This week thrilled to bring you the Precision Hydration Product Review from three separate Trivelo associates. Even though we have been in lockdown all of them have been able to give this a thorough endurance test for anyone looking into new hydration products. Enclosed we have three independent views on using Precision Hydration and their experience.

No.1 Precision Hydration Product Review from Steve

Introduction to Steve

Hi, I’m Steve Bowman and I’m a cyclist. By that I mean I just don’t ride one type of bike although I race both mountain bikes and cyclocross. I also ride on the road and commute from time to time. I’ve raced across Europe and the UK at regional and international level including the WEMBO European and World 24hour Mountain Bike Solo Championships.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, and no doubt like a lot of other active cyclists across Europe and the rest of the world I’m now spending rather a lot of time on my indoor trainer. Cycling using the virtual cycling gaming platform that is Zwift, but more of that later. I normally use, hydration and energy supplements in my training, racing and general riding, so I have a good understanding of what I would expect a good product to be for me.

Steve-Bowman-Trivelo-Test-Associate

Precision Hydration Introduction

For my latest test assignment from the guys at Trivelo I was offered the chance to test some personalised hydration supplements from Precision Hydration. The first step was to complete an online “Sweat Test” survey to establish roughly how much you perspire during exercise & training. The Precision Hydration team then put together a package that suits your profile and send it out to you along with instructions as to how you should use the supplements in your training.

First Impressions of Precision Hydration

When the box arrived in the post, which I may add was very quickly, I opened it up to find my personalised hydration products. Three small boxes with nice clear branding. Containing the “1500” pre-work out sachets, the “1000” during work out sachets, a box of “sweat salts” tablets as a dietary supplement, a tube of the “1000” tablets and a nice water bottle.

Personalised Hydration plan

My personalised plan was to take one bottle of 1500-based supplement 90 minutes before exercise commences. I sipped it regularly and finishing it 45 minutes before the session starts and then consume the 1000 based supplement during the session.

Using Precision Hydration for first time

As I am working from home for the foreseeable, I’ve replaced the time I usually spend sat on the train each morning with an hour on my indoor trainer using Zwift. Slightly going against the plan set out and due to the fact that I literally get out of bed, put my kit on and fire up the trainer. For these sessions I didn’t do the 1500 pre-loading, but as they were relatively low intensity zone 2 kind of sessions it didn’t impact. So, through these daily early morning rides I placed one of the 1000 tablets in each bottle and off I set. 

Affects of training with Precision Hydration

Now when using a new sports supplement, it can in my experience, take some time to get used to it in the stomach area. After a week of daily use on these early morning sessions I can report that there were no side effects to speak of. The drink was refreshing with a light citrus flavour and did exactly what it said on the packet. It kept me well hydrated with no feelings of dehydration-based lethargy later in the day, even more important given the warm environment that indoor training presents, that and the lack of real air flow. Yes, a large fan does keep you cool, but it’s not like being outdoors.

Precision-Hydration-Zwift-Testing

As it was now the weekend (I think) it was time for the first bigger session of the test period. This time I was going to do a couple of hours on Zwift so got up and mixed up a bottle of the 1500 supplement, sat down to breakfast and drank the bottle. Again, the taste was great and once finished I set about getting ready for the ride. Nothing epic but 2 hours on Zwift with a few higher zone efforts thrown in on the climbs on the route. I again used the 1000 tablets in my bottles as I had a bigger plan in mind for the box of 1000 sachets. As in the weekly shorter sessions, the supplements did their job, keeping my nicely hydrated despite the environment.

Endurance Ride using Precision Hydration

Now it’s time for the big one. As we’re all living in this New World put upon us by the spread of COVID-19, personally dealing with it first hand as a close family member was admitted to hospital with the virus. Thankfully they pulled through and are now on the mend and also the fact that a number of my friends are Paramedics, Doctors and Nurses I decided to do a 12 hour session on Zwift to raise money for the NHS.

I’d planned the ride for a Saturday and would follow a varied route on Zwift. Taking in all the major climbs from Alpe du Zwift and as it turned out every single route on there! When the day came, I got up as normal and mixed up a bottle of the 1500 supplement. Sat down to breakfast and drank the bottle. I then prepped my hydration for at least the first part of the ride using the 1000 sachets, with one and a half going into each 750ml bottle. I got the scales out to make sure the half sachet was accurately split, reckoning on drinking one bottle an hour I was ready to roll.

Precision-Hydration-for-cyclists

My pit crew (wife & kids) had been given instructions on replenishing my bottles. I took the decision to have another 1500 supplement at the halfway stage with some proper food. So off I set, rolling through the varied terrain, scenery and road surfaces of Zwift keeping a decent pace and maintaining my essentially total zone 2 effort.

I made sure I was drinking regularly throughout the ride and even though it was a steady effort, experience of the outdoor version of this kind of thing, cramps can come on at anytime due to the sheer intensity of the prolonged effort. I can report that not once did I feel a twinge in any of the usual areas I experience the dreaded cramps over the entire ride in which I covered 340km and 3580m of climbing in the 12 hours of riding with an average speed of just over 28kph, so a good day in the saddle.

Summary of Precision Hydration Product Review

After the fortnight testing experience (I’ve ran out of the products now) I can only conclude that the Precision Hydration personalised supplements are an excellent product and essentially do exactly what they say on the box.

My training and therefore testing regime have been pretty polarised. With the early morning short sessions and one massive 12-hour session, but the results have been the same irrespective of the training load. The products taste nice with their refreshing citrus undertones. They sit well on the stomach a vitally important aspect of any supplement and as mentioned above, no sign of cramps at all at any point so clearly bang on at meeting my hydration demands.

No.2 Precision Hydration Product Review from Mark

Introduction to Mark

I’m a time trialler/road racer who has moved towards Cyclo cross and mountain bike racing through the years. As a duathlete I have medaled at the British Age Group championships 3 times and have represented GB as an Age group athlete at multiple championships. Currently I am a Zwift racer so hydration has become a crucial part of my racing as I am sat indoors.

Pros & Cons of Precision Hydration

Pros –

  • You always get the volume right as they come in little sachets 
  • When they mix in the water there are no grains so you can drink to the bottom of the bottle with confidence.
  • Different strength mixtures
  • Hydration plan/strategy recommendations before you purchase
  • Confidence that they are sportsman safe and have been properly tested

Cons –

  • Limited flavor options
  • Flavor is a little weak for me
  • Effervescent tabs like to really fizz and spit the drink at you, however I did find that letting them settle before sealing the lid and not popping the cap down removed this issue
  • Salt tablets are big which may put some people off taking them
  • The amount of emails I have received since doing the online survery

Assessment of hydration needs

The first thing you do is an online survey to predict your sweat rate. I had been deemed to be a high sweat rate person and as such small box arrived with the PH1500 and PH1000 in small boxes with the sachets inside, a tube of effervescent tablets and the salt tablets. All in order and very organised and easy to use. 

Precision-Hydration-Pack Precision-Hydration-tablets Precision-Hydration-Sachet

I must admit I am not fully convinced by the questions to decide sweat rate, I actually tried a few times and always came out as a high sweater which is not something I think I am. I’m also not known for drinking loads on my rides. Have been referred to as a Camel more than once. 

First test of the Precision Hydration products

I used the effervescent tablets out on a 2 hour easy ride then on a steady turbo ride and apart from the fizz face I got this was good, I was well hydrated throughout and had no dramas at all. For the sake of testing I also did a session on squash using salt tablets, again no issue. They are large tablets but actually very easy to swallow, if I was running or riding a long way these would not be an issue to use either.

Using Precision Hydration for indoors training

Now we move the real reason I wanted to test Precision Hydration. I want to race on ZWIFT and therefore hydration and being fueled to the end of a race is crucial. Over a few weeks used a number of different approaches to using the sachets. I followed the preload instructions and started on the PH1500 early, I couldn’t eat food, drink coffee and do the full bottle but I tried and during my races had no issues. I have also just started my race and used a 1500 from the get go. Finally, for a 72km race this morning I put a bottle of 1500 and 1000 on the bike and drank during my warmup.  This was for me the best solution as breakfast had gone down and I wasn’t in need of a last minute bathroom trip.

Summary of Precision Hydration Product Review

Through all my testing there have been two points of note:

  1. I have been full of beans for an entire race no matter the distance while consuming either the PH1500 or PH1000 or when I use both in a longer race
  2. The only thing I found a little off is I drink strong squash and later in the race a little more flavor would have been nice

However I have to say this, flavor (strength) is a personal thing and what flavor there is I find non offensive so I have no problem drinking either the 1500 or 1000 very late in a race and while under a great deal of pressure. My stomach at no point has felt bloated or have a felt sick at the thought of drinking. 

Sachets from Precision Hydration – I’m a fan !

Mark – Trivelo Test Associate

To conclude this the best way possible I shall simply say I have just spent my own money buying more of this product as I am racing well and want to carry on using it. 

See Marks video review

No.3 Precision Hydration Product Review from Lucy

Introduction to Lucy

I’ve been aware of Precision Hydration for years after hearing about them on a triathlon podcast. Their approach is to offer a bespoke hydration strategy for every athlete, rather than a one-size-fits all product. I usually use electrolyte hydration tabs from another brand, but I was interested in a more personalised product and plan.

Lucy-Precision-Hydration-Review Precision-Hydration-Pack

Precision Hydration Sweat Analysis

Everyone loses a different amount of sodium in their sweat and therefore have different hydration needs. Precision Hydration offer two types of sweat tests: their advanced test works by stimulating the sweat glands in the arm and testing the saline concentration in the sample. The online sweat test is an algorithm-based questionnaire to define the hydration needs of the athlete.

I assumed that my sweat losses were fairly moderate, so I was interested to see that the results from my online sweat test indicated that my fluid and electrolyte losses would be high. This was based on the fact that I usually train 10-15 hours per week, aiming for 70.3 distance triathlon and much of this training is done indoor (turbo trainer, indoor pool). However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, all of my races have been cancelled and I’ve picked up an injury so my training is very much reduced.

First Impression of Precision Hydration

I received my starter pack from Precision Hydration which contained a box of PH1500 drink mix packets, a box of PH1000 drink mix packets, a tube of PH1000 tablets and a packet of SweatSalt capsules. By email, I received a detailed hydration plan which explained when and how to use these products for best results.

The products were easy to use. Just mix a sachet or tablet with 500ml of water, they dissolve quickly and don’t sit at the bottom of the bottle. The individual packets are easy to carry in a jersey pocket while cycling. I needed some additional guidance on how to adapt this plan to my reduced training schedule and found that Precision Hydration were very responsive. They have a WhatsApp where you can contact them for immediate answers. I could tell that the Precision Hydration team are passionate about their product and the importance of a personalised approach to hydration.

Using Precision Hydration for Endurance

The stronger PH1500 is intended for pre-loading before a race or longer training session, whereas the PH1000 is for during a race or training session. Most of my training during lockdown has been turbo trainer rides in the garden, which can become very hot and sweaty, so I drank the PH1000 mixture throughout my ride. The drink mix certainly helped to quench my thirst and I noticed feeling less fatigued after training. The only downside is that I really don’t enjoy the taste of Precision Hydration products, I find it slightly bitter, but adding some fruit squash to the mixture helps to disguise the taste.

Cycling-with-Precision-Hydration Precision-Hydration-Pack

Summary of my Precision Hydration Product Review

I think the products will really prove their worth when used in a race situation, when it would be more beneficial to pre-load and replenish with electrolytes. I’ll definitely continue using Precision Hydration when things return to normal next year to see how they aid my performance on race

See Lucy’s video on here review using Precision Hydration during her lockdown training:

Hear more Lucy in her own fitness blog – Paddle Pedal Pace.

Buy the Precision Hydration packs direct from Precision.

For further nutrition options check out our recent review of Nourished and their 3D personalised nutrition.

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