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  1. #1
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Thumbs up for Hammer Gel

    I had been "fading" lately on some of my longer training rides and was somewhat surprised as I have not had that issue in several years. I just didn't have the energy I normally had at the 70+ mile range. It was more than just the legs feeling tired. The easiest way I can explain it is just a noticeable drop in overall energy level. I have very successfully used bananas and peanut butter crackers for a long time but for whatever reason they just were not working as well as before. I took me several weeks to figure out what was going on-was it rest, stress, getting a year older, etc?????

    I had a bottle of Hammer Gel Banana flavored Gel in my ride stash that for whatever reason I had not opened before and thankfully the expiration date was still okay. I took a chance and filled up one of my Gel bottles and used it on my long ride yesterday and it worked super. I had tried a sample of it a day or so ahead just to see how my stomach would handle it and it seemed okay enough to try-but you never really know until you've put it to the riding test! The banana flavor does NOT have caffeine which is what I was trying to avoid as well.

    I only ate 2 bananas and used a good bit of the gel later in the ride and it was perfect for me. My stomach accomodated it very well plus it also seemed to get into my system pretty quickly. I'm sure the perfect weather helped to keep the fluid and calorie intake at a more moderate level. I will be interesting to see how it works on a warmer day!!

    You can also mix the stuff with fluids or other stuff if you'd like. I've used the GU products before and also Hammer Gel raspberry but for whatever reason the banana Hammer Gel seems like a better fit for me.

    Caution-Nutrition is like saddles in that they are a very personal choice for us. We all react differently to gels and foods. Don't do like I did and experiment on a long ride!!! I knew myself well enough to know how I'd react and also had backup plans. However, I think this product could help a lot of folks that are looking to add something that is really easy to use. There are 26 servings in the bottle I have so it works out to about 75 cents per serving-maybe a little cheaper than the individual packs??? I probably used 3-4 servings on my ride yesterday. I suspect I can find it cheaper than what I paid for the bottle and will most likely look around now that I know it's a keeper..........at least for now!!!

    I'm beginning to wonder if different types of nutrition are like saddles. Stuff seems to work great for a long time and then for some unknown reason your body decides it has had enough.

  2. #2
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    My body likes Hammer Gel, and in fact gets on well with all the Hammer products. In fact it was a bit distressing to find, on the recent Davis Double Century, that the only nutrition items available at the checkpoints were . . . real food.

    I'm so used to Sustained Energy, Hammer Gel, Perpetuem, etc. that a double on real food was a different kind of challenge! True, I had a couple of packs of Hammer Gel Expresso in my jersey pocket in case of emergency.

    Overall though, I got on okay with real food, no issues, no problems. Still, I agree with jppe that Hammer nutrition works best for double centuries, and even for shorter recreational rides (okay, doubles are recreational too), short rides, etc.

    Rick / OCRR

  3. #3
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Not tried Hammer but use Guu fairly regularly. A also use Kashi trailmix bars - I really like those and they are cheap. When on a long ride I try to take one of each every hour.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Gels in general and the first one I used was at the end of the 100 mile offroad we used to do. The final 3 hills are killers and it may have been the tiredness- but it seemed that they save the longest-steepest ones till last. Got to the 2nd to last hill and it nearly finished us. Took a gel at the top and plenty of water and 15 minutes later hit the last hill. Won't say we sailed up it but it was not that bad. But the next 3 miles across the golf course were done in the big ring at 25mph and I can't even manage that on a normal ride.

    Only problem I have found with gels is that some do not taste very good. None of them do but some do taste a lot better than others. You have to find the ones that work for you- and you can keep down when you are shattered.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Mixes in my water bottles taste bad to me and keep me from drinking enough so I have stuck with bars and endurolyte caps. I have considered trying a gel but I had the impression you could suck the gel down straight and chase it with some water. The OP sounds like you mix it in the bottle. Can you suck gels down straight?
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  6. #6
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I've been using there gel for a while now and I can really feel it kick in, in about 10 minutes. Good stuff, I also use the Heed.
    George

  7. #7
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donheff View Post
    Can you suck gels down straight?
    Either way works. At organized rides they have Hammer Gel in the squeeze bottles, so I usually mix it with Sustained Energy in my bottle or Camelback. With the packets, I just suck it down straight.

    My taste buds say:

    1. Expresso Hammer Gel
    2. Chocolate Hammer Gel
    3. Raspberry Hammer Gel

    GU is also fairly interchangeable, as is Carb-Boom.

    Your taste buds may vary!

    Rick / OCRR

  8. #8
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I just hate finding those gel packets on the road. I'm sure none of us through them in the street next to spent CO2 carts, but someone is, and if I ever find out who I'm going to encourage them to eat the packets along with the gel.

    I'm a bigger fan of HEED and Perpetium. I made a 200 miler and lived on that stuff, with just a half a peanut butter sandwich at mile 140 to fill my stomach.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Last weekend I competed in a 77 mile race with loads of climbing. I figured that I needed 108 grams of carbs for every hour racing and anticipated racing for 4+ hours. Temps were in the mid 70's. For fuel I filled one bottle with 8 scoops of Perpetuem and carried three additional bottles of Gatorade mixed at 50% and took a 6 shot gel flask filled with a 50/50 mix of Hammer chocolate and rasberry gel. If I drank and ate everything I would consume 475 grams of carbs during the race. I also had a baggie with 16 e-caps that I ate 3 or 4 at a time. During the race I also grabbed three bottles of water to drink and pour into my helmet and on my back. At the end of the race I had consumed all the bottles and about 1/2 of the gel flask. I was not hungry or thirsty at the end. Maybe it was the effort but after the race they had sub sandwiches and a keg of Yuengling beer and I was only able to eat 1/2 a sub and could only drink 1 and 1/2 10oz beers because there was no room in my stomach to get anything else down. What a bummer free beer and no where to put it!
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    This is a timely thread as I am trying to sort out what to do to keep me fueled and hydrated during long rides, particularly with BRAG coming up in just over two weeks. Hopefully this will be a pertinent side discussion and not a hi-jack.

    I've been picking up a few things on sale from Performance and Nashbar to use. I picked up a gel flask with a handy harness to strap onto my hadlebars that I plan to fill with CarbBoom gel. (It was on sale. Has anyone tried it?) I'll probably carry a Hammer Gel or two in my jersey pocket just in case I need more.

    I generally carry one bottle of water and one of whatever energy drink is handy. I'll probably toss a Nuun tablet in with the water. They usually have Powerade at BRAG rest stops, so likely that is what I'll drink.

    I'm thinking of carrying a bottle of Ensure or something equivalent in my jersey pocket for a mid-ride nutrition supplement to make up for my limited ability to swallow the normal rest stop food items.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I usually carry 4 bottles. 2 with heed and 2 with Perpetuem. I just put 1 scoop in each bottle and it does the trick for me. I got a little plastic bottle with a pop top from Walgreen's and I fill that with the Hammer gel. The bottle comes in real handy. I can reuse it and I don't litter with the packets. I freeze 1 bottle of the Perpetuem and freeze another bottle half way, then top it off in the morning. After about 2 hours I'll stop and down the bottle of gel and chase it with some Heed. I cant believe when that stuff kicks in, it's great. I personally like the apple Cinnamon
    George

  12. #12
    Senior Member FL_MarkD's Avatar
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    I am a raspberry Hammer gel man myself . I use it even during normal Sat morning club rides of 40-45 miles. For 70+ mile rides I alternate the gel with the Hammer energy bars so that I get some protein too. I use the gel in a flask, no litter and you can eat on the fly using only one hand. Water and some Nuun electrolyte tablets and I am good to go. It is a real relief to find the right fuel and water regimen to use. Knowing you will have what you need to finish the ride gives you the confidence to focus on and enjoy the riding.

    Mark
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  13. #13
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donheff View Post
    Mixes in my water bottles taste bad to me and keep me from drinking enough so I have stuck with bars and endurolyte caps. I have considered trying a gel but I had the impression you could suck the gel down straight and chase it with some water. The OP sounds like you mix it in the bottle. Can you suck gels down straight?
    They make gel flasks you can put the gel in-it then tucks in your jersey pocket.

    While I love chocolate, it has never really appealed to me while riding. However, I like the raspberry too so maybe I'll try mixing the chocolate and raspberry together???

    My HEED experiment was a disaster. Can't stand the stuff.

    I've used a little of the Sustained-in fact I still have a container. I guess I need to drag it back out and mix it with some of the gel???

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    at first I thought Hammer was more hype than anything but now I am convinced it works.

    I absolutely LOVE the Recoverite. I mix it w/OJ after a hard effort and it helps me recover much better with less soreness. I drink it before I go out if I know I will be riding hard.

    I tried Perpetuem just once on back-to-back centuries last season and it just didn't sit well....maybe I need to give it another try, though.

    I know that the Hammer literature does not recommend mixing their products w/other products that contain simple sugars (like gatorade) I don't know if that's just so they can sell more of their products or if it's actual science.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post

    While I love chocolate, it has never really appealed to me while riding. However, I like the raspberry too so maybe I'll try mixing the chocolate and raspberry together???
    That's what I've been doing, the raspberry seems to take the edge off the chocolate aftertaste. I wonder how it might taste over ice cream?
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  16. #16
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momof4greatkids View Post
    I know that the Hammer literature does not recommend mixing their products w/other products that contain simple sugars (like gatorade) I don't know if that's just so they can sell more of their products or if it's actual science.
    I was pushing that stuff down with Gatorade and I didn't have any stomach issues...........this time. But again this stuff is so individual I could certainly see how that could be a problem.

  17. #17
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    I was pushing that stuff down with Gatorade and I didn't have any stomach issues...........this time. But again this stuff is so individual I could certainly see how that could be a problem.
    I totally agree. I use other Hammer products with Gatorade, Oreos, Fig Newtons . . . all kinds of things they warn against (simple sugars) and I've never had even the hint of a problem.

    However, as jppe notes, Your Stomach May Vary!

    Rick / OCRR

  18. #18
    The guy in the 50+ jersey PAlt's Avatar
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    Have used the Hammer Gel, mixed raspberry & chocolate, orange & chocolate, like the apple-cinnamon straight up. The gel flasks are great, and keep in the fridge between rides. I don't have jppe's issues with HEED, but have had mixed results with Perpetuem, not sure if I'm not getting the proportions right, as I've used the "paste" method with water for long rides and sometimes had stomach issues. I use the Recoverite because it's convenient to have after a long ride, just put some in a Nalgene type bottle, and mix with cold water post ride. Quick and easy on the tummy.

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