Power Gel! Uuuurgh!

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Mdava, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. Mdava

    Mdava Guest

    OK, I'm looking for some hope here.

    As I am approaching my first Olympic length triathlon, I thought that I would experiment with some
    of the carbo-load gels before the big day. So, I bought some Power Gels, and halfway through my ride
    today I tore the top off of one and sucked it down.

    This is the *most*disgusting* stuff I have voluntarily eaten in a *long* time! (It was the vanilla
    flavour, for reference purposes, and I have two more lemon/lime ones lurking in the cupboard)

    Now, I can force these down on the day, but are they all this disgusting or is there a
    better option?

    mDava at bigfoot dot com
     
    Tags:


  2. Bgrabow963

    Bgrabow963 Guest

    Try the lemon/lime. Some people prefer it over Vanilla. Or try other gels, GU or Carb Boom.
     
  3. Joel Rose

    Joel Rose Guest

    Go with the carb boom. It is much easier to swallow than the power gels. I was a die hard power gel
    guy until I tried the carb booms, they are much less "pasty" than the others. I am partial to the
    orange based flavor. Experiment for yourself:)) "BGrabow963" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Try the lemon/lime. Some people prefer it over Vanilla. Or try other gels,
    GU
    > or Carb Boom.
     
  4. Theodor Seiz

    Theodor Seiz Guest

    You dont need any gels. I never used gels and and I wont use them ever. Just starch, sugar and lots
    of advertisment. A piece of banana is of equal value as is some maltodextrin in 20% applejuice and
    80 % Water (add some salt for long distance events).

    I bought "triathletes magazine" a few times - they push in the editorial articles whatever company
    pais for ads. The most absurd one was a neverreach trinking system - half a page of an article with
    some strange study on drag figures and the ad on the other half of the page citing the same study.

    Gels are simply a way to sell a less than 1 cent value product to people with too much money for 1
    or 2 $. BTW this crap is full of chemicals, artificial flavours preservatives, I wouldnt dare to
    feed it to cattle and sure like hell I wouldnt eat that myselve.

    They push fast absorbtion and next time slow absorbtion, they push isolated carbs and next time they
    "discover" that carbs work better with protein. What bullshit! Real food has that all, look at top
    cyclists, bananas, small sandwiches, water and sport drink - maybe a low fat energy bar for longer
    events. The claims done by this sport product mafia are funny: 20% increase in performance. (METXR
    or something like that). Feed that stuff to any low profile pro and he will win the Tour?

    For an olympic tri I dont think eating is necessary though half a banana wont hurt. Find out what
    drink works during the training, add bananas at T1 and thats it. No need to buy any of this chemical
    crap. Drinks tested by me and my buddies:

    1. Apple Juice (20%), 1 Spoon of Maltodextrin and Water (80%)
    2. Fruit tee with maltodextrin (80%) and table sugar (20%) with a mineral tablet.
    3. Ice tea (25%) sweatened and Water (75%) - this is my usual mix if it gets hot and I need to buy
    drinks at a gas station to refil my bottles
    4. Water for anything < 2h

    Never use more than 80g of carbs per 1l of fluid. Just my opinion - but I am a beginner myselve so
    maybe someday I will be enlightened and realized why I need gels.
     
  5. Rivermist

    Rivermist Guest

    You are right that a banana has the same nutritional value as a gel. But, try putting 4 bananas in
    your jersey pocket before a race. It is not practical.

    "Theodor Seiz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > You dont need any gels. I never used gels and and I wont use them ever. Just starch, sugar and
    > lots of advertisment. A piece of banana is of equal value as is some maltodextrin in 20%
    > applejuice and 80 % Water (add some salt for long distance events).
    >
    > I bought "triathletes magazine" a few times - they push in the editorial articles whatever
    > company pais for ads. The most absurd one was a neverreach trinking system - half a page of an
    > article with some strange study on drag figures and the ad on the other half of the page citing
    > the same study.
    >
    > Gels are simply a way to sell a less than 1 cent value product to people with too much money for 1
    > or 2 $. BTW this crap is full of chemicals, artificial flavours preservatives, I wouldnt dare to
    > feed it to cattle and sure like hell I wouldnt eat that myselve.
    >
    > They push fast absorbtion and next time slow absorbtion, they push isolated carbs and next time
    > they "discover" that carbs work better with protein. What bullshit! Real food has that all, look
    > at top cyclists, bananas, small sandwiches, water and sport drink - maybe a low fat energy bar for
    > longer events. The claims done by this sport product mafia are funny: 20% increase in performance.
    > (METXR or something like that). Feed that stuff to any low profile pro and he will win the Tour?
    >
    > For an olympic tri I dont think eating is necessary though half a banana wont hurt. Find out what
    > drink works during the training, add bananas at T1 and thats it. No need to buy any of this
    > chemical crap. Drinks tested by me and my buddies:
    >
    > 1. Apple Juice (20%), 1 Spoon of Maltodextrin and Water (80%)
    > 2. Fruit tee with maltodextrin (80%) and table sugar (20%) with a mineral tablet.
    > 3. Ice tea (25%) sweatened and Water (75%) - this is my usual mix if it gets hot and I need to buy
    > drinks at a gas station to refil my bottles
    > 4. Water for anything < 2h
    >
    > Never use more than 80g of carbs per 1l of fluid. Just my opinion - but I am a beginner myselve so
    > maybe someday I will be enlightened and realized why I need gels.
    >
     
  6. Rivermist

    Rivermist Guest

    I use GU vanilla bean flavor.

    "mDava" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > OK, I'm looking for some hope here.
    >
    > As I am approaching my first Olympic length triathlon, I thought that I would experiment with some
    > of the carbo-load gels before the big day. So,
    I
    > bought some Power Gels, and halfway through my ride today I tore the top
    off
    > of one and sucked it down.
    >
    > This is the *most*disgusting* stuff I have voluntarily eaten in a *long* time! (It was the vanilla
    > flavour, for reference purposes, and I have two more lemon/lime ones lurking in the cupboard)
    >
    > Now, I can force these down on the day, but are they all this disgusting
    or
    > is there a better option?
    >
    > mDava at bigfoot dot com
     
  7. Theodor Seiz

    Theodor Seiz Guest

    4 Bananas for an olympic tri? Oh my god ...

    >You are right that a banana has the same nutritional value as a gel. But, try putting 4 bananas in
    >your jersey pocket before a race. It is not practical.
    >
    >
    >"Theodor Seiz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> You dont need any gels. I never used gels and and I wont use them ever. Just starch, sugar and
    >> lots of advertisment. A piece of banana is of equal value as is some maltodextrin in 20%
    >> applejuice and 80 % Water (add some salt for long distance events).
    >>
    >> I bought "triathletes magazine" a few times - they push in the editorial articles whatever
    >> company pais for ads. The most absurd one was a neverreach trinking system - half a page of an
    >> article with some strange study on drag figures and the ad on the other half of the page citing
    >> the same study.
    >>
    >> Gels are simply a way to sell a less than 1 cent value product to people with too much money for
    >> 1 or 2 $. BTW this crap is full of chemicals, artificial flavours preservatives, I wouldnt dare
    >> to feed it to cattle and sure like hell I wouldnt eat that myselve.
    >>
    >> They push fast absorbtion and next time slow absorbtion, they push isolated carbs and next time
    >> they "discover" that carbs work better with protein. What bullshit! Real food has that all, look
    >> at top cyclists, bananas, small sandwiches, water and sport drink - maybe a low fat energy bar
    >> for longer events. The claims done by this sport product mafia are funny: 20% increase in
    >> performance. (METXR or something like that). Feed that stuff to any low profile pro and he will
    >> win the Tour?
    >>
    >> For an olympic tri I dont think eating is necessary though half a banana wont hurt. Find out what
    >> drink works during the training, add bananas at T1 and thats it. No need to buy any of this
    >> chemical crap. Drinks tested by me and my buddies:
    >>
    >> 1. Apple Juice (20%), 1 Spoon of Maltodextrin and Water (80%)
    >> 2. Fruit tee with maltodextrin (80%) and table sugar (20%) with a mineral tablet.
    >> 3. Ice tea (25%) sweatened and Water (75%) - this is my usual mix if it gets hot and I need to
    >> buy drinks at a gas station to refil my bottles
    >> 4. Water for anything < 2h
    >>
    >> Never use more than 80g of carbs per 1l of fluid. Just my opinion - but I am a beginner myselve
    >> so maybe someday I will be enlightened and realized why I need gels.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >
     
  8. Bill Wallace

    Bill Wallace Guest

    Well, funny you mentioned Vanilla and Lemon-Lime, those are the only two flavors I can choke down.
    If you want something really disgusting try Chocolate.

    Regardless of what you eat (or what other posters might advocate), after an hour of exertion your
    available glycogen is burned up you need to start some calorie intake. You need about 600
    calories an hour (more or less depending on your size). I've found taking 300 every half hour is
    optimal for me.

    Your choice of foods is a very personal thing but nothing too heavy, nothing that will burp up and
    nothing with too much protien as it will drasticially slow down absorbition and you'll bonk.

    I like to mix it up. I count the calories in my recovery drink but carry fresh water also. You
    need fresh water with a gel. I take a few gel packs, one bananna, a clif bar and I'm good for
    an long day.

    BW "mDava" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > OK, I'm looking for some hope here.
    >
    > As I am approaching my first Olympic length triathlon, I thought that I would experiment with some
    > of the carbo-load gels before the big day. So, I bought some Power Gels, and halfway through my
    > ride today I tore the top off of one and sucked it down.
    >
    > This is the *most*disgusting* stuff I have voluntarily eaten in a *long* time! (It was the vanilla
    > flavour, for reference purposes, and I have two more lemon/lime ones lurking in the cupboard)
    >
    > Now, I can force these down on the day, but are they all this disgusting or is there a
    > better option?
    >
    > mDava at bigfoot dot com
     
  9. Mike Tennent

    Mike Tennent Guest

    [email protected] (Theodor Seiz) wrote:
    >Just my opinion - but I am a beginner myselve so maybe someday I will be enlightened and realized
    >why I need gels.
    >

    Or maybe someday you'll realize that there isn't just one answer to race nutrition.

    Apple juice may work for you, but I guarantee it'll cause real problems for others, such as a couple
    of unplanned pit stops at the porta-johns.

    We're all an experiment of one. We each have to learn what works for us. No-one has "the" answer to
    race nutrition.

    Mike Tennent "IronPenguin"
     
  10. Chris Maginn

    Chris Maginn Guest

    I agree with some of the anti gel diatribes, however it's such an easy way to get calories that I
    use gu in a flask. For an olympic distance race though you can easily get the calories you need from
    liquid sources...either home grown mixtures or powders like Cytomax etc. At Alcatraz on Sunday I
    drank Cyto and water on the bike and then had just 2-3 little shots of gu out of a flask along with
    water on the run. In fact, the calories I'll ingest from gu during IM CDA will be a minimal %
    overall....far more will come from liquid sources (Cytomax/protein powder mix).

    I prefer Gu Vanilla precisely because it has very little taste. There's a lot of other flavors
    though that are sweeter. PS: Some gels contain caffeine (like Gu-Vanilla) and some do not. I used
    Carb Boom (Apple-Cin) during training for marathons a couple of years ago. It was great but after
    awhile I just burned out on it...too sickly sweet.

    "Rivermist" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I use GU vanilla bean flavor.
    >
    > "mDava" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > OK, I'm looking for some hope here.
    > >
    > > As I am approaching my first Olympic length triathlon, I thought that I would experiment with
    > > some of the carbo-load gels before the big day. So,
    > I
    > > bought some Power Gels, and halfway through my ride today I tore the top
    > off
    > > of one and sucked it down.
    > >
    > > This is the *most*disgusting* stuff I have voluntarily eaten in a *long* time! (It was the
    > > vanilla flavour, for reference purposes, and I have two more lemon/lime ones lurking in the
    > > cupboard)
    > >
    > > Now, I can force these down on the day, but are they all this disgusting
    > or
    > > is there a better option?
    > >
    > > mDava at bigfoot dot com
    > >
     
  11. Jeff Bryant

    Jeff Bryant Guest

    I started with GU which I have found to be OK, never tried Power Gel. I like the TriBerry, Banana,
    and Vanilla best.

    Also, in my marathon training I have researched many electrolyte, CHO and protein combos. It turns
    out that 2 cookies (fig newtons, Chips Ahoy, etc.) have about the same CHO and calories as one
    paclet of gel, plus they also have a couple of grams of protein. Currently for 2-5 hour runs I use
    per hour: 20 oz. Accellerade drink, a few pretzels, one half Clif bar, a couple of cookies. I also
    take some GU along as backup.
     
  12. Theodor Seiz

    Theodor Seiz Guest

    >Regardless of what you eat (or what other posters might advocate), after an hour of exertion your
    >available glycogen is burned up you

    No, it is not - if it is your pacing was way off. An hour of aerobic activity will take about
    400-1200 calories and you store about 2000 of glycogen 8500g) in your body (blood, liver, muscles
    ...). If you did training before your body doesnt rely only on that glycogen but also - to a certain
    percentage depending on intensity - on fat (lets say 20% in an olympic and 10% in a sprint). So with
    the energy stored you will at least last 1,5 ho├║rs before bonking. Many pros only use diluted sport
    drink to speed up water absorbtion not for the calories. (Though they dont hurt either during
    swimming and running). During a running event, all type of digestion takes oxygen away from your
    muscles - except for very slow running like a marathon. Ever seen an Kenian munch on gels in a 10K
    (or even a mrathon) run?

    Get real - this industry is taking your money for coloured sugar drinks. If you need sugar buy a
    bottle of ice tea and mix it with water - no difference but the price.

    >need to start some calorie intake. You need about 600 calories an hour (more or less depending on
    >your size). I've found taking 300 every half hour is optimal for me.

    600 is more than the majority of individuals can digest within an hour. If you start taking calories
    after your glycogene is down, you bonk. Thats simply all wrong. This amount is definitely not
    optimal for olympic distance tris except if your goal is to finish with full glycogen stores. It
    might be your best strategy on the long distance though. There is absolutely nothing wrong with
    finishing a race with low glycogen stores if that is not your limiting factor.

    >I like to mix it up. I count the calories in my recovery drink but carry fresh water also. You
    >need fresh water with a gel. I take a few gel packs, one bananna, a clif bar and I'm good for an
    >long day.

    So before gels there were no triathletes? The tour riders dont use this stuff, simply its a little
    bit of coloured overpriced sugar. Triathletes use it mainly because the sport doesnt pay well and
    powerbar offer most money.

    Simply put - in my opinion this nutrition strategy is way over the top for an olympic distance. We
    are talking a 2-3 hour event here, shorter than a marathon - no marathon runner will even think of
    eating anything like 600 calories. Maybe 1/2 a banana sometimes but thats
    it.
     
  13. Theodor Seiz

    Theodor Seiz Guest

    >No, it is not - if it is your pacing was way off. An hour of aerobic activity will take about
    >400-1200 calories and you store about 2000 of glycogen 8500g) in your body (blood, liver, muscles
    >...). If you

    Type of course - should be 2000 calories aka 500 grams ...
     
  14. Mdava

    Mdava Guest

    Jeff Bryant <jeff[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I started with GU which I have found to be OK, never tried Power Gel. I like the TriBerry, Banana,
    > and Vanilla best.
    >
    > Also, in my marathon training I have researched many electrolyte, CHO and protein combos. It turns
    > out that 2 cookies (fig newtons, Chips Ahoy,
    etc.)
    > have about the same CHO and calories as one paclet of gel, plus they also have a couple of grams
    > of protein. Currently for 2-5 hour runs I use per hour: 20 oz. Accellerade drink, a few pretzels,
    > one half Clif bar, a
    couple
    > of cookies. I also take some GU along as backup.
    >
    >

    Jeff, and Theodor, Mike, Bill, Chris, Wade, Rivermist (and anyone I forgot or missed)

    Thanks for all the advice.

    I should have started experimenting sooner seems to be the general message, but as I have only just
    started doing tris I hope to have a fair bit more time to work out my mistakes.

    I take the point about marketing hype etc, and if I am just riding I eat Real Food [tm], but as
    someone else said the packaging is a whole lot easier to deal with in a hurry!

    I could probably also survive the race without eating anything, but I figure that if I *can* take in
    a load of extra carbs/cals without upsetting anything, I might as well.

    Thanks again, and have fun at the races. mDava
     
  15. Rivermist

    Rivermist Guest

    dude, I am just making the point that gels are easier to carry than fruit.

    "Theodor Seiz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > 4 Bananas for an olympic tri? Oh my god ...
    >
    >
    > >You are right that a banana has the same nutritional value as a gel.
    But,
    > >try putting 4 bananas in your jersey pocket before a race. It is not practical.
    > >
    > >
    > >"Theodor Seiz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >> You dont need any gels. I never used gels and and I wont use them ever. Just starch, sugar and
    > >> lots of advertisment. A piece of banana is of equal value as is some maltodextrin in 20%
    > >> applejuice and 80 % Water (add some salt for long distance events).
    > >>
    > >> I bought "triathletes magazine" a few times - they push in the editorial articles whatever
    > >> company pais for ads. The most absurd one was a neverreach trinking system - half a page of an
    > >> article with some strange study on drag figures and the ad on the other half of the page citing
    > >> the same study.
    > >>
    > >> Gels are simply a way to sell a less than 1 cent value product to people with too much money
    > >> for 1 or 2 $. BTW this crap is full of chemicals, artificial flavours preservatives, I wouldnt
    > >> dare to feed it to cattle and sure like hell I wouldnt eat that myselve.
    > >>
    > >> They push fast absorbtion and next time slow absorbtion, they push isolated carbs and next time
    > >> they "discover" that carbs work better with protein. What bullshit! Real food has that all,
    > >> look at top cyclists, bananas, small sandwiches, water and sport drink - maybe a low fat energy
    > >> bar for longer events. The claims done by this sport product mafia are funny: 20% increase in
    > >> performance. (METXR or something like that). Feed that stuff to any low profile pro and he will
    > >> win the Tour?
    > >>
    > >> For an olympic tri I dont think eating is necessary though half a banana wont hurt. Find out
    > >> what drink works during the training, add bananas at T1 and thats it. No need to buy any of
    > >> this chemical crap. Drinks tested by me and my buddies:
    > >>
    > >> 1. Apple Juice (20%), 1 Spoon of Maltodextrin and Water (80%)
    > >> 2. Fruit tee with maltodextrin (80%) and table sugar (20%) with a mineral tablet.
    > >> 3. Ice tea (25%) sweatened and Water (75%) - this is my usual mix if it gets hot and I need to
    > >> buy drinks at a gas station to refil my bottles
    > >> 4. Water for anything < 2h
    > >>
    > >> Never use more than 80g of carbs per 1l of fluid. Just my opinion - but I am a beginner myselve
    > >> so maybe someday I will be enlightened and realized why I need gels.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>
    > >
     
  16. Chris Maginn

    Chris Maginn Guest

    Agree that there's no way you need ingest heavy calories during an Oly race. Keeping hydrated and
    some calories going is fine. I've heard of others who can ingest 600 calories an hour during long
    races....no way can I do that. For IM I'll push down 2000-2100 calories total on the bike (5.5 hrs
    estimated) so maybe 375-400 per hour average. I'll push down a lot more in the 1st quarter of the
    bike than the last. Of the 2000 calories, probably 1700 will come out of a bottle and maybe 300-350
    from my gu flask. Regardless of earlier diatribes, Gu's pretty damned convenient, and I've trained
    on it, and it works to augment liquid sources.
     
  17. Theodor Seiz <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Simply put - in my opinion this nutrition strategy is way over the top for an olympic distance. We
    > are talking a 2-3 hour event here, shorter than a marathon - no marathon runner will even think of
    > eating anything like 600 calories. Maybe 1/2 a banana sometimes but thats
    > it.

    Not eating, but perhaps ingesting. I think that in my last marathon, I ate about 400 calories of
    non-liquid stuff (in gu and clif bar form; handed out free, yay). Probably ingested another .. two
    hundred? in drinkable stuff. But then again, that was a pretty slow marathon
    (3:43), and at almost 200 pounds, I'm a bit heavier than the average kenyan. :)

    From a nutritional standpoint, I mostly agree with you - and mix my own gels from a tub of
    maltodextrin a lot of the time. But from a convenience, packaging, and ease of use standpoint, the
    gels and bars have some advantages. Frankly, $5 extra to the cost of the average US triathlon isn't
    much of an increase. And gatorade in the big tubs is about $10 for 9 gallons worth, which comes out
    to not very much. Sure - it's sugar, salt, and some potassium, and you can mix your own - but it
    also saves you some hassle.

    I think you've missed the most important part of it all, though: Use whatever digests easily and you
    like. Me? I can slurp down gatorade and gu for a good number of hours without getting sick, and for
    longer events, I tolerate clif bars with perfect happiness. I don't see the need to break something
    that works. (And it's not just that I have a stomach of iron - can't stand poweraide, and it's got
    the wrong salt mix for me).

    -Dave

    --
    work: dga - at - lcs.mit.edu me: angio - at - pobox.com MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
    http://www.angio.net/ (note that my reply-to address is vaguely despammed...) bulk emailers: I do
    not accept unsolicited email. Do not mail me.
     
  18. Old Timer

    Old Timer Guest

    I was going to post on the subject until I saw Chris' first post and thought - well, that takes care
    of that, but then saw all of the others' and then Chris' second post, and thought - hey I've got an
    opinion too, so why not!

    Let's see if I can sum up what I took away from this..

    1. The day before the race is not the best time to experiment with race nutrition.
    2. You don't need a lot of calories for a 2-3 hour race.
    3. You can probably take care of your needs with energy in liquid form (which is what I'd do)
    4. Longer races like 1/2s and IMs are where this stuff becomes really important.
    5. Many folks balk at buying their energy drinks and make their own.
    6. Bananas do not pack well.

    My own personal experience - sprints - nothing other than a small bottle of gatorade on the bike,
    100% effort for 80 minutes takes all of my concentration. Olympics - hate that distance, but would
    drink several bottles of Endurox and a gel or two along the way. 1/2s - a swig from the Hammer Gel
    flask every 30 minutes like clockwork and a drink from an Endurox bottle every 15 minutes. Ironman -
    same as the
    6/1. I finally found a long distance combo that works for me - no bonks - no stomach distress. Took
    a long time to figure that out!

    Hope that helps or at least helps confuse you.
     
  19. Mdava

    Mdava Guest

    Old Timer <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > My own personal experience - sprints - nothing other than a small bottle of gatorade on the bike,
    > 100% effort for 80 minutes takes all of my concentration. Olympics - hate that distance, but would
    > drink several bottles of Endurox and a gel or two along the way. 1/2s - a swig from the Hammer Gel
    > flask every 30 minutes like clockwork and a drink from an Endurox bottle every 15 minutes. Ironman
    > - same as the
    > 1/2. I finally found a long distance combo that works for me - no bonks - no stomach distress.
    > Took a long time to figure that out!
    >
    > Hope that helps or at least helps confuse you.

    That seems to be a pretty good summary of what I have gleaned from this thread - and what I intend
    to do on Sunday.

    A couple of gels and lots to drink.

    mDava at bigfoot dot com
     
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