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    Low sugar energy snack recommendations?

    I am looking for recommendations for a low sugar energy type snack that would be good to keep on my bike. I seem to start running out of gas after 90-120 minutes on the bike.

    My brother bought me some of the "fitness" energy type items but they are have too much sugar in them for me.

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    i use HEED which is an electrolylyte, energy powder. Some people love it, some hate it. I buy it in a canister so I can make it as sweet as I want. Also, pay attention to what you eat immediately before a ride and try a couple different granola bars

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    Senior Member McCallum's Avatar
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    granola bars, gorp (cereal mix) or jerky would be your best shot. One low carb diet book had you replacing the raisins or someting with jerky in gorp --- never tried it but I do wonder if it would be the best of both worlds.

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    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r32nj View Post
    I am looking for recommendations for a low sugar energy type snack that would be good to keep on my bike. I seem to start running out of gas after 90-120 minutes on the bike.

    My brother bought me some of the "fitness" energy type items but they are have too much sugar in them for me.
    What's the problem with the sugar? If the problem is that they taste too sweet you can probably find cereal bars that aren't so sweet. The ones I use are a chocolate-banana bar, they are about 120 calories (I think) per bar and pretty cheap.

    If you're worried about the calories associated with sugar then it doesn't really work to look for an energy bar that doesn't have too many calories in it. I can never understand why sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners in sports drinks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    What's the problem with the sugar? If the problem is that they taste too sweet you can probably find cereal bars that aren't so sweet. The ones I use are a chocolate-banana bar, they are about 120 calories (I think) per bar and pretty cheap.

    If you're worried about the calories associated with sugar then it doesn't really work to look for an energy bar that doesn't have too many calories in it. I can never understand why sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners in sports drinks.
    Diabetic maybe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UberGeek View Post
    Diabetic maybe?
    Agree. Regular Gatorade sends my blood sugar through the roof. The sugar-free G2 version is what I drink... if I have to drink Gatorade. As an insulin-dependent diabetic, I don't particularly worry about the sugar content of energy bars, though.

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    Senior Member green427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Agree. Regular Gatorade sends my blood sugar through the roof. The sugar-free G2 version is what I drink... if I have to drink Gatorade.
    You mean Gatorade Zero, right? G2 is a "low cal" version, but still has plenty of fructose. If I go on a long MTB excursion, I fill my bottle with 1/2 G2 and the rest with water, which gives me about 8-10 grams of sugar instead of the 40-something of regular Gatorade.

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    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r32nj View Post
    I am looking for recommendations for a low sugar energy type snack that would be good to keep on my bike. I seem to start running out of gas after 90-120 minutes on the bike.

    My brother bought me some of the "fitness" energy type items but they are have too much sugar in them for me.
    Here's the deal. "Low sugar" and "energy now" are opposing notions.

    Your muscles burn glycogen as fuel. The first hour or so's worth is in the liver. After that, the muscles need replenishment or the body will begin to feed on itself to create it. The various "-ose" compounds (sucrose, lactose, glucose) - "simple sugars," in other words - provide rapidly absorbed substances that the body can directly convert into this glycogen.

    So while riding a long way, your liver reserves will run out. Then you have to keep stoking the fuel tank with these easily and rapidly converted compounds after that.

    The more complex cousins of these compounds, carbohydrates, also offer glycogen energy - but they take time to digest and be converted into this glycogen fuel. The really complex carbs, like oatmeal and pizza crust, can take so long to convert to glycogen that you may run out before they get there.

    This is why long distance riders always eat a lot of complex carbs 3 hours or more before a ride and then start sucking down the simple sugar stuff after about 45 minutes. By the time the complex carbs are running out, the simple carbs from the sugars are kicking in.

    SO what should you do, if you don't like sugar? Do what the Tour riders do.

    Stoke the fires with some of the following as you ride:

    fruit cake,
    dried fruits,
    dextrose based drinks,
    scones,
    lean turkey sandwiches

    The thing to do is start munching this stuff after about 45 minutes and keep a steady flow of it going in. Sure and steady is the key.

    And don't forget the water - lots of it. If you can take it, a bit of Coca Cola wont hurt either.
    Last edited by dahut; 08-13-11 at 07:10 PM.
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    I use Perpetuem solids from Hammer Nutrition on long rides. It works great. It helps you carefully control how many calories you are taking in, and does not spike your blood sugar. It's easily digested without stomach trouble, and it keeps you from feeling hungry, unlike liquids. You can carry them in a little canister in your jersey pocket and just pop a few every hour.
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    Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone. I guess I should have added to my original post that I am a type 2 diabetic (as one poster had suggested).

    I have also been thinking about what I might want to eat just before my rides now as well (based on some of the above posts).

    I seem to have more energy on my weekday "after work" rides which are usually around 20 miles in about 80 minutes. My weekend rides have been in the mornings lately and it's these where I would like to have more energy to get in longer rides - after 30-35 miles I'm pretty beat.

    I just picked up a couple different flavors of peanut butter packets from REI to try - they only have 7g of sugar. Not sure if I will like the texture of peanut butter on a ride but open to try.

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    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r32nj View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone. I guess I should have added to my original post that I am a type 2 diabetic (as one poster had suggested).

    I have also been thinking about what I might want to eat just before my rides now as well (based on some of the above posts).

    I seem to have more energy on my weekday "after work" rides which are usually around 20 miles in about 80 minutes. My weekend rides have been in the mornings lately and it's these where I would like to have more energy to get in longer rides - after 30-35 miles I'm pretty beat.

    I just picked up a couple different flavors of peanut butter packets from REI to try - they only have 7g of sugar. Not sure if I will like the texture of peanut butter on a ride but open to try.
    Diabetic? Well I will not suggest anything else - thats outside my limited knowledge. I would think that simple carbs like sweet potatoes would be a good bet for you, along with fruit/dried fruit and plenty of water.
    Some research along these lines is in order.
    Try these:
    http://www.runsweet.com/Cycling.html

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/36...with-diabetes/

    http://www.diabetesforums.com/forum/...ng-energy.html

    http://type1rider.blogspot.com/
    Last edited by dahut; 08-14-11 at 05:54 PM.
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    They will try to teach you a lesson if given the chance, and you will stumble over their stinking feet."

  12. #12
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    I am diabetic (though not on insulin) as well. Carry lots of bananas. They have never made my blood sugar go up, possibly because they get burned up as soon as you eat them. A lot of people don't understand that we can't really 'stoke up' before a ride. Also, anything made with Tupelo Honey will work. Tupelo Honey does make you spike (low Glycemic Index). Agave Syrup also has a low Glycemic Index, so you can make your own 'Power Bars' at home, using these. Commercial offerings have way too much sugar for us.

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    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnhund View Post
    I am diabetic (though not on insulin) as well. Carry lots of bananas. They have never made my blood sugar go up, possibly because they get burned up as soon as you eat them. A lot of people don't understand that we can't really 'stoke up' before a ride. Also, anything made with Tupelo Honey will work. Tupelo Honey does make you spike (low Glycemic Index). Agave Syrup also has a low Glycemic Index, so you can make your own 'Power Bars' at home, using these. Commercial offerings have way too much sugar for us.
    How about banana chips? You know, the dried ones?
    "Watch out for giants; they are boorish fools with tongues wagging, drunk upon their own words.
    They will try to teach you a lesson if given the chance, and you will stumble over their stinking feet."

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    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r32nj View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone. I guess I should have added to my original post that I am a type 2 diabetic (as one poster had suggested).
    Ah, whenever I hear "low sugar" and "energy source" combined my "pointless" sensors trigger and I forget the diabetes possibility.

    I have also been thinking about what I might want to eat just before my rides now as well (based on some of the above posts).

    I seem to have more energy on my weekday "after work" rides which are usually around 20 miles in about 80 minutes. My weekend rides have been in the mornings lately and it's these where I would like to have more energy to get in longer rides - after 30-35 miles I'm pretty beat.

    I just picked up a couple different flavors of peanut butter packets from REI to try - they only have 7g of sugar. Not sure if I will like the texture of peanut butter on a ride but open to try.
    Diabetes may put paid to anything I'd suggest because of the sugar. In general cereal bars should give you something that releases more slowly although a lot of them seem to have sugar in them on the basis so few people seem willing to eat anything that isn't sickly sweet these days.

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    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    Ah, whenever I hear "low sugar" and "energy source" combined my "pointless" sensors trigger and I forget the diabetes possibility.



    Diabetes may put paid to anything I'd suggest because of the sugar. In general cereal bars should give you something that releases more slowly although a lot of them seem to have sugar in them on the basis so few people seem willing to eat anything that isn't sickly sweet these days.
    OK, let me chime in here for a minute. I'm a Type 1 diabetic. Sugar is not forbidden. In fact, it's not even a bad thing in some circumstances. What is bad? Having too high a blood sugar. And while dietary sugar does raise blood sugar, exercise and insulin lower blood sugar so as long as all things balance out there is no harm from eating sugar. In fact when I'm riding I find that I HAVE to have sugar in order to have energy after a couple hours.

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    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    I know nothing about the ingredients in Heed with regard to diabetes but you might take a look at it and if the ingredients seem reasonable give it a try. I recently did my first century ride in thirty years (rode 131 miles after my 60th birthday) and I was still fine at the end of the ride coming home at 17mph with no problem. I attribute it entirely to drinking Heed and eating energy bars (probably with too much sugar for you...Cliff bars) along the way. With some web searching you can find formulas for energy drinks you can make yourself with a little salt here, a bit of potassium there and however much of whatever kind of carbs you need. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r32nj View Post
    I am looking for recommendations for a low sugar energy type snack that would be good to keep on my bike. I seem to start running out of gas after 90-120 minutes on the bike.

    My brother bought me some of the "fitness" energy type items but they are have too much sugar in them for me.
    Simple easy to fix & carry food is the best. I carry Peanut Butter in small packets ( http://www.justinsnutbutter.com/index.php ) or homemade PB & crackers for a really fast boost. That or jerky in a sandwich bag.

    All the other food "stuff" you can buy for a boost has so many "other" things in them I won't eat them.
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