On long rides or long ride days on the tour, I always consume at least one water bottle mixed with a powder called Hammer Perpetuem ®. The Hammer Nutrition Company created this product for long bicycle rides and other high endurance endeavors. After trying many products over the years to mitigate the usual ill effects on the long haul, I have found that Perpetuem to be the best. The reason: Perpetuem provides sustained energy in the form of complex carbohydrates, soy protein, healthy fats, and key auxiliary nutrients such as sodium phosphate. The product also buffers lactic acid to prevent muscle fatigue. I can tell you that this stuff really works and 'no', I am not paid to say it; the rejuvenating effect is palpable, fast acting and long lasting. The downside for the minimalist tourer is that the stuff comes in a rather big jug. If you are on a long self-supported tour (weeks), it can be a space killer. I nevertheless choose to schlep it around. It is simply worth it.
In the heat of the summer, and particularly on full ride days, with every other water bottle, I take a couple of the Hammer Endurolyte ® capsules in order to stay on top of my salts loss. I like this product because Hammer recognized a few things that I agree with. First, most but not all salt loss is sodium chloride (table salt). Without getting too deep into the science, Hammer recognizes that there are potassium, magnesium and other salts that are lost through perspiration and that they need to be replaced. Even though these salts are lost in smaller amounts, on balance, the body still needs to replace the losses. Secondly, drinking Gatorade and other energy/electrolyte drinks may have some of these salts, but will not keep up with the total salt demand on a long hot ride day. And by the way, it is important to keep up with salts in order to keep the muscles working smoothly and avoid cramping. On long hot rides, it is also a good thing to eat snacks like pretzels and peanut butter crackers, too.
By the way, there are several other Hammer brand supplements I take as a matter of course for nutritional, anti-oxidant and tissue and joint health purposes.