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Thread: Energy Gels?

  1. #1
    CrazyEye
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    Energy Gels?

    Do very many of you guys use these? I usally try to bring some kind of granola bar or some fruit on anything over 2 hours. But they're the pretty cheap, small and easy. Do you just have one every hour or so?

  2. #2
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyEye
    Do very many of you guys use these? I usally try to bring some kind of granola bar or some fruit on anything over 2 hours. But they're the pretty cheap, small and easy. Do you just have one every hour or so?
    Yeah, I use them often. I like the Gu Vanilla Bean.

    I also carry a Clif bar or two on longer rides, in addition to a fruit/nut mix.
    Ride more; post less...

  3. #3
    Meatpuppet
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    Yup....

    I always have them.
    I use the powerbar gels 4X sodium...........cause cramping is lame.
    Like Walt said they are great for anything up to 2-3 hours, but after the 2hour mark I would add solid food as well.
    gels - elect. drink - fruit and nuts and your good to go!!

  4. #4
    workin' it Administrator
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    You know what is also cheap and easy to eat?

    A PB&J and nothing tastes better than real food.
    PB and J made with two slices of white bread, two tablespoons of peanut butter, and two tablespoons of grape jelly. By reading label information from popular brands of each ingredient, you can figure out the following:

    Total Fat: 18 grams
    Saturated Fat: 3.5 grams
    Sodium: 490 mg
    Carbohydrates: 58 grams
    Protein: 12 grams
    Total Calories: 403

    compare

    gels: do not like. (except for racing and not the 24hr type)
    Try this: HTFU

  5. #5
    Large wheels & one gear
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    Also a Gu Vanilla Bean fan. I used to use the Power Gels until they changed them and now added 4 times the sodium. Might as well suck on a salt block.
    I usually have a gel before my ride and then at the half way point. That's my routine.
    Just bought a 24 pack of Gu today at Performance for $24.99 (I think they sometimes get down to $19.99).
    I Never Apologize............I'm Sorry, That's Just The Way I Am.

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  6. #6
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Only for quick energy bursts, and I don't rely on them for a long ride, because it's pure sugar for the most part, and it's going to be consumed pretty fast. Just relying on gels on a ride can cause a pretty bad bonk if you come down "quick" off the sugar high.

    They are usefull though, on some crazy rides like the 3000' climb from the bottom of Heavenly Ski Resort to Star Lake in Tahoe I popped a gel every 20 min or so, and felt like a million bucks during the climb. You have to back it up with other food though IMO.

    I dont' do the 4x sodium or 3x caffine or whatever it is, not good for my body, and I have enough salt from other sources, in fact you'll do yourself a favor to get that salt and other electrolytes from another source that isn't just sugar, to force yourself to eat something other than the gel.

    I'll also do a lot of natural fruit in place of gel, same effect, cheaper and contains more liquid.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    You know what is also cheap and easy to eat?

    A PB&J and nothing tastes better than real food.
    PB and J made with two slices of white bread, two tablespoons of peanut butter, and two tablespoons of grape jelly. By reading label information from popular brands of each ingredient, you can figure out the following:

    Total Fat: 18 grams
    Saturated Fat: 3.5 grams
    Sodium: 490 mg
    Carbohydrates: 58 grams
    Protein: 12 grams
    Total Calories: 403

    compare

    gels: do not like. (except for racing and not the 24hr type)
    Sounds nice on paper, but with the amount of water we have to consume here in AZ to just survive, the amount of water that is required to digest PB&J (and the bread) is a little over the top.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  8. #8
    It rains here. :(
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    I like Hammer Gel's (chocolate/vanilla) for carbs and use Hammer Endurolytes for electrolytes. I have a weak stomach and can't handle the gatorade type sports drinks when I'm pushing myself, so the Endurolyte capsules work great (except for this weekend when I forgot them and got leg cramps ).

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Ditto for the Hammer Gels. They work well without the peaks and valleys of some others. Easy on the stomach. Hot Tamales are great, too!
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

  10. #10
    Meatpuppet
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konapdlr
    [FONT=Verdana] I used to use the Power Gels until they changed them and now added 4 times the sodium. Might as well suck on a salt block.

    mmmmmm.........salt blocks...yes please.

  11. #11
    Ride 'Til Your Knees Hurt
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    My System...

    -Gu Vanilla Bean: every half hour or so during the ride...
    -eCaps (Endurolytes) for those EPIC days
    -1 scoop of Cytomax in the bladder when I need to ride like Ron Jeremy.
    Can you hear me now?

  12. #12
    Lets have some Kool-aid!
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    I like the HammerGels too. They are made from more natural ingredients and will upset your stomach less

  13. #13
    Large wheels & one gear
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrodr
    mmmmmm.........salt blocks...yes please.
    Sick.....Just Sick!

    I don't even salt food. Everything tastes like it has enough. I down one of those Power Gels and my head does a few quick shakes.......Looks like I'm having a bad case of turrets syndrome.
    I Never Apologize............I'm Sorry, That's Just The Way I Am.

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  14. #14
    my knees hurt
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    I was using gu gels and accelerade for a while but started getting bad stomach cramps during races....
    Switched to hammer gels and heed along with endurolytes and have been pretty happy so far....
    BELIEVE
    Imagine what you would achieve if you knew you could not fail.

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  15. #15
    Lets have some Kool-aid!
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    You can also get the hammer gels on line at

    www.hammernutrition.com

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    I like the Hammer stuff too. Exhale bikes sells it in the packs and larger bottles so you can transfer it to a small goo bottle. Good stuff! If you happen to swing in tell him Jeff and Su sent you.

  17. #17
    AKA shitbird
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    I just eat the cinnamon apple carbooms because they taste good, I don't even know if they give me energy. Sometimes when I get home after work and I don't feel like going out to eat (rarely, rarely eat at home) I'll just have a carboom and it makes for a tasty quick meal.

    I usually have a can of redbull or rockstar in my camelback too. Those help.

    That's how I roll......steady diet of nothing
    JRA

  18. #18
    Master Gardener
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    I usually drink Cytomax at about 3/4 strength and I'll take a gel on longer rides. But for anything under 3 hours, my all-time favorite ride food has always been Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies. LOL They taste great frozen or melted, smashed or squished. And they have a great calorie:dollar ratio.

    I'm down with OCP, yeah you know me.

  19. #19
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    Energy gels do help refuel your glycogen stores and pep you up when taken at regular intervals during a ride (I do it every 45 min). Those made with maltodextrin seem to have less of a "sugar high". This includes the Gu and Carb Boom brands. I personally stay away from the Clif Shots because they are made with brown rice sugar, which sits in my stomach like a big lead ball.

    I've also heard many people rave about the Stinger gel shots because they are made with honey, which is easy for your stomach to digest and has an even burn similar to maltodextrin. I have yet to try the Stinger products.

    Try various brands and flavors. You really need to experiment to find what works best for you. Some brands may upset your stomach and even some flavors within the same brand can upset your stomach while other flavors are fine.

    My personal choices are either Gu Vanilla Bean, Carb Boom Strawberry/Kiwi, and Carb Boom Orange/Vanilla. These all sit well with me and my very finicky stomach.

    One benefit of gels that nobody has mentioned is that they work very well in the dry heat. What I mean by this is that very little water is required to chug one down and have it absorbed in the body. This is opposed to something like a Clif Bar, which is dry to start with and requires a LOT of water to choke down and properly digest.

    Lastly, if you want to save some $$, don't buy the gels in the packets. Go to a local bike shop and get a gel flask. Then find our favorite gel in large bottles and go with the re-fill method. This is MUCH cheaper than individually purchased packets and uses less waste.

    Thx...Doug

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