energy gels: science or snake oil?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Oruboris, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. Oruboris

    Oruboris New Member

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    Do you use them?

    When, like one every 20 miles or something?

    Regular rides, or only when your really pushing?

    Just wondering.
     
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  2. dangerousbiker

    dangerousbiker New Member

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    Haven't... but i have it in my mind.;)
     
  3. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Gels work well. For extended exercise you should aim to consume a certain number of calories per hour, and gels are an easy way to slam a hundred calories into yourself. If you combine them with a sports drink then it is not too hard to hit 200 - 300 calories/hour.

    The downsides are: They are expensive. The empty wrappers can be sticky when you put them in your jersey pocket. Asshats throw the empty wrappers on the road. Some gels have a poor formulation that becomes too thick in colder weather, making the gel hard to eat.
     
  4. sideshow_bob

    sideshow_bob New Member

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    Still not as hard to eat as a powerbar while you're in the saddle (which take about a liter of water to get down as well) ;-p

    --brett
     
  5. UncleFred

    UncleFred New Member

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    I tuck my empty Gel Wrappers into the bottom of my shorts.
     
  6. Cycler6n

    Cycler6n New Member

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    never used em, are they worth it?
     
  7. mongooseboy

    mongooseboy New Member

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    ive used a few powerbar gels (strawberry banana) and they worked good, this was earlier in the year when i was still out of shape and needed the boost to get through the other half of my rides. Now gatorade is all i really need....

    however if i ride the bike path (on my mtb) i have to have a energy bar or gel or something if i ride alone, i cant seem to pace myself :)

    I tend to just use granola bars. cheaper, easier to find, and again, cheaper!
     
  8. tinear10

    tinear10 New Member

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    Gels work well with bars. The bar will give slower, long burn energy. The gel will keep your sugar levels high. On a five hour ride you might have one or two bars and three or four gels.
    One great gell is Enervit. It tastes like a flat, concentrated Coke. It has lo lot of sugar so it is best towards the last part of your ride. I always keep one on me just in case. "Break in case of emergency"
     
  9. Lewis93

    Lewis93 New Member

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    Carb Boom - they are more natural, taste better.
     
  10. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    +1 on the CarBOOM. They taste the best of all the gels I have tried. They also have low viscosity so it is easy to squeeze the contents out quickly and it is still fluid-like at low temperatures.

    People who don't like gels should try Cliff Shot Blocks. They are great and the Margarita flavor has a metric buttload of sodium.
     
  11. DrunkenBiker

    DrunkenBiker New Member

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    OK. I'm not going to comment on the phrase "metric buttload" exept to say I'm going to try and use that in a conversation tomorrow. :D

    I'm just now really getting in to the nutrition part of riding. My long ride each week is approaching 2 hours and I need something more than water.

    A metric buttload of sodium that important ??
     
  12. Aerobar

    Aerobar New Member

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    Here's what works for me (and that's what it's all about, right?). It's REALLY hot where I ride (high mountain desert). On a 2 hour ride or so I'll take powerbar. For a LONG ride like a century I'll take a few powerbars but also some gel. The powerbars get hot and melty in the heat, so I'll eat those first while the day is cool. I'll use the gel later in the ride when I'm tired of eating and when it would have been too hot and nasty for the bars.
     
  13. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Only if you are doing something that could cause you to lose a metric buttload of sodium. ;) For short stuff of a few hours it is not that crucial. As you go past six hours and especially as you go past twelve, it becomes a serious issue.
     
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