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Energy gels and such

Biggus86Biggus86 Posts: 385
edited July 2009 in MTB general
I bought some gels when I ordered my new pedals, haven't tried them yet, but i thought they'd be usefull for riding and running when i'm slacking a little bit. Are they as good as they say? I've always taken a bananna with me on rides for some energy.

Which are the 'better' tasting ones and generally best ones (I've tasted some god awful protein drinks after a sesh at the gym).
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  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    SOme good info on this in the health section.

    I think they are overpriced and overhyped, especially for the general rider.
  • Chaz.HardingChaz.Harding Posts: 3,228
    Right, IMHO, the right gels work a beast. 'Hammer' gels are reported to be good. Same as SiS (they taste quite nice too). Have a gander at ZipVit, and check out they're introductory box. You get a load of stuff for £4! Bargainous!

    BUT, as AMAZING as they're energy gel is, it is DISGUSTING. Properly, PROPERLY bitter, vile, horribleness. However, it is easily, by about 10,000 times, MUCH better than anything else I have ever tried. It really is like going on 'turbo mode'.....

    But yeah, the roadies forum would probably provoke a bit more reaction, and knowledge about this stuff. Try a search, as there's always threads on energy gels VS banana's, flapjacks, energy drinks, malt-loaf etc etc.
    Boo-yah mofo
    Sick to the power of rad
    Fix it 'till it's broke
  • Chaz.HardingChaz.Harding Posts: 3,228
    Ahh, here's the link http://www.zipvit.com/success/

    Good luck in NOT throwing up after the energy (speed and coke..??) gel! But everything else is nice enough. Free waterbottle too! :wink:

    8)
    Boo-yah mofo
    Sick to the power of rad
    Fix it 'till it's broke
  • Biggus86Biggus86 Posts: 385
    Cheers guys, I bought a 4 pack just to try them out, wasn't that much hence the purchase, but my mates been harping on about trying them for a while... I'll find out on sunday if there anygood.

    Depending on whether you like sprouts or coliflower how bad is it in comparison haha, because i nearly threw up because off a protein drink i had.

    *looks at health section*
  • mhukmhuk Posts: 327
    when i'm slacking a little bit.

    I think they're more useful for when you're killing yourself and are going to bonk unless you get something to eat in the next 30 seconds.. maybe a slight exaggeration ;)

    They're not a pick-me-up, rather a keep-me-going when you're working hard and using up your energy supplies e.g. you're doing an endurance event or training hard- that's when I've taken them (not that I've had many). Torq gels are OK, haven't tried my zipvit ones yet.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Tescos sells the SIS ones, they seem to be OK- I like to carry one just in case I completely bomb out, they're pretty effective for when I need a big hit. But for general trail fuelling I'm not so sure, they're a bit of overkill, and there's the danger of insulin crash/post burn crash. Too much all at the same time, for me. So I use clif shot blocks most of the time, they're sort of similiar but more managable, you can eat them one at a time for a more gradual kick, and stoke the boiler as you use them up. very good imo (dextrosol tablets would do the same of course)

    I reckon it's better to fuel slowly, solid long lasting food before you ride, topped up as you go, rather than big mad glucose injections once you're knackered. But I'm no scientist
    Uncompromising extremist
  • maloomaloo Posts: 214
    I cant stomach the gels ... i just carry jelly babies or mars bar with me
  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    Northwind wrote:
    I reckon it's better to fuel slowly, solid long lasting food before you ride, topped up as you go, rather than big mad glucose injections once you're knackered. But I'm no scientist

    Agreed. I do use gels, but only as a last resort when I'm really hitting the wall in a race or on an all day ride.

    SIS and Torq are the best that I've tried as they don't taste so much like drinking neat cordial.
  • try the jelly beans, don't take gels if you don't need to though.
    Me and a Mate took some before a race and we won it but don't take it to early or you willl be murdered by your friends for being unbereably hyperactiv
    I assume this is French petrol - be careful in reverse - the car will retreat rapidly at the least provocation.
  • oxoneiloxoneil Posts: 147
    Agree on Torq. I did a 6 hour audax this year and took some. Really nice flavours.
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    SIS and Torq are the best that I've tried as they don't taste so much like drinking neat cordial.
    Not tried SIS but I find Torq very effective. A swig now and then keeps fatigue away without feeling 'wired'.

    When I first tried Torq I made it too weak and it didn't seem to be doing anything so I supplemented it with a can of Rockstar. Dunno about 'giving you wings' 15 mins later I felt as though I was going into orbit :lol:
  • Biggus86Biggus86 Posts: 385
    mhuk wrote:
    when i'm slacking a little bit.

    I think they're more useful for when you're killing yourself and are going to bonk unless you get something to eat in the next 30 seconds.. maybe a slight exaggeration ;)

    Could have done with one the other day then. I plan on going for some longer rides soon, so I'm going to need some sort of 'pick me up'.

    Maloo, I only ever eat Marsbars at work when i've rushed from home and crash mid morning (pretty pysical job).
  • CustomReignCustomReign Posts: 185
    These are all great, but look into the sweeteners. Aspartame in it's various forms will rot your brain.

    http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-information.html
  • adb1006adb1006 Posts: 938
    supersonic wrote:
    Jelly Babies!

    And Fig Rolls! :lol:
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    adb1006 wrote:
    supersonic wrote:
    Jelly Babies!
    And Fig Rolls! :lol:
    Where would we be without fig rolls? :)

    And Eccles cakes. And Haribo. And dried apricots. And Snickers.
  • wemacwemac Posts: 91
    I use SiS gels regularly on longer rides and during events - not exclusively as after a couple of hours of eating only that it makes me feel sick - and I find the benefit of them over things like mars bar and jelly beans is how quickly it is absorbed into the system.

    I normally get cramp/stitch as the chocolate / beans lies in the stomach for much longer, whereas the gel is straight into the system and the energy is available much more quickly.

    For an extra kick give up caffeine for at least a week before an event then use the caffeine gels for extra turbo!
    Trek Fuel EX8 09
  • These are all great, but look into the sweeteners. Aspartame in it's various forms will rot your brain.

    http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-information.html

    I'm sensitive to aspartame. Are there any good recovery/energy drinks that dont' have it? I think gatorade is one but it'd be nice to know of more.
    Start Weight 18st 13lbs March 2009
    17st 10lbs August 2009
    17st 4lbs October 2009
    15st 12lbs December 2010

    Final planned weight 12st 7lbs
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    im hgoing to look into them soon, i did a bit of an epic all day ride a couple of months ago and got totally bonked about 2/3 of the way around, i fought for half an hour and i went away, and i was back to usual ( a little more drained maybe) but while it happened it was hell! i was fighting up a huge climb, and both me and my riding buddy got it at the same time. we were dead!, something to boost us would have been nice.
    I like bikes and stuff
  • CustomReignCustomReign Posts: 185
    Gatorade is full of it.

    I have a camelback full of water and carry a flapjack and mixed unsalted nuts like Brazils and such. Works a treat.

    Natural food is great I thing. For the 3 - 5 hour rides I do, I feel the Energy market is trying to make a problem that isn't there as standard food can address the replenishment.
  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    .blitz wrote:
    SIS and Torq are the best that I've tried as they don't taste so much like drinking neat cordial.
    Not tried SIS but I find Torq very effective. A swig now and then keeps fatigue away without feeling 'wired'.

    I've only tried their gels, so might give the drinks a go based on that. I just bought a tube on Nuun tablets to try out next...
  • dav1dav1 Posts: 1,298
    I onl;y tend to use them for racing. Great things to keep you going when you feel like the wass is not far away
    Giant TCR advanced 2 (Summer/race)
    Merlin single malt fixie (Commuter/winter/training)
    Trek superfly 7 (Summer XC)
    Giant Yukon singlespeed conversion (winter MTB/Ice/snow)

    Carrera virtuoso - RIP
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    I'm sensitive to aspartame. Are there any good recovery/energy drinks that dont' have it? I think gatorade is one but it'd be nice to know of more.

    For recoveries, I don't think that the ultimate recovery drink- cookie dough flavour Frijj- has any. And more importantly, it's like a bottle of cookie dough. Mmmmmmmm
    Uncompromising extremist
  • DazzzaDazzza Posts: 2,364
    Shame they didn't rename it cookie d'oh! though. ;)
    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
    Giant Anthem X
  • boogercjboogercj Posts: 316
    I did a sponsored road ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh a few weeks back and I tried one of these gel packs for the first (and last time). IME, if it feels and looks like really cheap hair gel, it probably tastes like it too!

    Fig rolls, gatorade and the odd double decker all the way for me...
  • mhukmhuk Posts: 327
    I take dried figs / fig rolls/ banana when I'm out, with a few hard gums for emergencies :)
    aspartame. Are there any good recovery/energy drinks that dont' have it?

    I make my own recovery drink:

    4 parts maltodextrin
    1 part whey isolate
    ~1/2 gram l-glutamine
    100mg vitamin C

    miixed into rice milk and a pinch of chocolate powder. When I remember to buy KCl salt there'll be a pinch of that in it. No aspartame and cheap.
  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    Northwind wrote:
    For recoveries, I don't think that the ultimate recovery drink- cookie dough flavour Frijj- has any. And more importantly, it's like a bottle of cookie dough. Mmmmmmmm

    Mmmmm Frijj! I'm going to go and buy a banana one now, I haven't had that stuff in ages! :D
  • ads4ads4 Posts: 698
    I have been eating the Torq energy bars which are very good...and moist. Will be trying their gels out shortly.
    Adam.

    Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.

    Current ride - Yeti ASR 5a X0
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Oh, here's a bit of a topic drift, but a lot of people have wheat intolerances- coeliac, IBS- these days and most trail foods do contain either wheat or oats. I don't think there's a "proper" energy bar on the market that doesn't in fact. So, a wee tip for anyone in this position- Tescos sell a small range of "free from" breakfast bars, and the blueberry one is near perfect convenience trail fruit- not too heavy, not too dry, holds together when squashed instead of crumbling, and quite tasty.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • CustomReignCustomReign Posts: 185
    Wheat intolerance - is that a dislike of French numbers?

    Made me laugh, but I'm easily pleased.

    I love the Natural bars witha chocolate base. They give a real boost and are not full of nasty cancer causing sweeteners.
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