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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 12-12-03, 12:01 AM   #1
forum*rider
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Gu

Does this stuff actually work? I recently went on a bike ride with my uncle and he swears by this stuff. I ate some but didn't really notice any difference in my performance.

Anybody else out there use this? Do you really get better performance if you eat some sort of energy gel before riding?
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Old 12-12-03, 12:20 AM   #2
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Gu is just an easy and quick way to eat while on the bike. You won't notice a difference unless you are riding long and hard enough to burn through the glucose stored in your body and anything you ate before the ride. Some Gu has caffeine which you could notice though.

-s
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Old 12-12-03, 02:30 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by forum*rider
Do you really get better performance if you eat some sort of energy gel before riding?
Your bank account certainly gets a workout. The recommendations for Clif Shots are laughable... I'd need a part-time job just to pay for 'em all.

I prefer to eat bars (Clif Bars in my case) on or before rides. I do carry one "gel" but that's just bonk insurance... if I start feeling like I'm running out of energy fast then I'll use it.
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Old 12-12-03, 03:59 AM   #4
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GU is one of the better products out there. Personally, I don't use any of these sports products. I eat food - oranges, bananas, and so on.

Most sports bars are sugar with some protein. They are like washing down a candy bar with a little milk. So there is no big deal to them.

But GU is good for certain people. I know some people can not handle solid food while riding and they love it. I understand that GU is not sugar based but is carbohydrate in slightly larger pieces. I have a diabetic friend who uses GU when he rides because it gives him the energy boost without the sugar effect.
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Old 12-12-03, 08:31 AM   #5
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I find that the Gels (gu, cliff shots, hammergel etc.)
are much easier to digest when I am really needing
the extra boost (like on HHH). Sometimes the bars
can be a bit heavy on the stomach for me.

Marty
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Old 12-12-03, 09:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat
GU is one of the better products out there. Personally, I don't use any of these sports products. I eat food - oranges, bananas, and so on.

Most sports bars are sugar with some protein. They are like washing down a candy bar with a little milk. So there is no big deal to them.

But GU is good for certain people. I know some people can not handle solid food while riding and they love it. I understand that GU is not sugar based but is carbohydrate in slightly larger pieces. I have a diabetic friend who uses GU when he rides because it gives him the energy boost without the sugar effect.
Yup exactly... the sugar in Gu is small-chain polysaccharides... which cannot be absorbed by the blood until it is digested by enzymes in your gut... which means that you get a slower, steadier stream of glucose into your blood, instead of an instant spike... good stuff

As for the Gu... you won't really notice it until you need it. I read Lance's new book and it talks about a time when he skipped a feed zone because he felt really strong.... and it turned out to be his most miserable race ever after he bonked.

So basically... I think of eating on the bike more as "bonk prevention" than for actual energy boost. If you've bonked, then it's already too late for food to be of much use...
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Old 12-12-03, 09:34 AM   #7
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Gu is great stuff, I only get the chocolate.
Almost never ride without it. Even if you bonk, you can have a Gu, rest for a couple minutes, and then take off. Gu gets a 4 star rating, expcept for the chocolate flavor. That gets 4 1/2 stars on a 4 star scale.
...It had to be Gu,
Impossible Gu,
I wandered around,
and finally found
a snack who...
wouldn't make my tummy blue,
nothing else will do
it has to be Gu
--sorry--
sort of
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Old 12-12-03, 10:13 AM   #8
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HAHAHAHA love it love it

late: you should submit your poem/song to the Gu company... maybe they'll buy it from you LOL.
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Old 12-12-03, 10:33 AM   #9
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gu and clif shota are crazy expensive when sold in sinlges, you pay about 1.50 single or a 24 pack for about 16 dollars with coupon or whatever. it's a pretty good deal. then you pay like 60-71 cents per piece.
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Old 12-12-03, 11:34 AM   #10
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Rasberry hammergel for me. Of course, I've only been riding a year or so; therefore, my systems aren't totally trained yet and I tend to run out of reserves fairly quickly. Anyway, I keep two hammergels with me, and usually need them on a 2-3 hour mtb ride.
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Old 12-12-03, 11:37 AM   #11
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I personally prefer to use a good sports drink (Accelerade, etc.), but I will also bring a few GU Gels with me if the ride will be 2 hours or longer. To me, one GU gel is more than adequate as long as I have a sports drink.

The one place I noticed that GU Gels really make a different is on long rides (75+ miles) where I'm in the saddle for more than 4 or 5 hours. In those situations though, I also use a sports drink and sports bars, but I try to take on at least one GU Gel every hour or hour and a half.

Like several people have mentioned, you won't feel them. But if you've ever bonked, you know why you need them.

Another important point... for long rides it's so very important to properly eat well before the ride (3 hours before). Grabbing a powerbar 10 minutes before a 6 hour ride when you haven't eaten anything else all day is not the smartest thing to do.
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Old 12-12-03, 05:04 PM   #12
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i like the double caffientated mocha flavour mmmmmm but i usually only carry them when i am running.. on the bike i like fig newtons, and hehehe quaker oat bars with chocolate chips.. yes they melt in the summer but they still taste good and are just the right amount for my tummy.
if you do do gu, then drink a lota wata too.
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Old 12-12-03, 10:13 PM   #13
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For me, the only time gels are really useful is during intense workouts or races/events. Just try to eat a fig bar or nutrigrain when you're anaerobic (although bananas work okay... no crumbs to go down the windpipe). And don't even think about eating a PowerBar... you'll choke to death.
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Old 12-13-03, 05:15 AM   #14
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I can't attest to it's performance, but the first time I had Gu was cross country skiing with a friend of mine. He pulled out a pack and gave me one for a snack.

Being cold, it was like eating cake frosting. I loved it - absolutely delicious.

I tried some after that in the summer during a hot ride. It was like eating hot yogurt... or something. That wasn't quite as rewarding.
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Old 12-13-03, 09:29 PM   #15
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I fill up my Gu bottle with honey and wash it down with an energy drink---it's cheaper than the manufactured energy gels.

That holds me for about a 3+ our ride. It holds off the bonking pretty well.

I bring along one or two balance bars or power bars for anything longer. Having the bars on hand are good for post-nutrition if I don't end up eating them while riding.
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Old 12-14-03, 01:26 AM   #16
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Now I see the point of energy gels. Im probably not riding far enough or hard enough for my body to need the extra energy.

I do drink that cytomax stuff though. Seems to help keep my cramps away?
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Old 12-14-03, 12:25 PM   #17
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I will say that HAMMER GEL works very well. It can be purchased in bulk form which makes an individual serving much cheaper. However, I also use just pure HONEY. I too re-used the flask from HAMMER GEL & refill with HONEY as needed. As far as I can tell, I get the same results as GU, CLIF SHOTS, etc. The other plus with the flask is no empty pack to throw on the road/trail.
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Old 12-15-03, 10:56 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Lonestar1
I will say that HAMMER GEL works very well. It can be purchased in bulk form which makes an individual serving much cheaper. However, I also use just pure HONEY. I too re-used the flask from HAMMER GEL & refill with HONEY as needed. As far as I can tell, I get the same results as GU, CLIF SHOTS, etc. The other plus with the flask is no empty pack to throw on the road/trail.
Right on, Lonestar1. My friends think I'm crazy to use Honey, but the performance is just the same, eh?
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Old 12-15-03, 05:54 PM   #19
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honey? I'll try that next time I go riding.
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