Sports drinks are just a necessary evil of endurance sports.
The universal consensus is that on energetic rides of more than an hour, you need water, salt, electrolytes & carbs. And as the rides start to get longer & more intense, inevitably you start fooling around with your drinks.
Like most people, I started out with Gatorade. For a long time I went with one bottle of Gatorade from powder and one bottle of plain water. I was never a big fan of any of its flavours; I found only the orange was bearable. And too much of it started to feel nasty. I was happy to find some alternatives.
|Beats Gatorade, good value.|
|Clear winner on taste.|
|"Dude – you on the Pink?"|
Now, it might be coincidence. Maybe given my training this year this is where I was going to get a performance uptick anyway. But even if the value is just psychological (like: equating that obnoxious flavour with being able to do stuff I couldn't do before), there's something there. Possibly it's the fact that it has no carbs helps; you get the hydration & electrolytes without clogging it up with sugar. Anyway, I use other food to get my on-board carb fuel, so there's no real reason to have it in the drink as well. I'll leave it to you to review the science that goes into the stuff.
One suggestion I haven't tried yet: mix the BioSteel with half water & half cocoanut water. I'll give that a go next. (Grace Brand cocoanut water is the best I've tried.)
Bottom line: the sticker shock is worth it. Until I get a better option, I'm going with the BioSteel.