Organizing Your In-Ride Food and Hydration—Kitchen Cleanout

by | Aug 27, 2022 | Gear, Nutrition

If you’re anything like us, you probably have a random drawer or two or three that houses your in-run or in-ride food and hydration mix. Maybe it’s scattered throughout your kitchen and garage and dresser with all your other cycling gear. Because being able to eat and drink enough (or the right stuff at the right time) is so critical to your success as an athlete, it makes sense to spend a little bit of time getting that stuff in order. Organizing your powders and packets into one drawer not only avoids ants in the garage, it makes it easier to prep for a ride, and eliminates the chance of getting ready to head out for a ride or race, only to realize that you’re out of your favorite snack or hydration mix. So, in this quick video, we’re walking you through how to get everything ready so you can get out the door faster and better fueled.

The quick tips for organizing your in-ride food and hydration drawer:

  1. Start by going around the house/kitchen and pulling all in-ride snacks out, and get them all in one place.
  2. Pare down what you have. Check expiration dates / packages that are un-used after years in the drawers. While expiration dates on most gels are more ‘suggestions,’ if you haven’t eaten it and it expired 3 years ago, it’s probably time to just let it go.
  3. Wipe down your drawer or cabinet (because sugary snacks tend to make things a bit gross)
  4. Decant into better, less spill-able bags. Hydration mix bags tend to be a bit lackluster in their zipping ability, so I like to decant mine into a better gallon-size plastic bag. You can also use glass jars if you love The Home Edit and a clean looking pantry, but I find bags are easier for travel. (And once I use a bag, I just re-use it and refill it. You don’t need a new bag with each new order of Tailwind!)
  5. Label! If you do decant things into bags, make sure you label, especially if you have powders that look similar but do different things (i.e BCAAs versus hydration mix versus electrolyte-only mix) or are different flavors.
  6. Make invisible things visible. As you can see in the video, we have a ton of Nuun tubes that were half-full, which took up a ton of space and meant we were rarely finishing them. So, rather than leave them in the tubes, I took the ones that had been opened and put them all in one baggie so we would go through those before opening any sealed canisters. (PS: Have a lot of nuun tubes? I have a list of uses for them here!)
  7. Sort into groups. If you’re like us, you probably have a lot of sample sizes from races and events, which is great, but also means a lot of random stuff. Put like with like—gels go together, solids go together, mixes go together, electrolytes go together.
  8. Stash some spares wherever you need spares. I always have a spare gel in my saddlebag, just in case. I also put a small bag together with a few options and that lives in the van, in case we have an unplanned ride, or we go to ride or run somewhere and forget our food.

Watch the video:

Get the supplies:

Jars for powders or small packets


Ziplocks for powders


Little organizers for gels/waffles/etc. (I like this kit because if you don’t use it all for your food, you can use it for electronics, sunglasses, et cetera)


Tailwind (my personal favorite)



Before you go, check out our book, Becoming A Consummate Athlete, right here:


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