Torq Hydration Electrolyte Drink – formerly known as Torq Hypotonic – provides 30 500ml servings containing five electrolytes and 15g of carbohydrate, and comes in a choice of three flavours. It avoids the excessive sweetness of many competitors and the price works out very well, but the bags are difficult to reseal between uses.
On hot days – I mean over 20 degrees, as this is the UK – the difference between Torq Hydration and plain water is stark, with noticeable performance drops towards the end of long rides for the latter. The Torq really helped my hydration during training rides up to 200km.
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This is because as you sweat, the body loses both ions and water. Only replenishing with water results in a loss of ions and increased fatigue – these powders contain plenty of delicious ions. Okay, ions are charged atoms and don't taste of anything, but work with me here – we're talking about healthy dust you put in water.
Flavours are subjective even beyond the atomic level, but I found all three – Lemon, Watermelon and Tangerine – very palatable, even when used repeatedly on long rides.
The Lemon is mercifully unsweetened to the point it leaves a sharp aftertaste, which is great if, like me, you're tired of endless oversweetened formulas. It's refreshing when combined with another bottle of a different flavour, too.
Watermelon is quite mild and leaves a pleasant aftertaste, and it's unlikely to clash weirdly with food or gels – plus it goes especially well with anything containing apple or blueberry.
The most authentic flavour has to be Tangerine, which is very convincing – and consequently the sweetest. It's never overpowering, though, and it's crisp without leaving an aftertaste. It goes particularly well with chocolate, but then, so does red wine... look, don't complain or I'll tell you more about ions.
It's important to note that the ions in Torq Hydration (you've done it now) are primarily to aid water absorption, and not the full replenishment of glycogen. So you still need sources of fuel, such as bars or gels, to get the 60-90 grams of carbs for sustained intense exercise.
> Cycling hydration: 1 water bottle or 2 on long rides?
Torq's powder mixes easily with water, but the big bags don't close easily again, which is a bit of a pain when they last for 30 servings. You don't want this stuff all over your car or kitchen, and all those tasty ions rolling everywhere.
At £19.99 for 540g, each serving is around 66p, which is good value against the likes of SIS Beta Fuel (£2.50 per serving) or even Nuun Boost (70p). Torq also offers a bulk-buy scheme which further drives down the cost – buy three and you get 20 percent off, for instance, for a 53p serving.
Torq Hydration is an effective, palatable and well-priced way to reduce fatigue and (surprise!) dehydration while riding. If you find other products just too sweet, or are simply now wondering what ions taste of, it's an excellent option – though a jar to keep the opened pouch in is a good idea too.
Effective, well priced and avoids the sickliness of many rivals
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Make and model: Torq Hydration 540g Pouch
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Torq says this is "An advanced hypotonic formulation specifically aimed at optimising hydration where events/sessions are no more than an hour long, and heavy sweat loss is anticipated. TORQ Hydration can also be used as part of the TORQ Fuelling System during longer events."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The company lists:
Multiple Transportable Carbohydrates
Part of the TORQ Fuelling system
Contains 5 key electrolytes
Fastest possible hydration
Superior to electrolyte tabs
Suitable for vegans
Rate the product for quality of construction:
The seal could be better – it's hard to do up.
Rate the product for performance:
Works well, especially in the heat.
Rate the product for value:
At around 66p per serving, it's at the cheaper end.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Outdoes plain water, and really helped my hydration during training rides up to 200km.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good flavours which avoid the sickly sweetness of many similar products.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The seal is very difficult to close properly.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Works really well at a reasonable price, and proves very palatable over long rides. If the packaging were better it might score higher, but it's a solid eight as it is.
Age: 20 Height: 6 ft 2 in Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR My best bike is: Giant Trinty
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, club rides, the occasional bit of track
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