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Shoud I need/use energy gels

Brian1Brian1 Posts: 595
I do a 3hour ride on a Saturday and find the last 6/7 miles a bit of a struggle.I drink 2x500ml bottles of Hi5 4:1.Its not a particularly hilly circuit and is only 50 miles.As the subject says should i be using gels to supplement the bottles.Thanks for your help.


  • GavHGavH Posts: 933
    Anything over 2 hrs and I carry a gel or two just to give me that extra lift in just the circumstances you mention.

    As the numerous posts I expect to follow will show however, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Hence options other than gels may make for an alternative. I've used bananas, flapjacks, energy bars, Fry's Turkish Delight's, various types of gel etc but simple Lucozade Orange gel is my favourite and at 65p a go in Tesco's, hardly breaking the bank.

    The simple answer is, next time you go for a 50 miler, take a couple of gels and aim to take one around 2 hrs in (it's not quite an instant 'hit' if you get my meaning, so basically 'aim-off') and another half an hour later. If it works for you, problem solved.
  • Brian1Brian1 Posts: 595
    Cheers GavH
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    if you want to be fully fuelled then you should aim to put in up to 90g of carbs per hour.

    2 x 500ml of High5 4:1 is, what , about 90g in total, so you are taking in a third of what you should/could, so it's not that surprising that you tailed off towards the end.

    Now, clearly with shortish rides (<2 hours) you will simply use the stored energy in your muscles. But above that I'd say good fuelling is essential to maintaining your performance.

    Bars, gels, flapjacks, chews, whatever you fancy. What you take is not so important. Solids go in slower IME but not by a huge amount.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    I like gels, but only for the convenience. As others have already said ...More than one way to skin a cat though. Energy bars are also easy and convenient. You don't need to eat the whole bar at once. Re wrap it a have a bit more later. One "secret" you need to learn is eat before you get hungry. I never ride more than 25 miles, when on a long ride, without eating something solid(bar, banana, etc.).
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    For that distance I would not bother. I take one for reserve on longer ride.
    Just stick a pair of bananas in back pocket and eat thos after one hour, then two.
  • RaphaRapha Posts: 86
    It depends on the individual a lot but why not try a Gel or two and then report back if its made a difference?

    Like it was said earlier you can take in a lot more than you are taking in at the moment and it will help your energy levels
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    I would just take a couple of bananas or a slice of fruit loaf with a couple of bottles of water. If you prefer gels no harm in it though.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
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