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  1. #1
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    Gu Gel or Shot Blocks

    I was wondering what the difference is here? Or do they perform the same function? My local POS only has the shot blocks.

    Regards,
    Blueliner

  2. #2
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    More or less the same function. Shotblocks have electrolytes to help prevent cramping which gels don't (that I'm aware of).
    I find I prefer shot blocks when it's really warm out. They just go down better for me.

  3. #3
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    i tried the Gu today, gross. Sticking with shot bloks

  4. #4
    gran jefe
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    same function. just use whichever your body likes best. or eat real food on rides. whatever works best for you!

  5. #5
    Tailwind Nutrition
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    Whatever you do, don't forget to drink water with the gels and Shotblocks. Why? You need the water to help digest these. For example, in order to effectively digest one gel, you need about 12 oz. of water. A lot of folks mistakenly down the gels and forget about the water leading to stomach problems and potentially dehydration.

    Here's a great article outlining the difference and usage: Racing Weight - Sports Drinks Vs. Carbohydrate Gels
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  6. #6
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    I was under the impression that the gels were long-chain/complex carbs for calories and energy to replenish glycogen and the Bloks were for replenishing the electrolytes lost in sweat. To me that seems like two different jobs but I could be wrong and I'm sure someone will point out my shortcomings.

    A good way to do the gels is to add two or three to your water bottle and mix well. That way you get the water at the same time and don't have to worry about opening the gels, untaping them from your handle bars or trying to cram the trash in a pocket.
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  7. #7
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    From jennyv's link above: "Gels (when taken with water) provide the same benefits as sports drinks and should be taken in the same circumstances: during workouts and races lasting an hour or more. But you must choose one option or the other."

    A great lesson I learned this year. I walked into a local bike shop in Marin. Looking at the shelves of bars and gel type performance nutrients, I asked, "Which one best prevents cramps?"

    The answer: "Hydration prevents cramps. Drink water." Drinking enough water was the best performance tip I learned this year - and good riddance to post-ride and middle of the night leg cramps!
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  8. #8
    gran jefe
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    when you are drinking a lot of water, and still get cramps (or cardiac irregulrities), try electrolytes.

  9. #9
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    +1 for shot blocks

  10. #10
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    I tried the mixed berry GU, on a Stinger Honey Waffle. Now that was good.

  11. #11
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    They all have electrolytes. Electrolytes are just salt and potassium.

    I make my own gel out of honey, salt, potassium, caffiene and B complex (copied the ingredients from a packet of Stinger) and carry it in a Hammer Nutrition flask.

    When racing, I tape gel packs to the top tube. They are the easiest thing to eat while riding.

  12. #12
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    Try the Peanut Butter GU Gels! Best tasting ever!!

    --I tried both but decided against being 5 miles out in the woods and having the blocks pull out an old filing (no fun)------Stick with the Gel (but some do taste Nasty--i only get Peanut Butter now!!)---

  13. #13
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    I use Clif gels, I think they are very close to the same contents as the Bloks - both have carbs, electrolytes, and some have caffiene. I find the bloks stick to my teeth so Gels are easier to get down.

  14. #14
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    I will have to try the Clif Gels. Getting into racing and want something quick.

  15. #15
    gran jefe
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    my son had some gatorade chews tonight. they were pretty awesome. had a little bit of electrolytes, but not much. same number of calories as 8 oz of grape soda. i think i could get the soda down easier, but the chews were nice for a change.

  16. #16
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    I've learned that my body needs nutrients about every hour on the hour. If I keep up with this I can go for 5+ hrs w/o issue. So far I've got this working for me:

    Short weekday rides:
    +1hr - Nature Made Granola bar (one)
    +2hr - Gu pack (strawberry/banana is my fav)
    Don't go longer than 3 hrs with the above

    Long weekend rides:
    Same as above but at +3hr or more I eat a half PBJ.

    I also drink water like its going out of style. My body sweats big time so I find that ~3oz of water/20 mins (or one big mouth full) keeps my system in balance. I can go through 3L easily on a day ride and still not pee once.

  17. #17
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    I like the espresso GU and chocolate. Didnt care for the berry or lime. Havent seen the peanut butter.
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  18. #18
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    I like the Clif gels. Specifically the strawberry +caffeine. They're a little thick (basically have to "chew" them) but they taste good and some water really helps them get down the gullet.

  19. #19
    Afric Pepperbird
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    If we could only petition the Stinger Waffle company to reduce their rates to a "somewhat reasonable" range, we'd all be set!

    They're something special, but not at the current price point.

  20. #20
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    I find they serve pretty much the same function and are roughly as effective for me. The gels are less solid so they will digest a little more quickly and with less work by your body. That can be good if you're doing a maximal effort, are racing, or are really bonking hard.

    I like the shot blocks because I feel like I'm actually eating something, it gives me something to do, and takes longer (eat 3 as opposed to 1 gel pack). BUT that's also the downside. If I need something quick and don't have much time to divert my hands or attention from the bike or ride at hand then the gel is definitely my go to choice.

  21. #21
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    Easier to get a caloric "drip" with shotblocks because you don't need to eat the whole thing (like you do with a gel). You can just pop them periodically. On the other hand, chewing and swallowing them when you are breathing heavily is difficult. Orange flavor is great, chocolate cherry flavor is pretty nasty.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimfaster View Post
    Easier to get a caloric "drip" with shotblocks because you don't need to eat the whole thing (like you do with a gel). You can just pop them periodically. On the other hand, chewing and swallowing them when you are breathing heavily is difficult. Orange flavor is great, chocolate cherry flavor is pretty nasty.
    If you want to portion gels just use a flask, no?

  23. #23
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    I've used both e-Gel by Crank Sports and Shot Blox. I prefer the energy level I can get from the e-Gel but I like the gummyness of the Shot Blox. If I feel like I want some "food" on a ride, I'll grab the Shot Blox, otherwise it's the e-Gels for me.

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