Monday, August 29, 2005

Energy gels

2 questions for my readers:

1) Does anyone mix up their own gels? I was just thinking about mixing up my own carbohydrate concentrate, since I can't seem to find one I really like. Read http://www.cptips.com/gelown.htm for some ideas on this topic. I'd like to mix up a thick slurry that I can swig out of the gel flask and combine with water from the water stops, either on the bike or on the run, and get the energy I need, supplemented with electrolyte capsules. There's a few recipes online here, too.

2) Is there a commercial gel - any brand, any flavor - out there that really tastes GOOD to anyone when they're working hard and hot and sweaty? I've run through several of them on the market - Powergels, Clif Shots, Hammergels, CarbBooms, etc., and they all taste like warm crap to me when I'm hot. I take them because I know I need them and feel better if I keep my nutrition up, but I really have to choke them down when they start tasting bad.

Recommendations I've gotten so far (I'll keep a list here as I receive them):

  • GU chocolate
  • GU plain (Linae says it 'sucks the least')
  • Hammergel apple cinnamon
  • Hammergel(?) vanilla
  • eGels
  • Hammergels
  • Cytosport Gulp 'n' Go vanilla
  • Another vote for eGels (I think I need a polling feature).


Here's a table of nutrient composition of various gels (thanks Phil!).

12 comments:

Chris said...

I can't really stomach gels. They get too thick after a while to my liking.

I've been using CarboPro for a while now and like it. It's basically tasteless powder that you can mix into your Gatorade (or sports drink of choice) to give it a little more calories. I can easily fill a larger water bottle with 1200 calories without it being too thick of having problems with it dissolving. I don't know if this is a practical option for you, but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case. :)

nancytoby said...

Is CarboPro basically maltodextrin powder? I can't seem to find a website for it that isn't full of hype. Like http://www.trisports.com/capucoca.html

*jeanne* said...

I like the clear gels more than the creamy ones, so I prefer Cliff Shots to Gu, generally.

When I am doing a shorter distance, I sort of LIKE many gel flavors (Cliff Shot in Raspberry is good), but when I am doing a FULL marathon distance (or a LONGER LSD run), I start to find them more and more difficult to "enjoy" - no matter WHAT the flavor, no matter WHAT the brand.

Vertical Man said...

The ONLY gels I can stomach are the Crank eGels. They have a tart taste that cuts all the cloying, nasty syrup-like taste and texture. They're 150 calories and have more electrolytes than most other gels. I CANNOT stand GU or Hammer gels, especially when they and I are warm.

Lynne said...

I have never tried any of the gels... They SCARE me - People have told me that you have to drink so much water after - and then risk having to pee during a race :( Any truth to that?

tri-mama said...

I've been using raspberry Gu and it's ok, but gels in general make me hairball. I've given up and now just carry a 12 inch pepperoni pizza with me.

jessie_tri_mn said...

I like hammer gels only because they taste more "real" to me than some of the others. I've never tried the eGels, though.

Also, I like gummy bears for long runs :)

Flatman said...

Tri-Mama,

Make sure you drink lots o' beer with that pizza, so you can absorb the grease more quickly!

nancytoby said...

Lynne:

Peeing just means you're doing well on your hydration! :-)

Mmm, I like that pizza idea. I know some ultrarunners that take along string cheese for a treat...

Phil said...

Here's a good link with nutritonal values for each gel:

http://www.trisports.com/gels.html

I've started using Jam Sandwiches!

From my calculations: 1 sandwich = 160 cals, 35g carbs, 180mg sodium.

I cut them up into 1/4 triangles, and put 2 each into a little baggie: easy to tuck into my jersey, easy to eat on-the-fly, a heck of a lot less messy, and frankly - much better tasting!

1/2 a sandwich (2 triangles) = approximately 1 GU.

...pizza sounds good too!

Comm's said...

I just finished my jug of Powerbar Recovery and switching to Cytomax Orange and CarboPro Orange. I agree with Chris about getting the cal's the easiest way possible.

I perfer CarBoom Apple cinnamon to any other gel but I will try anything in a non-training environment.

I may try jam sandwiches soon though. Real food is best.

I have also been using a small can of V-8 when I can. Definitely post long ride/run.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I mix cola and berry flavor to get a "cherry coke". It's my fav.