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Energy foods/drinks/etc - the good, the bad, the ugly

lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
edited August 2009 in Commuting chat
So, I am interested... My favourite energy food/drinks are Clif bars in Oatmeal, Raisin and Walnut, and High5 Citrus respectively. I've never found a recovery thing I've liked, solid or liquid.

What are yours? What have you tried that's really awful, and why?

I like the Clif bars because they're not chocolate-y and not overly sweet, and the HIgh5 because it's fruity, a little sharp, and not too sweet.

I've never tried a gel. I find the thought of them a little icky.
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  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    edited June 2009

    I've never tried a gel. I find the thought of them a little icky.

    I was told swirling it around the mouth then spitting not swallowing helps.... :roll:

    Then drink some water to help it go down....
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  • Gavin GilbertGavin Gilbert Posts: 4,019
    Gels are fruit flavored wallpaper paste and best left as a last minute boost during racing.

    I use Torq drinks, both the Energy and Recovery Type; I'm also quite taken with Mule Bars.
  • gb155gb155 Posts: 2,048
    DonDaddyD wrote:

    I've never tried a gel. I find the thought of them a little icky.

    I was told swirling it aroung the mouth then spitting not swallowing helps.... :roll:

    Then drink some water to help it go down....

    I bet you say that to all the girls
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  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    Can't say i've found any benefit from gels i guess you need to neck loads of them to really count, the freebie I tried at the weekend exploded all over the front of my bike covering every hard to reach surface.

    Stick with banananananas, nuts & dried fruit.
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  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    I've never had a gel I liked but they do the job.

    + 1 for Clif bars - they're superb. As for drinks I use Nunn Kola for hydration and SiS psp for energy. I hate psp but then I've hated everything else I've tried. ITB swears by this:

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Torq_Natural_Energy_Powder_Drink_500g_Tub/5360026380/

    Apparently it's tasteless so I'm gonna give it a go.

    Clif shot bloks are good too.

    SiS ReGO is ok for recovery - I use the choccy one.

    As for what's not nice - every high5 product I've tried and SiS bars are foul and very very chewy.
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  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    itboffin wrote:
    Stick with banananananas, nuts & dried fruit.

    On a serious note I find nuts fill the void after a long ride.

    Bananas are great for/during long rides as well.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • salsajakesalsajake Posts: 702
    I have used PSP22 but am nearly out. I won't replace it because it is needlessly sweet and expensive, I have bought a great big bag of maltodextrin and am just planning to mix it with water. No idea what it will taste like!

    For recovery, I think you can't beat Mars milk. OK, it probably does you no better than a glass of milk, but it feels so so right after a ride and I reckon you do feel better when you get back in the saddle. I am currently also trying Power Bar 80% protein to try to build some leg muscle and make me a stronger climber. Jury is out to be honest, it is weird stuff to mix up and tastes neither great nor unpleasant (Lion Bar flavour) but it is in theory getting an extra chicken breast of protein into me each day, so in a month or so it will be interesting to see if I feel stronger. Then again, I'm not doing any weights or anything, just riding hills harder to get the muscles working.

    I reckon none of it is essential, but energy drinks are good to keep you going and milk is good to rehydrate and aid recovery
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    So, I am interested... My favourite energy food/drinks are Clif bars in Oatmeal, Raisin and Walnut, and High5 Citrus respectively. I've never found a recovery thing I've liked, solid or liquid.

    What are yours? What have you tried that's really awful, and why?

    I like the Clif bars because they're not chocolate-y and not overly sweet, and the HIgh5 because it's fruity, a little sharp, and not too sweet.

    I've never tried a gel. I find the thought of them a little icky.

    +1 to that, it's my favoured combination, try the carrot cake bars by Clif, they're also rather good, as are the peanut butter ones, in fact I've yet to find one I don't like :lol:

    I use the High 5 4:1 formula drink for recovery and it seems to work fine, and I'm experimenting with the extreme just before a ride. For gels I generally use the Torq gels with added caffeine, they're all pretty disgusting and tbh I don't find I get any benefit from them on longer rides, they're best saved for races where you need a quick boost.

    I'll let you know what effect the High 5 Extreme drink has after tomorows race, I suspect I may be up all night again :roll:
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

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  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    Low fat chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink



    http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=17484
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

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  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Greg T wrote:
    Low fat chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink



    http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=17484

    I'm not going to trust any group that calls itself censored . ;)

    The main reason I don't get on with recovery stuff is that I really don't do dairy - black coffee, black tea, dry cereal, no butter, ice-cream etc etc.
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Greg T wrote:
    Low fat chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink



    http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=17484

    I'm not going to trust any group that calls itself ars*. ;)

    The main reason I don't get on with recovery stuff is that I really don't do dairy - black coffee, black tea, dry cereal, no butter, ice-cream etc etc.

    May I ask why and I'm generally curious. Is this an intolerance thing or just a taste/preference thing?
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    I really don't do dairy

    You don't dig Bo'vine?

    Beef tastes Good. Ribs taste good.

    Name the stretched film for extra points.
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    Greg T wrote:
    Low fat chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink



    http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=17484

    I'm not going to trust any group that calls itself ars*. ;)

    The main reason I don't get on with recovery stuff is that I really don't do dairy - black coffee, black tea, dry cereal, no butter, ice-cream etc etc.

    try the High 5 4:1 formula drink then, it tastes just like the standard energy drink and seems to work as well as any other recovery drink
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Greg T wrote:
    Low fat chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink



    http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=17484

    I'm not going to trust any group that calls itself ars*. ;)

    The main reason I don't get on with recovery stuff is that I really don't do dairy - black coffee, black tea, dry cereal, no butter, ice-cream etc etc.

    May I ask why and I'm generally curious. Is this an intolerance thing or just a taste/preference thing?

    My sister is somewhat into holistic medicine and thinks it's an intolerance.

    Personally, I just don't like it at all, makes me feel quite sicky on consumption and for a while afterwards if I do end up consuming it - e.g. if someone's made me tea with milk in it. It's just slimy nastiness.

    Furthermore, it comes out of cows' udders. Ewwww.
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    edited June 2009
    SIS Go Electrolyte works for me (although the blackcurrant flavor is awful). Clif bars are my first choice but a couple of the Mule ones are good too.

    I find gels do help when I need that bit extra but how much of that is in my mind I can't say. The Powerbar gels don't seem as bad as some of the others.

    Also a fan of Mars Refuel for after. I only use this stuff for events though and I always find my stomach is in knots after a day of it. Yesterday I also had a Peperami in my pocket whcih was a nice change.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Greg T wrote:
    I really don't do dairy

    You don't dig Bo'vine?

    Beef tastes Good. Ribs taste good.

    Name the stretched film for extra points.

    No clue on the film! I eat dead cows, definitely, just nothing milk-based. I believe in killing animals before consuming their component parts.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Rich158 wrote:
    Greg T wrote:
    Low fat chocolate milk is an ideal recovery drink



    http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=17484

    I'm not going to trust any group that calls itself ars*. ;)

    The main reason I don't get on with recovery stuff is that I really don't do dairy - black coffee, black tea, dry cereal, no butter, ice-cream etc etc.

    try the High 5 4:1 formula drink then, it tastes just like the standard energy drink and seems to work as well as any other recovery drink

    Good tip! Thanks!
  • fenboy369fenboy369 Posts: 425
    Pulp Fiction. :D:D:D
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  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    fenboy369 wrote:
    Pulp Fiction. :D:D:D

    Look at the Big Brains on FenBoy.
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    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • Fireblade96Fireblade96 Posts: 1,123
    I don't believe in all this high-tech trickery. It's all a marketing exercise. Trust me, I work in Sales ;-)

    I go for Tesco mango & apricot crunchy bars (which have one side coated in chocolate, so better in colder weather), big slabs of Waitrose flapjack cut into pieces and wrapped in cling film, and bananas. If that fails, stop at a pub/tea shop :twisted:
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  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I don't believe in all this high-tech trickery. It's all a marketing exercise. Trust me, I work in Sales ;-)

    I go for Tesco mango & apricot crunchy bars (which have one side coated in chocolate, so better in colder weather), big slabs of Waitrose flapjack cut into pieces and wrapped in cling film, and bananas. If that fails, stop at a pub/tea shop :twisted:

    Yep, the calorific content of most cereal bars isn't really that different to most energy bars, I just like the Clif bars. I quite happily eat them even when I'm not riding.

    There is some evidence that the energy drinks work, although on longer rides I've found eating solid food is just as good. For instance on the FWC they didn't have any energy drink at the feed stops just water, so I'd run out of energy drink after the first feed stop :roll: . They did however have loads of cheese and ham rolls, flapjacks, fig rolls banana's etc, and I just stocked up on those, and felt I could have done an extra 30 miles or so at the finish.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Rich158 wrote:
    Yep, the calorific content of most cereal bars isn't really that different to most energy bars, I just like the Clif bars. I quite happily eat them even when I'm not riding.

    Now, is eating Clif bars when you're not doing any exercise a really bad idea? I've just eaten half of one to give me a boost for rowing this evening - a couple of hours on the water before I get any dinner!

    But are they like energy drinks where they'll make you really fat if you aren't about to do any exercise?

    How much exercise do you need to be doing to warrant eating an energy bar?
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    How much exercise do you need to be doing to warrant eating an energy bar?

    It comes down to the intensity and duration of the exercise you intend to do and what your current state of recovery and fuelling is.

    If you are fully rested and fueled you should have about an hours worth of moderate go in you stored as glycogen in your muscles and a further hour or so in your liver and other stores.

    You can top this up by eating drinking carbs/sugars as you go.

    Your body goes for these fuels first and slides into utilising fats and proteins as you exercise and deplete these stores - it's not a sudden change. It's very complicated...

    So you should have about an hour and half / two hours MODERATE go in you if you are fresh and fuelled without needing to top up.

    If you are fuelled up already.

    If you aren't it's a good idea to prep yourself by eating in anticipation of your exercise.

    The level of depletion will determine the amount you need to onboard.
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  • Christophe3967Christophe3967 Posts: 1,200
    Another vote for Clif bars from me - wouldn't bother with anything else, apart from the flapjack they sell at Box Hill :) And bananas of course, which are the ultimate convenience energy food.

    All SIS bars taste like cardboard and the Go electrlyte drink I've tried (lemon and lime) is horrid. Power bars are better if there's nothing else available but still not quite an OK.

    PSP22 is OK - I've tried orange, blackcurrant and lemon and they're all fine - I just get bored easily.

    Jash has put me off gels for ever :evil: but I never liked them anyway.

    Not sure about Clif shots - they're a bit too big for my liking and stop you breathing properly. I just end up with them stuffed in my cheek like a squirrel.

    SIS recovery drink is OK apart from the really expensive berry flavour, which is blue and tastes of nothing like berries. You should never drink anything blue, apart from Bombay Sapphire.
  • salsajakesalsajake Posts: 702
    You should never drink anything blue, apart from Bombay Sapphire.

    Except that isn't blue.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    I've never had a gel I liked but they do the job.

    + 1 for Clif bars - they're superb. As for drinks I use Nunn Kola for hydration and SiS psp for energy. I hate psp but then I've hated everything else I've tried. ITB swears by this:

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Torq_Natural_Energy_Powder_Drink_500g_Tub/5360026380/

    Apparently it's tasteless so I'm gonna give it a go.

    Clif shot bloks are good too.

    SiS ReGO is ok for recovery - I use the choccy one.

    As for what's not nice - every high5 product I've tried and SiS bars are foul and very
    very chewy.

    Eek hold on mucker! apparently the unflavoured torq energy is just Maltodextrin, which you can get from myprotein.co.uk for about £3 for 2 kilos.

    Save your money for things that match. :P
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  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    You should never drink anything blue, apart from Bombay Sapphire.

    Funny you should mention that but of course I was very very drunk :wink:
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    So, I am interested... My favourite energy food/drinks are Clif bars in Oatmeal, Raisin and Walnut, and High5 Citrus respectively. I've never found a recovery thing I've liked, solid or liquid.

    What are yours? What have you tried that's really awful, and why?

    I like the Clif bars because they're not chocolate-y and not overly sweet, and the HIgh5 because it's fruity, a little sharp, and not too sweet.

    I've never tried a gel. I find the thought of them a little icky.


    Drink: High 5, water (usually carry to two bottles at the start of a long ride, both with High 5, then re-fill both during the ride).
    Gels: Squeezy (not used for a long time though.)
    Food: bananas, fig rolls, jaffa cakes, (rarely) jelly beans, cake (if at a cake stop), maltloaf Clif bars are good, but find them difficult to eat after a while. Sandwiches stick in the mouth too much.
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  • greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
    Greg T wrote:
    I really don't do dairy

    You don't dig Bo'vine?

    Beef tastes Good. Ribs taste good.

    Name the stretched film for extra points.

    Dude, I don't wanna go all Heston Bloomin' Tail on your censored , but generally ribs are from piggies ... y'know, little pink suckers with curly tails? More Por'cine that Bo'vine.


    I will admit to having had beef ribs once or twice though. Big suckers. Foot long. With a small steak on each side.

    By the time I'd finished, it looked like a lion had vomited the remains of a digested water buffalo all over my plate. :shock:
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  • greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
    I've never tried a gel. I find the thought of them a little icky.

    I'm not a big fan of them myself.

    But I've got some imagery phrases that might help you overcome a phobia of them.

    Or not... :wink:
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
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