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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-07-08, 11:32 AM   #1
funrover 
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GU(or other) energy gels?

Are they worth it? I want to keep my packing light and still want a good nutrition during the day. I am not using these to substitute all my meals but I want to know if they actually do what they say!!

Thanks
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Old 10-07-08, 11:39 AM   #2
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Define "worth it". They're pretty much pure sugar (in some form), sometimes with electrolytes added, which makes them appropriate for some situations and not for others. They are not a meal substitute, and are not marketed as such. They are not a low-calorie food. They are appropriate for situations where prolonged exercise has exhausted your glucose. They are not appropriate for light or short-duration exercise.
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Old 10-07-08, 11:42 AM   #3
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Ive used them in races. The most Ive ever taken was 4, which was during my first half-marathon. I dont use them for every race, but I do use them during extremely hot races, or long races. When I havent slept well the night before, I've used them a couple of times during 5k's but I find I don't notice much of a difference in shorter races.
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Old 10-07-08, 11:42 AM   #4
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I like them. Quick and easy and i get a noiticeable boost in energy from them. I use them for longer rides -- approximately one per 30 miles (2 hrs) or so. Usuallly mix it up with bars, proper meals, etc.

Some of them have caffeine. My favorites are the Vanilla and coffee
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Old 10-07-08, 11:45 AM   #5
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Well I do a minimum of 27 miles commute(round trip), I am just looking for things to give the little boost I need once in awhile

Last edited by funrover; 10-07-08 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 10-07-08, 11:50 AM   #6
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they work but damn do they taste like crap...
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Old 10-07-08, 11:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by funrover View Post
Are they worth it? I want to keep my packing light and still want a good nutrition during the day. I am not using these to substitute all my meals but I want to know if they actually do what they say!!

Thanks
I tried different kinds.
Have not felt any energy from any of them.
I can feel the Extra Energy from a Coke or Pepsi.
Seems to be a combo of caffeine and sugar that boost me.
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Old 10-07-08, 11:59 AM   #8
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I like GU a lot. But I don't use them very often. Less often as my fitness improves. I used to suck one down 18 miles into a 36 mile ride. Now I don't. If I'm on a long ride (3+ hours), I'll start with a Clif bar after an hour, lunch when appropriate, and a GU when and if needed. I always bring a couple along just in case.
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Old 10-07-08, 12:02 PM   #9
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Sounds like I really don't need them for my riding. It's only once in awhile(maybe once a week if that) where I get a little tired on the commute. I will look for better food alternatives. As that is prob. my problem anyway
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Old 10-07-08, 12:09 PM   #10
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Sounds like I really don't need them for my riding. It's only once in awhile(maybe once a week if that) where I get a little tired on the commute. I will look for better food alternatives. As that is prob. my problem anyway
Yeh, with a commute that's 13 miles one way (a respectable but not butt-kicking ride), I think that you're better off with that "tired" feedback when it comes -- because it is telling you something. Maybe "gotta eat a little better (and not try to make up for it with little gel paks)". Maybe "that century yesterday kinda kicked my butt". Maybe "I'm eating okay but I'm not recovering right". Maybe "I need to switch off the TV/computer and get to bed at a decent hour". Whatever, it's useful info so best not to mask the symptoms.
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Old 10-07-08, 12:15 PM   #11
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you want packing light then pack dry gatorade or powder, and supply water as you go.
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Old 10-07-08, 12:20 PM   #12
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If you usually bonk an hour or two into a ride, GU might be a good choice for you. They definitely provide energy. For proof, stop by my place shortly after my seven year old finds a chocolate GU in the kitchen cabinet.

I used to eat at least one every ride until my fitness improved. Now I stick with the Sport Beans or maybe a Clif bar for longer rides (40+ miles).
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Old 10-07-08, 12:27 PM   #13
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I use the clif gels during runs over 10 miles or 90 minutes. I never use them on the bike because I usually eat a clif bar or fruit since I have the space to carry such items. I only use the gels on runs because they are easy to carry and eat while on the move.
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Old 10-07-08, 02:03 PM   #14
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I always carry GU. Let me tell you about 60 miles into a century, they have saved my life.

Basically I start using GU every hour after I ride more than 30 miles and have distance still to go. It's always worth having some energy supplement with you - whether GU, raisins, fig bars, protein bars whatever. You just never know.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
Yeh, with a commute that's 13 miles one way (a respectable but not butt-kicking ride), I think that you're better off with that "tired" feedback when it comes -- because it is telling you something. Maybe "gotta eat a little better (and not try to make up for it with little gel paks)". Maybe "that century yesterday kinda kicked my butt". Maybe "I'm eating okay but I'm not recovering right". Maybe "I need to switch off the TV/computer and get to bed at a decent hour". Whatever, it's useful info so best not to mask the symptoms.
Man.. why did you have to get all realistic LOL..... You pretty much summed up what I was thinking!
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Old 10-07-08, 03:53 PM   #16
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When I ride over 25 miles, I can start dropping energy at about 18-20 miles if I have not ate well before hand. I have tried 3-4 different ones and most make me want to throw up, except for the "Carboom" Apple Cinnamon. I swear, I could eat that on toast for breakfast

I don't get jacked up from it, but in my head, I feel better and that is what matters to me.

Jay
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Old 10-07-08, 04:29 PM   #17
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Read the label. Take after 45 then every 20 minutes after that. Something of that sort. I only use them on centuries with 10,000 ft of climbing. And just as the directions suggest.

Other than that. I don't feel a need for them on short flat rides. Never felt a thing using them.

A good breakfast gets me thru 50-60. Any longer, A ClifBar. If it's 100, then a sandwich at 70.
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Old 10-07-08, 08:23 PM   #18
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Check out this article for a little info on all types of energy bars/drinks/gels

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/...5956-0,00.html
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Old 10-07-08, 08:51 PM   #19
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Hear, hear! Wiser words have rarely been spoken here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
Yeh, with a commute that's 13 miles one way (a respectable but not butt-kicking ride), I think that you're better off with that "tired" feedback when it comes -- because it is telling you something. Maybe "gotta eat a little better (and not try to make up for it with little gel paks)". Maybe "that century yesterday kinda kicked my butt". Maybe "I'm eating okay but I'm not recovering right". Maybe "I need to switch off the TV/computer and get to bed at a decent hour". Whatever, it's useful info so best not to mask the symptoms.
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Old 10-07-08, 10:44 PM   #20
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yeh, with a commute that's 13 miles one way (a respectable but not butt-kicking ride), i think that you're better off with that "tired" feedback when it comes -- because it is telling you something. Maybe "gotta eat a little better (and not try to make up for it with little gel paks)". Maybe "that century yesterday kinda kicked my butt". Maybe "i'm eating okay but i'm not recovering right". Maybe "i need to switch off the tv/computer and get to bed at a decent hour". Whatever, it's useful info so best not to mask the symptoms.
+1.
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Old 10-08-08, 04:30 PM   #21
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I really like the Clif Shots. And +100 ^^^
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Old 10-08-08, 04:52 PM   #22
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And please don't toss the wrappers onto the trail/path/road.
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Old 10-09-08, 12:25 AM   #23
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And please don't toss the wrappers onto the trail/path/road.
I am never gonna do that, I always clean up after other idiots litter. Trust me when I say it's a pet peeve
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