Ever thought about mixing up your drink flavours to keep you motivated?

Well, an interesting study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism looked at the effects of introducing more than just one drink flavour in order to see if this had an impact on performance.

The evidence

This study investigated whether a change in drink during endurance cycling improved subsequent performance. Eight trained male athletes undertook three trials with training and diet being controlled.

Trials consisted of 120 minutes of steady state cycling at 70 per cent of their maximum. This was followed by a time trial. During exercise, subjects were provided with fluids every 20 minutes, and after 80 minutes either continued drinking the same drink or changed to an alternate flavour.

The change in flavours produced no effects on heart rate, blood glucose or rating of perceived exertion throughout the test, indicating that there was no performance effect.

Layman Lowdown

When drinking is enforced, the changing of flavours appears to provide no extra benefit to an elite cyclist. Only three drink flavours, however, were tested, and it may be that manipulating the beverages selected could have an impact on motivation and mental stimulation.

Consider also that a new taste halfway through a ride may stimulate you to hydrate more effectively rather than leaving the fluids in your bottle cage, which is likely to bring a performance improvement in itself.

CW says

If you feel that a change of flavour will encourage you to drink more, better rehydration can lead to a superior performance so go for two flavours. If you?re a dedicated drinker and you regularly match your fluid intake with your needs, it seems you may as well stick with one tried-and -tested formula.