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Old 01-07-13, 22:21
Andromeda Andromeda is offline
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Default Synthetic Energy Gels vs. Natural Energy Gels

I was thinking that athletes as a collective like to be healthy as possible with the choices they make. Some more vehement and vigilant than others.

I then got to thinking that I eat and drink pretty healthy - as naturally as possible. But when it comes to supplements to training all the rules go out the window - specifically energy gels, energy bars, recovery drink/powder. They are GENERALLY completely synthesised and don't sit well in many athletes' stomachs. Not to mention the chemicals that are then introduced to the body.

Is that because that's what is offered to us on the market? Of course we can get natural and organic foods that do a similar (or the same?) thing. But I think it comes back to readily available, convenient and proven products that draw people in that perform the role they want - energy on a long run or ride and recovery after.

My question is: If you could get a totally natural energy gel or energy bar that tasted good, was the same price and did the same as the synthetically produced products would you use it? Surely it's a no-brainer...

The only product I can find in the UK seems to be MuleBar.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-08-13, 00:08
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ElChingon ElChingon is offline
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What are the chances that natural gel will last long after someone stuffs it into a manufactured (un-natural) packet? Is it still natural after being encased in an un-natural device?
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Old 01-08-13, 05:46
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There's an Australian company that packages honey as an energy gel (http://capilano.com.au/products-page...tz-7g-sachets/). I got some samples in race packs, but unfortunately, until they increase the size (currently only 7g!) they are not much use....

Allen Lim has a pretty good cookbook that describes several home-made energy bar recipes as well as a bunch of other recipes. Here's a link: http://www.skratchlabs.com/products/...-zone-cookbook

Also, Skratch labs makes a "natural" sports drink. Haven't tried it though... http://www.skratchlabs.com/products/...-hydration-mix
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Old 01-08-13, 17:54
JayKosta JayKosta is offline
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I think the answer is to learn how to read the ingredient list and nutritional info on the product packaging.

Another concern is whether the products are easily available and whether they have to be consumed quickly after purchase.

There are good manufactured products available (I like Cliff bars), but there are also 'candy bars' that attempt to appear as energy food for athletes.
Again, learn about nutrition, and read and understand the labels.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
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Old 01-09-13, 02:37
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ElChingon ElChingon is offline
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Sometimes a Candy bar is the only thing that seems palatable on a long death march ride, not saying every ride but sometimes. Not to mention something salty, like those Cliff bars that are a bit salty, they hit the spot sometimes. I've been known to buy a bag of sunflower seeds, a paint to eat but that salt treat just hits the spot, sometimes.
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Old 01-09-13, 04:04
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42x16ss 42x16ss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobber View Post
There's an Australian company that packages honey as an energy gel (http://capilano.com.au/products-page...tz-7g-sachets/). I got some samples in race packs, but unfortunately, until they increase the size (currently only 7g!) they are not much use....

Allen Lim has a pretty good cookbook that describes several home-made energy bar recipes as well as a bunch of other recipes. Here's a link: http://www.skratchlabs.com/products/...-zone-cookbook

Also, Skratch labs makes a "natural" sports drink. Haven't tried it though... http://www.skratchlabs.com/products/...-hydration-mix
Honey Shotz are great! They get handed out at every event and promo I seem to go to, I haven't even had to buy them .

They aren't the best for long road races or training but they are perfect for crits or when you need a quick pick me up/bonk breaker.
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Old 01-09-13, 04:19
PCutter PCutter is offline
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Already done. One of my rides includes a stop at the Banana Cabana for a famous Chillingham frozen choc banana (see the photo of the kids). Also a favourite with Robbie McEwen and any touring pro's on the Gold Coast. And part of a great loop.

http://www.chillinghambushtucker.com.au/banana-cabana

You can be sure that Robbie and Jonathan Cantwell will be taking Christopher Juul-Johnson out for one while he's on the GC preparing for the TdU.

As a fall back, a non-choc coated banana also works well - all natural wrapper, lots of potassium.
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Old 01-09-13, 06:37
Squadman331 Squadman331 is offline
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Also the non caramel coated apple and the non choc coated raisins Oh wait that is the best raisins
I also use eLoad Gel packs for rides over 80K here in Canada (they are harder to take in winter riding but 3 seasons are excellent
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Old 01-12-13, 23:50
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Afrank Afrank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobber View Post
Allen Lim has a pretty good cookbook that describes several home-made energy bar recipes as well as a bunch of other recipes. Here's a link: http://www.skratchlabs.com/products/...-zone-cookbook
+1 to this, 'The Feedzone' was recommended to me recently by a friend and It's got some great recipe's in it. Did 92 miles today and a couple of the rice cakes from the book kept me fueled the entire ride, didn't feel hungry once.
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