycle bottle with OZ markings.


Good to still keep that ready and in the tool chest in case you need it!

I use various types of gels, and the Transcend is the one I use for the more urgent situations.


The caffeine is also a performance enhancer. :+1:


It’s really to prevent me napping on the bike :sleeping: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


This has been my go to…3-4 sips takes things from low to normal almost instantly.


Thanks, looks like it’s worth a try. 35 grams carbs per 8 ounces beats Powerade which is at 35 grams per 20 ounces. A small bottle of this would substitute for 3 gel pouches.


Another thought, if you’re mixing a sports drink, how about dextrose/corn sugar powder? I haven’t tried it myself, so don’t know how well it works.


And something about the way it raises the BG, seems to work exactly as intended…every time, I usually swish with water afterwards to keep the teeth a bit cleaner

I remember the last time I played hockey was a rush for carbs.


This discussion reminds me of when I was young and dumb (and cheap), I tried using Log Cabin syrup to treat lows. BG was tanking one evening before a mountain bike race, so I drank (ate?) a quarter cup of syrup. Within 10 minutes of starting the race I had the worst stomach cramps of my life. No idea what motivated me, but I finished an hour later and had a night of the worst combined cramps and lows I could imagine. Which is a long way of saying be careful what kind of corn syrup you’re using.

Since then I’ve used off the shelf gels, drink mixes and bars. Currently Cytomax, clif shots and bars, but most variety end up working well. I’ve considered making my own drink mix. Long course triathletes are pretty serious about absorbing as many carbs as possible, since its one of the key factors in winning an 8 hour race, so I tend to listen to them when it comes to sports nutrition. Some pretty good discussion here about making your own mixes. https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/Help_me_calculate_an_at_home_“maurten”_drink_(im_bad_at_math)_P7417228/


Yeah I found Karo light corn syrup a few months ago - game changer in terms of cost and works quickly on my end.

Was wondering if others used it.

Like if for extended hiking and mountain biking.

Mostly glucose but figure there’s some fructose due to their being a little bit of a blood sugar raising tail a few hours out.


Yeah, I was surprised to learn that HFCS is added to Karo Light corn syrup. That might be a good thing as fructose takes more time to metabolized into glucose. I tend to avoid concentrated fructose because of a history of elevated triglycerides.

I think this would be good for hiking and MTBing as well, but we have to learn what works for us as an individual.


The fructose/glucose combination is better for endurance sports because your stomach uses different transporters for them.

Glucose uses the SGLT1 transporter. But it becomes saturated at an intake of around 60 grams per hour.

Fructose uses the GLUT5 transporter.

The use of different carb sources means your stomach can use different transporters and does not get maxed out as early. Also, since fructose is metabolized by the liver before being converted to glucose, it takes a little longer and gives you a broader time-release.

Fructose also helps to replenish liver glycogen that can become depleted during endurance events.

The short version of all this is that a combination of fructose and glucose is better for endurance events than only one or the other.


Seems to match my recent experiences: Transcend gel (glucose) works fine for a 1 hour skate and a combination of gel + full strength Powerade for longer skates of 3+ hours. I’m guessing that the 40-50 grams of fructose in the Powerade will reduce the number of gels I need. If I can keep it to one gel per hour or less that should work out OK.

I’m going away from the mixed drink idea mainly because getting ready for these games is pretty hectic already, mixing a powder drink is one more step I’ll skip in favor of grabbing a jug of Powerade out of the garage.


I also carry 2 sources of fluids, water, and a juice. Grapefruit juice acts extremely fast for me. I sometimes mix it with grape juice made from my own grapes :grinning: Within a mile, it kicks in and starts to raise my BG. I have to be careful to only have a sip or two when needed to not go too high, but it works great. I also carry gu and huma gels, and take one gel immediately prior to my run. Of course, I learned to do this and tweak it, here on FUD, from Eric and @daisymae, and so many others!!