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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 07-04-06, 04:46 PM   #1
Jacobi
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What's the "best" gel???

I did a search for "gel" and "gu" and had 0 results. There must be something wrong with the search function.

Anyways, what is considered the "best" gel? I'm currently using GU because I compared it to the stats of Hammer (GU banana tastes better and has better nutrients), but I'm wondering if there is something better?

The only other thing I take is the Hammer Heed powder mix. Any other suggestions?

Oh yeah, right now I only ride rec. but I'm going to start crits in a few weeks.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 07-04-06, 05:07 PM   #2
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All gels are about the same with regard to nutrition. They all supply about 100 calories per packet and consist of various sugars with a small amount of electrolytes and sometimes caffeine. Any other ingredients are basically window dressing and will have no effect on performance. Try various brands and flavors and pick the ones that appeal to your taste.
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Old 07-04-06, 05:12 PM   #3
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I really like the Accel Gel (Chocolate w/ caffeine) and the Cliff Shots (mocha) w/ caffeine. It's all personaly taste really... I find the accel gel goes down better though as the Cliff shots are a little thicker.

If you go to an REI or probably your lBS, you can usually buy single packets... try them out and see what you like. I use them all the time, so I usually buy them by the case (24p packs) once I find something I like.
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Old 07-05-06, 07:33 AM   #4
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My opinion is that the type of suguar used has a signifigant effect. Hammer for example preaches a complex carb aproach(maltodextrins) that shouldnt be mixed with simple sugars. Think of little kids on candy and how they crash.I refuse to use simple sugar while riding it causes me to crash way to early. Nutrition for Endurance Finding Another Gear is an excelent book on this subject. It is written by Dr. Bill Misner who currently works for Hammer Nutrition. It is hard to find, but by far the best read on nutrition I have come across.
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Old 07-05-06, 07:58 AM   #5
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hammer gel rocks. By far the best products on the market today.
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Old 07-05-06, 08:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbduke
My opinion is that the type of suguar used has a signifigant effect. Hammer for example preaches a complex carb aproach(maltodextrins) that shouldnt be mixed with simple sugars. Think of little kids on candy and how they crash.I refuse to use simple sugar while riding it causes me to crash way to early. Nutrition for Endurance Finding Another Gear is an excelent book on this subject. It is written by Dr. Bill Misner who currently works for Hammer Nutrition. It is hard to find, but by far the best read on nutrition I have come across.
Maltodextrine, although considered a complex carbohydrate, ends up in the bloodstream very rapidly. The glycemic index for maltodextrine is the same as glucose at 137. Table sugar is only slightly higher at 142. If you tend to experience the so-called "sugar crash", maltodextrine should cause it as well as anything.

Maltodextrine's primary advantage in sports nutrition is that it provides a ready source of blood sugar without being too sweet.
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Old 07-05-06, 08:01 AM   #7
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Gu...
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Old 07-05-06, 08:07 AM   #8
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I prefer clif shots with the orange being my favorite. I like the vanilla as well. If I run out of clif shots for some reason I will use gu's from time to time. I have tried hammer gel's but they don't work for me. They cause me to have really bad stomach cramps.
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Old 07-05-06, 09:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
Maltodextrine, although considered a complex carbohydrate, ends up in the bloodstream very rapidly. The glycemic index for maltodextrine is the same as glucose at 137.
Interesting. Any links to additional info? I have been wondering about Hammer's "no simple sugars" bit but this would seem to undermine that idea; they use maltodextrine extensively (in addition to stevia and xylitol).
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Old 07-05-06, 10:20 AM   #10
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That's just marketing. Mass media and hysteria has polarized simple vs. complex carbs into a black & white, good vs. evil type of battle when it really isn't that significant. The real problem is overconsumption and people are eating way too much. Sure, eating when you're not depleted and muscle-cells are packed full of glycogen already, may have lower side-effects when consuming complex-carbs, but the real problem is eating when you didn't need to. However, when exercising, you want the fastest digestion rate possible.

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Interesting. Any links to additional info? I have been wondering about Hammer's "no simple sugars" bit but this would seem to undermine that idea; they use maltodextrine extensively (in addition to stevia and xylitol).
Yeah, what supcom said. Maltodextrin is basically the exact same thing as the simplest sugars, glucose, and absorbs at the fastest rate possible. That's because the "complex" part is only slightly more bulky than pure glucose. Whereas real complex-carbs have chains that are easily 100x larger than maltodextrin. The idea behind grouping a couple of glucoses together is to get it past the stomach faster than an equivalent amount of glucose calories, which can slow down gastic-emptying at higher concentrations. The maltodextrin has the weakest bonds possible between the glucose molecules and actually starts breaking apart in your mouth. By the time it gets to your intestines, it's broken down into pure glucose anyway and is absorbed through as fast as possible for quick energy, thus it has the highest-GI possible as well. Here's some info: ABC bodybuilding - Dextrose & Maltodextrin an in-depth analysis.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothra
That's just marketing. Mass media and hysteria has polarized simple vs. complex carbs into a black & white, good vs. evil type of battle when it really isn't that significant.
...
Here's some info: ABC bodybuilding - Dextrose & Maltodextrin an in-depth analysis.
Great, thanks for that. The article seems to advocate a mixture of dextrose (glucose) + maltodextrine, which is interesting and useful: I found that a mixture of Hammer's HEED + other sports drink (I use Gookinaid which is mostly glucose + a little fructose + maltodextrine) to be a pretty good combination. However, the article is geared towards bodybuilding and rapid absorption...don't we want to slow the uptake (at least a little) for endurance activities such as cycling?


Gel-wise: I like Hammer's stuff, not because of any particularly better/worse effects (I did not notice any difference), but because of taste. The Espresso is particularly good. I get tired of the sticky/super-sweet Gu into longer rides -- Hammer's are sweet, but quite as not "cloying".
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Old 07-05-06, 11:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'nother
Great, thanks for that. The article seems to advocate a mixture of dextrose (glucose) + maltodextrine, which is interesting and useful: I found that a mixture of Hammer's HEED + other sports drink (I use Gookinaid which is mostly glucose + a little fructose + maltodextrine) to be a pretty good combination. However, the article is geared towards bodybuilding and rapid absorption...don't we want to slow the uptake (at least a little) for endurance activities such as cycling?
I don't see why you would want to slow down absorption of energy? Even at endurace-paces on the bike, you're still burning through 500-600 cal/hr or twice the maximum-rate of absorption.

Many people worry about insulin-spikes and low blood-sugar, but that doesn't affect performance because it's not a true indicator of the levels of muscle-glycogen. That's the real key to endurance, how much carbs you actually have inside the muscles, not how much is floating around in the blood-stream. What a lot of people don't realize is that when the insulin lowers your blood-sugar, where does that glucose go? Into your muscle-cells! Exactly where you want it!

As for spreading out calorie on endurance, you can do that by pacing the sips from your bottles and the numbers of gels eaten per hour. But the intake ends up at the same rate of maximum-absorption by your digestion system anyway, eating more than that just has it sitting in your belly.
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Old 07-05-06, 08:46 PM   #13
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I've had good luck with about all I've tried, with one exception, PowerGels. They're too sweet or something, and as soon as I down the gel, I get thirsty as h*ll. CarBoom (sp?) gets my vote for best flavor. I generally use Clif Shots, I like the litter leash.
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Old 07-06-06, 08:04 AM   #14
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I use HammerGel and cranksports e-gel. Taste wise, I like the e-gel much better over the flavors of HammerGel that I've tried. Performance wise, both give a good energy kick.
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Old 07-06-06, 10:15 AM   #15
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espresso hammergel is the only gel i can stand. i mix it with heed and perpetuem to vary the tastes or depending what distance i going for.
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Old 07-06-06, 04:18 PM   #16
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I have had good luck with hammer products, specifically the HEED. Like the above posters mentioned, they use 'complex' sugars apposed to 'simple' ones. Argue all the want about which one is better/worse, but the nice thing about hammer products is they dont use artificial ingredients. Look at the ingredient list, its about 4 lines long, not 38 like some of the other gels/powders-
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Old 10-29-06, 10:19 AM   #17
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Most gels seem to have a small amount of electrolytes (at least sodium and potassium). Do most of you further supplement electrolytes (drink mix, or whatever), or are the minerals in your gels enough?

BTW, I love the coffee and vanilla GU gels. For longer rides, I mix them together in a flask.
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Old 10-29-06, 11:39 AM   #18
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The sodium in a packet of gel is insignificant. You should look to other sources for electrolytes.
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Old 10-29-06, 02:04 PM   #19
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The best kind is the kind your stomach tolerates as it's working its way through.

I had a bad experience with Clif Shots, but never have with Powergel. I've never tried the hammer gel, but I hear a lot of good about it. I don't like changing the routine much, but lately the powergels just haven't been cutting the mustard. Maybe I'll go Hammer next.
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Old 10-29-06, 02:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacobi
I did a search for "gel" and "gu" and had 0 results. There must be something wrong with the search function.

Thanks in advance,
-Barry-
I like GU
http://www.gusports.com/ the best;

Powerbar has slightly larger packaging http://www.powerbar.com/Products/PowerGel/

and the Clif http://www.clifbar.com/eat/shot_fami...?location=shot
tastes too salty for me, * cute marketing ploy with handle so when you open it
top remains attached to packaging:

but I am DEFINETELY hooked on Shot Bloks ;O)

http://www.clifbar.com/eat/shot_blok.cfm?location=shot

Use as perscribed and they work fine:
45 minutes b4 event , and every 45 minutes during :

Rule of thumb, DRINK directly after consuming these products to make sure they get in your system and off your teeth!
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Old 10-29-06, 03:29 PM   #21
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I've tried a lot ... and liked most ... but I'd have to say that the best is Hammergel.
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Old 11-05-06, 04:01 AM   #22
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avoid cola flavoured cliff shots! they taste like a.ss
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Old 06-18-07, 09:46 AM   #23
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Everybody's got their thang, but for me it's Hammer's Gels. It's the only one that I'm able to get down without needing to drink a gallon of water or feel like puking afterwards. I was only using the Raspberry but have switched to Banana for something different.
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Old 06-19-07, 11:02 AM   #24
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Everybody's got their thang, but for me it's Hammer's Gels. It's the only one that I'm able to get down without needing to drink a gallon of water or feel like puking afterwards. I was only using the Raspberry but have switched to Banana for something different.
Ever try Apple Cinnamon? That's an interesting one
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Old 06-19-07, 10:29 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbduke
My opinion is that the type of suguar used has a signifigant effect. Hammer for example preaches a complex carb aproach(maltodextrins) that shouldnt be mixed with simple sugars. Think of little kids on candy and how they crash.I refuse to use simple sugar while riding it causes me to crash way to early. Nutrition for Endurance Finding Another Gear is an excelent book on this subject. It is written by Dr. Bill Misner who currently works for Hammer Nutrition. It is hard to find, but by far the best read on nutrition I have come across.
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