Plazbot, on Oct 18 2008, 05:39 PM, said:
I have found that something like concentrated Endura powder does better for me than gels. Gels can sometimes overload your gut if you dump them in too quick or without enough water to dilute them. To be safe, for every gel, look to take in 250ml of water (at least). In my experience, overfeeding is far worse than underfeeding.
Personally, I just go water for anything in training up to 3 hours if easy stuff. What I have noticed is that for hard sessions of 60-90 minutes, if I drop some carb in be it a gel of drink, I recover in the legs much better for the next day. Gels get pretty expensive though if you train with them and powdered stuff is much the same. You can even just get maltodextrin from the home brew area of your local Coles and mix them up yourself.
You would be surprised just how far you can go on nothing if you take it fairly easy. I did a 60km night time run/survival event (8 hours) on 2 fun size mars bars and 500ml water but did a big time carbo load before. I had the fuzzy vision at the end but still did not keel over. Also did a 36km run on water alone just to see what would happen....... I blew up real bad and had to have a sit down at about 34 kays though.... hmm.... maybe should have had a gel.
This topic is a real can of worms and usually ends up with many different angles. I think the key points are that for 90 minutes or less, you don't need anything BUT if you want to back up, some carb during or immediately after (the following 20 minutes) is essential for your muscle glycogen stores. Also, yu have to take fluids with any carb (gels powders etc) an that has to be 6-8% concentration in a perfect world (I find 10% is OK). What this % is is the amount of carb in the gel (most are 22-25 grams per gel) to water. 25 grams in 1 gel, 250 ml of water = 10% concentration. the rest is just personal prefecrence.... unless you are going to use High 5 gels as they are absolute junk.
High5 gels are absolutely crap.
Sessions up to and including 60mins, water only.
Up to 90mins, I'll take a banana only and eat it about the halfway mark, or whenever really. I dont like the aftertaste tackiness in my mouth or lack of ease with refilling sports drink with carbs in it mid ride (electrolyte solution: salt stick capsules! amazing), but if i did, i'd ditch the banana in favour of a powerade/similar.
2hrs +, i'll try not to eat within 2 hours of exercise, but will have a banana 15mins before, then will have 2 gels per hour usually. But 3 hours of nothing but gels makes me want to cry, so in place of a gel, i'll chuck in an energy bar (carbo shotz make the best flavours), or banana. So 3 hours will normally mean 4 gels, a banana and a bar (plus the banana or gel 15mins before).
But if i've had a substantial meal within the 2hrs, like breakfast, or a social cafe stop mid-ride (essentially splitting the ride in 2), i won't eat for the 60-90mins on the bike.
I've tried basically all the popular brands of gels (including all flavours), and carbo shotz come in #2 to GU, for me. The only thing I don't like about carbo shotz, is i can't have a second gel of the same flavour on any given session - massive flavour fatigue... tastes like ass the second time round. Doesn't happen with GU for me.
In my experience, cyclists/triathletes are big on gels, runners not as much. Probably because most runners don't go out for more than a 16km run at any one time, which is probably equivalent energy wise to 90mins on the bike, which as most people (myself included), don't really worry about anything.
I can't decide, when i'm running, if it's better to mix a GU gel in with 200ml of water in my little water bottles and drink that over the 30mins, or do as i do when cycling, and take it all followed by a mouthful of water, followed by 30mins of normal water exercise drinking.
Was that ramble enough?