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  1. #1
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    Junk food vs. Gel/Gu

    Over the last 5 years I have personally experimented with brands, mixes, bars, gels, gatorade flacks, and more. I really like doing long 4 to 9 hr mtb rides and events.

    Recently, I have started fueling with Keebler Jumbo Peanut Butter Sticks and Little Debbi Fig Bars, I know, I know, you probably think I am full of it, but they work really well. When comparing bang for buck, its hard to beat.

    Personally, I rarely, if ever, have stomach issues when i train/race. I was hoping to see if others were doing something similar or have had similar experiences, substituting sport nutrition products with junk food. I still use gels, but i like having something of substance, its all processed, right?

    I do use an electrolyte mix, but in terms of caloric intake how much different can they really be?

  2. #2
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    Yep, Much better value if you avoid the true sports nutrition products.

    In terms of calories candy is not that different from sports nutrition products. You get more electrolytes from sports nutrition specific products, so its easier to use them effectively. I have done several 12 hours races using powered Gatorade, Candy (Red Vines, Peanut M and M's for some protein, pretzels for some salt, Bananas and dried apricots for potassium, and flat soda for caffeine.) Works great just requires a little more thought and trail and error to get right.
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  3. #3
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    Fig Newtons (strawberry, raspberry) are one of my favorite trail foods. I have long been a proponent of eating "real" food whenever possible. Use whatever works for you.

  4. #4
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    It's not crazy, it's old school. Fig newtons and flat Coke were the standard back before we had all these engineered gels and bars and drinks and such.

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    Nice to know ! I will try this out.

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    Here,I copyed this from another post this is what sombody said about suger vrs honey.

    Honey has 2 diff kinds of sugars that feed your muscles at different times. There's the quick acting glucose and the slower acting fructose. This prevents the sugar crash from just ordinary sugar (glucose

    For my potassium requirements, I bring small packages of raisins (100g). Raisins, gram for gram, have more potassium than bananas. They're also high in carbohydrates almost as much as honey.

    I use to get the honey stinger gels and then I started to use something else and I wasn't eating the bananas & raisins as much and I was cramping. The best drink mix I have found is the Carborocket333.when I'm racing or on long rides 50 miles + I cut down my drink intake and go to just water if I eat food.. My problem is keeping track.

  7. #7
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    I copied the ingredients off a pack of Stinger honey gel, and make my own.

    I have also heard that honey, especially raw honey, doubles as a disinfectant for wounds. I tried it once when I fell on the trail, and it seemed to help. It didn't get infected and healed quickly.

  8. #8
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    Interesting article on Coca-Cola as a energy drink: Sports nutrition: is Coca-Cola an effective sports drink?

    I would assume that a lot of other junk food follows the same rule of: great during and after, not so great before. Apparently lost of junk food is just too energy dense to be absorbed properly, and can cause digestive problems during a prolonged workout.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    Interesting article on Coca-Cola as a energy drink: Sports nutrition: is Coca-Cola an effective sports drink?

    I would assume that a lot of other junk food follows the same rule of: great during and after, not so great before. Apparently lost of junk food is just too energy dense to be absorbed properly, and can cause digestive problems during a prolonged workout.
    Fascinating article - thanks

    Seems like espresso Gu's with caffeine might be as good as they taste after an hour long ride...

  10. #10
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    As one who used to stick chunks of Powerbar to my frame during races, I'm a lot happier to be eating cheap-as-borscht crunchy granola bars when riding. My favourite is the high-fat peanut butter flavour from Nature Valley. Cheap, available anywhere, good blend of salt, complex and simple carbs, plus fat. They're also dry enough to force me to drink water. Pre-ride food is cold pizza. My recovery drink is Guinness, my recovery food is a well-seasoned rare steak.

  11. #11
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    Regarding Coke, just saw this video about what goes into the feed bags for the riders in the Giro d’Italia. Almost every team puts a can of Coke in the bag.
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  12. #12
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    The road racers I used to race/ride with in '91 were really into fig newtons, those have quite a bit of dried fig. Ever had fresh figs?, super ugly but really delicious.
    I was looking at the bulk section at the grocery store (trail mix etc); dried pineapple has a lot of carbs per oz, more than anything else there I could find, I eat some of those before & after racing. Those sweet/salty bars are good, I think they make them with cashews too, I need to find some of those. Once for a road race I mixed honey with water in one of my bottles, I dropped it getting a drink about 25 miles in, I was in a 7man break just hanging on. I don't think it was a bad idea, clumsy me.
    The oddest thing I ate was on a long team ride, we did a 36m road ride with long hard climb, probably 5k feet. I had not planned super well (being young and all) and didn't have any food with me, the little guest shop had some food, including fish and chips!, the other guys gave me a hard time but I was strong on the 36m back to the cars, I felt great.
    The worst I ever felt from 'food' was having a coke slurpee after a pretty long mtb ride, just awful right after drinking, it sure felt/tasted good though.

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