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  1. #1
    Year-round cyclist
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    I was wondering if anyone makes there own energy gels or semi-liquid to liquid supplements. I have been making my own sugar-free and simple sugar "gatorade" for about a year now. I am now looking at making my own energy gels with both simple sugars for shorter rides (2-3 hours) and complex carbs and protein for longer rides (> 3 hours). Has anyone tried this. Would you like to share your recipes?

    I have heard of using bananas and chocolate for a simple homemade gel-pack. I am thinking if using rice or tapioca as a thickener for some of the gels. They are both neutral in flavour making the addition of fruit or other foods easy.

    Any other suggestions?

    I will be experimenting for the next month or so and will update on what I get out of this if anything at all.
    All year baby! -40 to +40 riding weather.

  2. #2
    Scottish Canuck in the US blue_nose's Avatar
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    I am interested in seeing what you come up with. I am looking into making my own Gu as well, but have not tried anything yet. Not sure if you have checked these sites out yet:

    http://www.cptips.com/gelown.htm

    http://www.exile.org/gu/gu.html

  3. #3
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    As I just posted elsewhere in more detail I mix Nestles' Qwik and malt sugar from a homebrew store.
    This space open

  4. #4
    squareone
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    Brown rice syrup is a sweet complex carb and can be flavored - Clif Shots use it. Some people add Kool-Aid, but I prefer to keep it natural with vanilla extract.

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    I've been using powdered maltodextrin for awhile now. It's pure carbo. I mix it with water and some punch flavoring. It's a great energy boost, but has kind of a chalk like consistency when I mix it real thick, but I can get a lot of carbs in each "gulp".

  6. #6
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    Well I will update my quest to find a cheap, good homemade gel. I tried the rice thing for this morning's ride as a recovery food (I figure this is a good time to experiment as I am still near other foods if my experiment goes wrong, lol). I combined a banana, some fresh cooked sticky rice and some raspberry juice in a blender. The consistency was very good once it was cooled and in the fridge. It was a bit bland in taste (next time I might add some lemon juice to counter some of the sweetness). Each serving is about 230 calories with almost all carbs. I might add some whey or tofu to it as well next time for some protein as that is one aspect that is lacking right now. I think the total cost for two servings of this batch was about 50 cents.....so a good deal nonetheless.

    I will keep trying and experimenting and I will keep updating it in here.

    Does anyone know of the carb: protein: fat ratio normally in gels?
    All year baby! -40 to +40 riding weather.

  7. #7
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    My recipes #1: Gu +

    Some recipes I found on the net. Unfortunately I dont have the chefs name so cant give credit

    GU+ recipe
    You need
    - Polyjoule or Polycose powder (aka Maltodextrin) (found at your local chemist, mine is ChemMart)
    - Gastrolyte sachets (ChemMart again)
    - Red cordial (choose your own flavour)
    - water
    - mixing bowl
    - fork/whisk to mix it
    - squeeze tube (or similar) for the gel

    Mix about 1.5 cups of polycose/polyjoule, 1 sachet of gastrolyte, and lastly add a generous amount of red cordial (enough to turn the powder into a gel, maybe 1/2 to 1 cup). Mix the ingredients for a minute of so. Depending on the consistency of the gel required, add small amount of water (no more than 1/2 cup) to get a 'runnier' gel.

    Gu+ will probably be cloudy when freshly whisked. Importantly, let the gel settle overnight in the fridge in the bowl (with glad wrap over the top) to allow the polycose/polyjoule to dissolve fully. It will turn from a cloudy liquid to a more transparent red consistency.

    Decant into squeezy tube before use.

  8. #8
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    Recipe #2: Power Goop

    Once again, not mine so dont blame me for the name:

    Home-brew power goop:

    7 and 1/3 Tablespoons of Honey
    3/4 teaspoons of Blackstrap Molasses
    1/10 teaspoons (just shy of 1/8 tsp) of table salt

    Honey goop with a protein kick:

    6 Tablespoons of Honey
    5/8 teaspoons of Blackstrap Molasses
    6 and 3/8 teaspoons of Soy Protein Isolate
    1/16 teaspoons of salt
    1-3 Tablespoons of water

    Mix everything together in a cup, add water as needed to develop a nice ‘goopable’ consistency. Makes 5 servings.

  9. #9
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    Electrolyte Mix

    Another one, this one with electrolytes

    Makes 32 ounces:
    * 64 grams of sugar
    * lemon juice (to taste)
    * 1/2 t salt (sodium chloride)
    * 1/2 t potassium
    * 1/2 t magnesium
    Note- personally I like to have it 3 potassium to 1 sodium

    Sports drinks tend to have the following ratios:
    Sodium: 75-250 mg
    Chloride: 45-65 mg
    Potassium: 200-330 mg
    Magnesium: 100-400 mg

    Suppliers- you can get it from a health food shop, but for alternatives:
    Potassium- look for some sort of lo salt/salt substitute (Morton Lite Salt)
    Magnesium is epson salts

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcdebow
    Brown rice syrup is a sweet complex carb and can be flavored - Clif Shots use it. Some people add Kool-Aid, but I prefer to keep it natural with vanilla extract.

    Brown Rice Syrup is the 'health version' of maltrodextrin. 50% soluble complex carbohydrates, 45% maltose, and 3% glucose. Can have a strong taste to it which is why cliff shots tend to have the strong flavours

  11. #11
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
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    Kero ....
    Giving Haircuts Over The Phone

  12. #12
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    The ingredients I am planning on using for my homemade gels are malt extract (brown rice syrup does not sit well in my stomach) for maltodextrins, honey or agave nectar and molasses.

    My first trial will be a 'top-off-the-tank' gel before a crit tonight. Afterwards I will eat fig newtons and a myoplex (haven't worked out the sport drink yet) for recovery.

    I came up with my calcs from averaging the nutritional content of the major gel brands and by reading the huge tome produced by Hammer Nutrition.

    The average gel has 100Cal, 74mg NaCl, and 38mg potassium. I am not concerning myself with Ca/Mg right now.

    I am going to try 1 tbsp malt extract (64Cal, 20mg sodium, 68mg potassium) + 1 tbsp honey (64Cal) + dash of salt. The potassium is a little high but still in the range where it shouldn't cause any stomach discomfort.

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmatto View Post
    Another one, this one with electrolytes

    Makes 32 ounces:
    * 64 grams of sugar
    * lemon juice (to taste)
    * 1/2 t salt (sodium chloride)
    * 1/2 t potassium
    * 1/2 t magnesium
    Note- personally I like to have it 3 potassium to 1 sodium

    Sports drinks tend to have the following ratios:
    Sodium: 75-250 mg
    Chloride: 45-65 mg
    Potassium: 200-330 mg
    Magnesium: 100-400 mg


    Suppliers- you can get it from a health food shop, but for alternatives:
    Potassium- look for some sort of lo salt/salt substitute (Morton Lite Salt)
    Magnesium is epson salts
    Be careful with those electrolytes. Overdoses, especially of potassium, can be fatal. Common medications and medical conditions can affect this. eMedicine article

    Why do you folks think you're not getting enough electrolytes from your diet? Are you regularly cycling across Death Vallley in the middle of summer? Or are you believing a lot of lies put out to sell unnecessary products?


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  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
    The ingredients I am planning on using for my homemade gels are malt extract (brown rice syrup does not sit well in my stomach) for maltodextrins, honey or agave nectar and molasses.

    My first trial will be a 'top-off-the-tank' gel before a crit tonight. Afterwards I will eat fig newtons and a myoplex (haven't worked out the sport drink yet) for recovery.

    I came up with my calcs from averaging the nutritional content of the major gel brands and by reading the huge tome produced by Hammer Nutrition.

    The average gel has 100Cal, 74mg NaCl, and 38mg potassium. I am not concerning myself with Ca/Mg right now.

    I am going to try 1 tbsp malt extract (64Cal, 20mg sodium, 68mg potassium) + 1 tbsp honey (64Cal) + dash of salt. The potassium is a little high but still in the range where it shouldn't cause any stomach discomfort
    .
    This seems like a safer way to go. Food products are less likely to cause an overdose of potassium. It might even taste alright!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  15. #15
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    I ended up going with:

    1 tbsp malt extract
    0.5 tbsp honey
    0.5 tbsp agave nectar
    - add water for consistency

    I popped this down before the race and did not feel nauseous at all. In fact, I really wanted more during the race so I might make double and keep some for a quick fuel session. Yay!

  16. #16
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Be careful with those electrolytes. Overdoses, especially of potassium, can be fatal. Common medications and medical conditions can affect this. eMedicine article

    Why do you folks think you're not getting enough electrolytes from your diet? Are you regularly cycling across Death Vallley in the middle of summer? Or are you believing a lot of lies put out to sell unnecessary products?
    That's not a whole lot of potassium...the USDA's recommendation for adults is to consume at least 4700 mg per day.

    Given that you can purchase straight potassium chloride at your grocery store (it's "No Salt"), I think the chance of an accidental overdose is very remote.

    FWIW, potassium is one of the major electrolytes included in your sweat. I've experimented with my own energy drinks, and include more potassium than is standard...it seems to help me to keep going when it's hot or hilly, and also seems to help avoid cramping issues early in the season.
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  17. #17
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    I made a double batch of the above recipe to be used for a pre-race gel and the 45min-in gel. Didn't feel sick and felt a nice boost in the end.

    I'd like to add some caffeine to these and am unsure of the best method. I usually mix the goo with water so I guess I could do that with coffee? Any other ideas? Also considering crushing up a Caltrate to get some calcium and magnesium in there.

  18. #18
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Tried the coffee today. Don't know if it really did anything.

  19. #19
    Runner
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    I've been thinking about buying a big bag of maltodextrin for this summer. I bought one of those little Gu bottles that I'll just keep in my jersey pocket. I have one question though: If I mix up a large amount of this gel, say in a half-gallon jug or something, could I keep it in that or will it go bad somehow? Maybe put it in the fridge?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopid03 View Post
    I've been thinking about buying a big bag of maltodextrin for this summer. I bought one of those little Gu bottles that I'll just keep in my jersey pocket. I have one question though: If I mix up a large amount of this gel, say in a half-gallon jug or something, could I keep it in that or will it go bad somehow? Maybe put it in the fridge?
    The powder keeps for a couple of years, if kept in cool, dry, dark conditions. But, once mixed into a gel, it must be refrigerated to avoid spoilage (at least, that's what it says on the large jugs of Hammer Gel).
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  21. #21
    Senior Member The_Spaniard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
    Tried the coffee today. Don't know if it really did anything.
    u might get a bit dehydrated using allot of caffeine. take in a little more water if u decide to keep using caffeine.
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  22. #22
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    I decided to drink the coffee before the race. I also drink one full bottle of water between breakfast and the end of my warmup.

  23. #23
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
    I
    I'd like to add some caffeine to these and am unsure of the best method. I usually mix the goo with water so I guess I could do that with coffee? Any other ideas? Also considering crushing up a Caltrate to get some calcium and magnesium in there.
    Use Matcha. It is powdered green tea. It has a nice boost and is really high in antioxidants.

    Don't crush up Caltrate though. Use minerals that are meant to be dissolved.
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  24. #24
    pedo viejo
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    I generally just use honey, sometimes mixed with blackstrap molasses or sometimes Cyrstal Lite if I want to make it tangy. I also add maybe a tablespoon of warm tap water to make it easy to pour; warm water makes it all blend faster. It works out to about 20g carbs/oz., so a 6-oz. squeeze bottle is good for 2-3 hours of easy riding or 1.5-2 hours of hard riding/climbing.

    I also use a home-made sports drink that is basically just sugar with a little salt: 1.5 cups sugar, 1 T. salt, plus 1 T. kool-aide and/or 1 t. Crystal Lite to give it some flavor and color. I store it in a plastic container and add about a tablespoon of this per water bottle.

    These two things combined have been plenty for me on rides up to at least 80 miles, though at that distance I usually add a banana into the mix at some point.

  25. #25
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palookabutt View Post
    I also use a home-made sports drink that is basically just sugar with a little salt: 1.5 cups sugar, 1 T. salt, plus 1 T. kool-aide and/or 1 t. Crystal Lite to give it some flavor and color. I store it in a plastic container and add about a tablespoon of this per water bottle.
    I try to avoid simple sugars. The boost the blood sugar fast and you can crash. Also, keep up with your dental maintenance. All that simple sugar is really bad for your teeth as well. The bacteria in your mouth can't digest maltodextrin and other complex sugars, so they don't lead to tooth decay (according to my dentist and some online sources I found).
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