Training & Nutrition - Gu vs. Power Gel...
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03-05-01, 02:07 PM
Do these gel's really work when you are tired and need a boost of energy and if so, which one is better?
I sometimes bring one along with me on a long ride, but I am not sure if there are any added benefits over raisins or a banana, besides being more compact for your saddle bag/shirt pocket.
03-05-01, 04:08 PM
i have never had power jel but i have GU all the time. I have no idea if it helps anything, but atleast it dosent taste like crap.! so i would recommend GU! my friends say it tastes like cake frosting, it sure dosent to me.
03-05-01, 05:42 PM
On my big rides(3hrs or 50+ miles), what i do, is pour one can of Red Bull into my 100oz camelbak, and take two GU's or Clif Shot's with me on the ride. I actually like the taste of Clif Shot's over the taste of GU's. I havent tried the Power Gel yet.
Do they do anything? I have no idea, it feels like it helps me ride better and longer, and the red bull makes my water taste less like plastic :D
Overall, I guess the power energy packets are mostly for convenience, sure they have extra carbs, fructose, sea salts, potassium and other spiffy Ingredients. But bananas and raisins are alot cheaper, and have alot of the same stuff :)
03-06-01, 09:52 PM
It's important to keep the carbs coming. I use orange juice, apples and natural things if possible, but I will use whatever is available (sometimes the naturals cause gas). John Stampstead (sp?), mountain biking wild man, says he uses Little Debbies cuz they are the most cost-effective calorie source available (he likes to set endurance records, like 140 miles per day for 21 days along the Great Divide, North to South).
Anyway, to me, sugar is sugar. I just try to keep the original package intact for the nutrition.
03-06-01, 09:54 PM
P. S. Foggy memory: 140 miles per day, 21 days...couldn't be right. Anyway, figure out three weeks from Canada to Mexico along the Rockies.
Pete, Good mention of John. By the way his name id John Stamstad but I am not picking, I am not the spelling police. Yes John is a wildman, I like to refer to him as the undisputed king of ultraendurance moutain biking. 1999 was a highlight for Stamstad as he conquered the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (the longest off-road trail in the world). He completed the 2500 miles and 200,000 vertical feet of climbing in 18 days and five hours. My favorite was when he entered the 24 hours of Canaan uder four variations of his name. As I remember he came in at night, ate a bunch of GU, a Power Bar, a banana, some ice cream, a Snickers bar, downed a Coke, drank some coffee, puked, and rode off. We just kinda stood there. He has also been known to put doughnuts on his bar ends. If I was as light as he is 139 lbs. and rode like that, I would wolf down as much sugar and fat as I could. I remember doing crazy distance rides off road in the Summer of Va., and we could scarf down tons of sugar, calories, and carbs, and burn it all off in no time. Although soda made us cramp up real bad. don't know how he does it you would never think of it by looking at him.
Anyway stuff like GU and Power Gels are made for rapid asorption. It is almost like ABC food. It works real well but I have personally not ever known any performance enhancement out of them. They do however seem to be able to maintain your energy out put for a little longer.
03-07-01, 10:43 PM
I've done the Gu stuff before, and you're right, they do taste like cake frosting! For me, that's not a bad thing! :-) I used to use it quite a bit during marathons, but I haven't used it for my bike rides yet. When I used it for the marathons, they were so damn convenient than the bananas or oranges that I used to take with me. (Okay, running around with a warm banana doesn't sound to good for anyone.) I did give me an added kick towards the last 2 - 3 miles of a half or full marathon, but I usually didn't take more than 4 packages of that stuff.
During long rides, I usually pack something in my pannier, or stop by somewhere for a snack. So I haven't had the use for the gel or gu, just yet.
I think if you can carry small nutrious food, I think that would be nutritionally better than Gu or Gel, but if not, this stuff definitely does the job when you've got limited space. :-)
03-07-01, 10:49 PM
24 hours of Canaan, four variations of his name. Event was limited to teams of four. Guy is a wildman...You were there??? D***.
03-08-01, 07:34 AM
I won't swear to this, but it seems like a little fatty food (chocolate, peanut butter, etc.) a couple of hours
before riding gives me another power advantage over straight carbs. If so, this could be due to the continual need of muscles for fatty acids, which are released from fatty foods, but are (I've read) more slowly released by the body's natural fat stores. Maybe I'm wrong, but my experience seems to be telling me this helps in addition to carbs.
Yeah I was there with another guy doing massage support. He is a Tai Chi master. At the time I was studying combat martial arts with him (he is diverse). Anyway he found out that I ride MTB told me about the event and what he did as support so I went with him to help. John was there and started the beginning of what was to become a singles race at that event.
03-08-01, 08:47 PM
Now I know something.
Thanks, Hunter, man!
09-18-04, 01:34 PM
It kinda makes me mad. I have had some really good gell packs, but not in the US. They have been extremely popular with everyone on Japan for awhile now. You can pick them up at 7/11 and supermarkets etc. They even have mouth bit piece that has this straw thing so it is easy to suck and you get it all fom the bottom. Lots of Japanese brands but WEIDER is very popular, but they dont sell it here. A lot of foriegn companies in Japan are seperate from the mother company. Maybe we will start to see more variety and better quality soon. They are real convenient.
check em out
09-18-04, 01:42 PM
Have had Gu and Clif Shots - much prefer Clif ... Mocha Mocha is awesome and even has a little zip of caffeine.
I like Gu and Cytomax gel
09-18-04, 03:44 PM
I like them both. Powergel has a few more carbs per pouch I believe, but other than that it's pretty much the same thing other than the flavor. I prefer chocolate, but there's definitely enough different flavors of each to go around.
09-18-04, 06:26 PM
Carb-Boom Kiwi Strawberry is very yummy. It has no caffeine, and it has real fruit in it, so it tastes like real food, not chemically like some of the gels can.
09-19-04, 07:55 PM
GU in vanilla bean is awesome, it tastes like warm Breyer's vanilla ice cream. My buddies compared it to icing. For a buck, its definitely worth it, tastes great, and digests very easily, too! Give it a try.
09-20-04, 08:55 PM
Of all the gels I have tried, I like PowerGel the least. I don't know whether they are sweeter or what, but when I take a shot, I immediately get thirsty as h*ll.
The gels usually work for me when it comes to fast energy, or fast pace rides. Real food works too, just takes longer (and more effort to digest).
If gels are too sweet for your taste, try unflavored. I know Hammer and Gu make them.
Otherwise, IMO, carb-boom tastes best, I really like the the Clif litter leash. Accelerate has come out with one that has some protein, haven't tried it yet. My favorite is Hammer Gel. Get the 26 serving bottle and use a 5 shot flask. They usually run around $16 or $17 (lots less per serving than pouches), and the flask is a lot easier to deal with than the little foil pouches.
P.S. Avoid apple cinnamon flavor.
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