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Officially a firm believer in Gels

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Officially a firm believer in Gels

Old 04-15-08, 03:51 PM
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YATES
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Officially a firm believer in Gels

I've always been questionable about gels and nutrition products in general. I just began my third season of cycling and my first season of racing. For short training days i usually due a very hilly 24 mile out and back route from my house. Usually towards the end of the route i start to bonk out and struggle to make it back up the final 3/4 mile hill back up to my house.
A buddy of mine let me have a GU gel of his that he had picked up for free somewhere (espresso love flavor.. YUM). I ate the gel at about mile 18 and from mile 20-24 i averaged 21-22 mph. WHOA! I usually fight for a 17 mph average at that point. I've also noticed that my body isn't requiring my hour and half long nap that i take after most rides. This stuff is great and I HIGHLY recommend that anyone that hasn't tried these things to try them. They are legit and work wonders.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:10 PM
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Old 04-15-08, 04:11 PM
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Gotta agree... but it's possible to get the same results from pretty much any easily-digestible source. I did gels for awhile, but got tired of pulling it out of my jersey, ripping the top off, getting it in my mouth, washing it down with some water and getting the sticky wrapper back in the jersey, all while cruising along at 15-20mph. I've switched to cytomax or heed in the water bottle and just guzzle those calories along the way.

But the end result is the same. If you feed the engine what it needs along the way, you'll have a better chance of performing at your peak. I'm a little dubious of one gel helping that much with recovery though. If I don't immediately drink a glass of water and eat a little something after a hard ride, I'll be hurting later. Rehydrating and getting some calories in you after a ride is essential.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:23 PM
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I am sort of thinking that much of your short performance boost was from the caffeine in the sports gel. They often contain about 50mgs of caffeine which is about the same as a half of cup of coffee or a can of Mountain Dew.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabloink View Post
I am sort of thinking that much of your short performance boost was from the caffeine in the sports gel. They often contain about 50mgs of caffeine which is about the same as a half of cup of coffee or a can of Mountain Dew.

and caffeine can effect performance that much? i always thought it was more about the carbs. I never really understood the effects of caffeine on athletics.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:50 PM
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When I first started biking I use to just take water with me and use to be drained near the end. I tried a few different things and I noticed that when I started drinking Cytomax, it really helped my energy go further.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:53 PM
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If you are starting to bonk after 24 miles, regardless of terrain and/or effort, you need to look into your diet as a whole. You may even want to consider getting a physical and some bloodwork done. Sugar and insulin levels really shouldn't deviate that severly in that short of a time period if you are eating correctly thoughout the day.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by YATES View Post
and caffeine can effect performance that much? i always thought it was more about the carbs. I never really understood the effects of caffeine on athletics.
Ask Alexi Grewal.. he apparently had a "special peach" stowed in his jersey pocket during the 84 Olympics stuffed with No Doze just in case he needed the caffeine bounce.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by damocles1 View Post
If you are starting to bonk after 24 miles, regardless of terrain and/or effort, you need to look into your diet as a whole. You may even want to consider getting a physical and some bloodwork done. Sugar and insulin levels really shouldn't deviate that severly in that short of a time period if you are eating correctly thoughout the day.
Solid point... any diabetics in your family?
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Old 04-15-08, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by damocles1 View Post
If you are starting to bonk after 24 miles, regardless of terrain and/or effort, you need to look into your diet as a whole. You may even want to consider getting a physical and some bloodwork done. Sugar and insulin levels really shouldn't deviate that severly in that short of a time period if you are eating correctly thoughout the day.
I said bonking just meaning that i was tired and my legs were on fire. I didn't mean for it to be taken literally. I've done the route probably 100 times without ever actually bonking. thanks for the concern though
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Old 04-16-08, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mrt10x View Post
Solid point... any diabetics in your family?

I'm borderline...
I get wicked headaches and grouchy (more than usual) if I don't eat on a ride that's more than 2 hours.
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Old 04-16-08, 10:06 AM
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Don't gels take like 30-45 mins to actually be digested and taken into your blood stream?
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Old 04-16-08, 10:45 AM
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Old 04-16-08, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
Don't gels take like 30-45 mins to actually be digested and taken into your blood stream?
After years of trial and error in perfecting the art of bonking, my experience shows something (caffeine or sugar) gets to the system in about 15 minutes. Could be a placebo effect but I'll take that too.
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Old 04-16-08, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
Gotta agree... but it's possible to get the same results from pretty much any easily-digestible source. I did gels for awhile, but got tired of pulling it out of my jersey, ripping the top off, getting it in my mouth, washing it down with some water and getting the sticky wrapper back in the jersey, all while cruising along at 15-20mph. I've switched to cytomax or heed in the water bottle and just guzzle those calories along the way.

But the end result is the same. If you feed the engine what it needs along the way, you'll have a better chance of performing at your peak. I'm a little dubious of one gel helping that much with recovery though. If I don't immediately drink a glass of water and eat a little something after a hard ride, I'll be hurting later. Rehydrating and getting some calories in you after a ride is essential.
I bonked hard with about 10 miles left on a century. I couldn't even see straight even after downing a banana. I managed to get some Vitamin Water at a grocery; killed the entire bottle and within 5 minutes I was ready to start the century over. I don't think it really matters where the energy comes from as long as it goes to work quickly.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
Don't gels take like 30-45 mins to actually be digested and taken into your blood stream?
the product advertises 15 mins, which seemed to be fairly accurate.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:17 AM
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You should try one of these before a TT.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by wanders View Post
After years of trial and error in perfecting the art of bonking, my experience shows something (caffeine or sugar) gets to the system in about 15 minutes. Could be a placebo effect but I'll take that too.
I experience the same thing, and I always use the caffeine gels. I notice that when I've nearly depleted my Glycogen level the carbs and caffeine in the gels really make me feel better and improve my mood and morale.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabloink View Post
They often contain about 50mgs of caffeine which is about the same as a half of cup of coffee or a can of Mountain Dew.
That may be the general rule of thumb, but not if you drink Starbucks: https://www.energyfiend.com/2007/10/t...bucks-caffeine
260 mg in a 12oz... (I prefer the 330mg "grande").
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Old 04-16-08, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Cdy291 View Post
You should try one of these before a TT.
+1 This is the methamphetamine of gels, but at close to 5 dollars a pop, I'll stick with Gu.

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Old 04-16-08, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by YATES View Post
and caffeine can effect performance that much? i always thought it was more about the carbs. I never really understood the effects of caffeine on athletics.
armstrong is a regular user.
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Old 04-16-08, 12:28 PM
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i have used many types of gels and the majority of them did not contain caffeine. if they do they clearly state so on the packaging, normally the front. i have gotten more of an instant pick me up from the caffeine ones. well, at least i think that. it is likely all in the head. they have made a difference for me on a couple rides when i was really dragging arse near the end. later.
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Old 04-16-08, 01:59 PM
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I've heard this a lot. "Crack pack" as well. Can someone explain why it's different and how long it lasts? I'd really like a proper explanation given the remarkable cost.

Originally Posted by wanders View Post
+1 This is the methamphetamine of gels, but at close to 5 dollars a pop, I'll stick with Gu.

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Old 04-16-08, 02:12 PM
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I always thought gels were just a psychological ploy. I tried my first one while running 10 miles the other week, and it did make a difference. I felt the effect within 15-20 minutes. I didn't feel a rush of energy, but I definitely had more endurance. I was able to refocus and run less haggardly.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wanders View Post
+1 This is the methamphetamine of gels, but at close to 5 dollars a pop, I'll stick with Gu.

Seconding CastIron, my shop owner calls this stuff "liquid crack." What's the deal? I assumed it had vast amounts of caffeine.
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