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Drink for Hydration, Eat for Nutrition

Whether you’re an elite competitor chasing a new PR or the least athletic weekend warrior on your block, properly hydrating and fueling for exercise is critically important to success. Anytime you sweat, your body needs three things: fluids and electrolytes to replace much of what is lost in sweat, and carbohydrates to fuel your exercising muscles. While your first priority should be replacing fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration, consuming adequate carbs to keep your muscles firing is a close second and should not be ignored.

While we know that fueling during exercise is important, there is a lot of confusion around the best way to fuel and rehydrate while working out. Some think that it’s best to approach hydration and fueling as one combined goal, while others believe it’s best to approach the two goals individually.

So which approach is right? Most important, which one is right for you?


Traditional sports drinks that contain water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes rely on a combined approach for hydrating and fueling. This approach works well for team sports and similar activities. However, endurance athletes often prefer to take an alternative approach to hydrating and fueling, one that makes it easy to drink for hydration and eat for energy (calories). Stage makes this second approach much easier to deploy.

Endurance athletes commonly train and compete for hours on end, which puts a premium on staying well hydrated and fueled. Sports drinks can work for this purpose, but they limit the options for combining hydration and fueling strategies to suit individual needs and desires. For example, on a long ride or run, you might want to shift between drinking water and a flavored beverage. And as your workout progresses, you might want to vary the amount of electrolytes you are consuming. Furthermore, you might want to change up your carb sources, relying on a combination of energy bars, gels or blocks, and snacks of your choosing. Stage helps make all of those options possible.

With Stage, you can exercise total control of the hydration and fueling process. If you need a burst of electrolytes and/or fluid, you can get them without overdoing the carbohydrates--which can lead to gastrointestinal distress including bloating, burping, or barfing, a nasty trinity of symptoms colloquially known as the “Three B’s.” This happens because excessive carbohydrate intake slows the rate of gastric emptying, making exercise uncomfortable and difficult to maintain. In fact, one of the most common reasons athletes end up in a race medical tent is because they’re experiencing gastrointestinal distress as a result of overconsuming carbohydrates.

Furthermore, if you consider fluid and electrolyte intake separately from carbohydrate intake during exercise, you allow yourself more room to comply with one of the most important rules of consuming carbs: fuel with the foods that you are most comfortable with. Generally speaking, you should consume 30-60g of carbohydrates for every hour of strenuous exercise (and up to 90-120g/hour during ultra events), with a focus on simple rather than complex carbs. When you know your fluid and electrolyte intake is taken care of (because you’re considering it separate and apart from carb intake) you are free to consume carbs in whatever way makes you most comfortable. So the pretzels or M&Ms that you know and love--and maybe even crave!--during exercise can effectively satisfy your need for carbs.

In short, separating hydration and fueling gives you the freedom to find the approach that works best for you!


The Stage Difference


While Stage is proud of their blend of electrolytes, the Cirkul technology that delivers it gives you the freedom to dial in the proportion of electrolytes to pure water that suits your needs and to change that proportion on the fly. The Cirkul platform also allows you to adjust to your changing tastes as a workout progresses. As you get deeper and deeper into strenuous exercise, your cravings will veer saltier, changing preferences which you can easily meet with a simple twist of the Flavor Dial.

No more electrolyte powders, tablets, or gels that have to be dissolved into water. No need to juggle multiple bottles. And no more one-size-fits-all electrolyte products.

Stage is highly customizable, readily accessible, and easier to use than any other product on the market. It gives you total, complete, and isolated control over your fluid and electrolyte needs, allowing you to fuel with the carbs of your choice with the full comfort of knowing your hydration needs are being met.