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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 05-06-08, 07:14 AM   #1
jpitkin
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Energy drink and gel?

I've got a couple of 100+ rides scheduled this year.

I was about to order some GU gel this morning... and got to thinking about the GU energy drink. I normally will have a bottle with me on 'short' 50 - 70 rides, and refill with water enroute.

Last year during a century I carried the prepackaged drink mix.

Who's got an opinion on having GU Gel and Energy drink? is it a pants and suspenders move?

Pitkin
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Old 05-06-08, 08:33 AM   #2
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It's a question of how many calories you want to consume over your ride. I work well on about 150-200calories per hour. For me this means about 1/2 bottle of energy drink per hour and packet of Gu every 45minutes for rides over 2hours. This is alternating drinking from the energy drink and a bottle of plain water. Energy drink can get cloying after a while if it's the only thing you're drinking.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:35 AM   #3
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I managed my last century on mostly Accel Gels and Accelerade. I had a couple of things to nibble on at the rest stops, but nothing beyond a fig newton or two, or a slice of potato with some seasoning salt. The gel/drink combo kept me well fueled for the ride.

I'm not familiar with the caloric makeup of the GU products, but I calculated my gel/drink intake so that I was getting 250-300 calories/hour. If you work things out for yourself around that 200-300 cal/hr range, and spread it out so you're not just cramming down 250 calories every 60 minutes, then you should be fine.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:43 AM   #4
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I forgot to add that for rides over 4hrs, I find I need to add solid food to my intake or I begin to run too much of a calorie deficit & risk bonking. A bagel or a Cliff bar or some trail mix - usually at the half-way point.
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Old 05-06-08, 02:38 PM   #5
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What do I prefer? I prefer to use gu gels and regular water. That way, I have more control over how many calories that I consume during the ride. I take a couple of extra ones, in case I feel the need for more sugar in my system. And you don't have to mix them, either. Very convenient.

If I want a sports drink, then I stop at a convenience store and get one. I don't like messing with mixes on long rides like that. It is okay for a 2-3 hour rides, where you can have everything mixed and ready in your water bottles before you leave the driveway, but too much trouble for me during a long ride. I'm lazy, and much more likely to skip mixing one up, and possibly bonking. With gu gels, I just grab one out of my jersey, bite the tip off, and squirt. No biggie.


On 5+ hour rides, I always stop near the middle of the ride, and eat some reguar food as well. Something that will not upset my stomach, like a fairly bland energy bar, fig newtons, bananas, bagel, French bread, a small portion of salty roasted nuts, etc.
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Old 05-06-08, 02:56 PM   #6
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I found by trial and error that I tend to drink very very little and dehydrate if I only put water in my bottles. It is strictly a taste thing. I started to put GU powder in my water bottles, which works out to 150cal per 750 cc bottle. I drink a heck of a lot mor now, so I always do it regardless of the ride's length. For me, it is not for the calories, but rather the taste of something so I continue to drink. I also carry GU gels as they are smaller than most others for the same 100 cal. As I have gotten into longer rides (above 100 miles) and more frequent, I have also started to carry the Powerbar gels instead because they have 4 times the sodium and potasium than the GU gels do. You do loose a lot of salt when sweating for hours and hours.

Now, since getting a power meter, I have come to learn how little and badly I was doing my caloric intake. I am a lot more aware of it now. I do carry GU powder to mix drinks with me. It is just too simple to put 3 scoops in a small ziplock bag and put it in my back pocket. You can double it up if you want to increase the calories from it too. I tend to be a pickie eater, so I take what I need in a ride and don't count on buying much along the way. If I need to, I do anyway. I also hate carrying anything I don't have to, so if stuff doesn't fit neatly in my back pockets without looking like I just robbed a store, I simply skip it.
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Old 05-06-08, 07:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpitkin View Post
I've got a couple of 100+ rides scheduled this year.

I was about to order some GU gel this morning... and got to thinking about the GU energy drink. I normally will have a bottle with me on 'short' 50 - 70 rides, and refill with water enroute.

Last year during a century I carried the prepackaged drink mix.

Who's got an opinion on having GU Gel and Energy drink? is it a pants and suspenders move?

Pitkin
It's all a personal thing. I use accelerade and for my supplemental real food I prefer something like a bagel or some jerky - anything that isn't sweet. I don't like gels as it's hard for me to get the right amount of water.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:00 AM   #8
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I live on the GU2O water whatever stuff, that gives me a butt load of energy for the long rides I <3 it, and glucose tablets :-D other than that I get some fruit along the way for long rides and some granola bars, like the nature valley ones or something it helps that they are convenient and individually wrapped.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:53 PM   #9
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I'm on my third century, I've been drinking Lemon Gatorade at 50% strength (I bring a small canister). I've been trying all sorts of food such as gorp (mixed nuts, dried fruit, chocolates, etc.), bananas, PBnJ and cookies. I'm going to add gels and I've been eating the power bars and they're okay. For my double century, in one month, I'll mix all of the above and have normal food such as a Mustard, Turkey and Swiss sub, Ice Cream (not recommended for some folks) and some candy. The sandwiches, cookies and candy will be in small quantities throughout the day. I'll also drink plenty of water, Gatorade (not just one flavor) and some soda. Ice Cream will be at lunch, gels and power bars will be throughout the ride.
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