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Looking for suggestions for replacing energy gels with something PB appropriate

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  • Looking for suggestions for replacing energy gels with something PB appropriate

    Not sure I'd consider myself an athlete (got some junk in the trunk lol) but I figured y'all would be the most likely to have good ideas.

    I've been riding my bike 4-5 days a week, 2-3.5 hours at a time in St. Louis heat/humidity. I'm working to increase both distance and speed this summer.

    I tend to eat relatively low carb (<50g on a non-biking day) because it keeps my cravings in check and helps with weight loss for me. The exception is when I'm on the bike. I tend to use gels (and occasionally gatorade or cytomax) for the energy boost they give.

    I haven't had good luck with eating solid food while riding. I've tried Larabars, nuts, fruit and I've gotten nauseous each time. It's like solid food just sits like a lump in my stomach. Even certain brands of gels do that to me but Gu or Hammer gels make me feel great.

    While I'd like to find a more primal/natural option I'm not altogether opposed to calling this my 20% and leaving well enough alone. But there's a good chance that's just me being lazy. ;-)

    I'd love to hear what others do for sustained energy during longer workouts, especially if you've experienced nausea from eating during the workout and have found something that sits on the stomach ok.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I just started PB not too long ago but i've recently tried banana mixed together with almond butter to make pudding. It keeps me fueled pretty well. Dried cranberries are good too but I haven't tried that yet.

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    • #3
      I made a big batch of pemmican and I will take that on endurance rides when I occasionally sign up for them (centuries on the road, 50 milers offroad).

      I stick that in my cheek like chewing tobacco, it's like a beef IV :-)

      I also carry a bear full of honey on those to eat as well in between pemmican.

      and beer of course, to refuel post ride.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dannielle View Post
        I've been riding my bike 4-5 days a week, 2-3.5 hours at a time in St. Louis heat/humidity. I'm working to increase both distance and speed this summer.

        I tend to eat relatively low carb (<50g on a non-biking day) because it keeps my cravings in check and helps with weight loss for me. The exception is when I'm on the bike. I tend to use gels (and occasionally gatorade or cytomax) for the energy boost they give.

        I haven't had good luck with eating solid food while riding. I've tried Larabars, nuts, fruit and I've gotten nauseous each time. It's like solid food just sits like a lump in my stomach. Even certain brands of gels do that to me but Gu or Hammer gels make me feel great.

        While I'd like to find a more primal/natural option I'm not altogether opposed to calling this my 20% and leaving well enough alone. But there's a good chance that's just me being lazy.
        I sure don't think you are lazy. Honestly, it sounds like chronic cardio to me. Less is more.

        Grok might have carried some dried berries for energy. Who knows. But solid food doesn't suit most endurance athletes very well.

        Most energy gels are fairly pure despite not being primal. If you do well on Gu and Hammer, I'd stick to them. If you want primal, maybe honey would work. Some endurance athletes carry a honey bear to suck on. Doesn't appeal to me.

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        • #5
          I use dried apricots (or I used to when I was running alot).

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          • #6
            I know this may not be what you want to hear, but I dropped the energy jells and Gatorade completely. For a short ride of an hour or so you don't really need water much less anything else. The last several months I have been doing all my big rides, 3 hours or more fasted with no issues and really drinking less than half of the water I use too. I no longer am worried about speed or mileage or cadence, none of that. I worry more about not going to hard more than anything. Last weekend I did a 5 hour ride, came home and decided to bike out to the park for some pull-ups and climbing on the jungle gym, then went and push mowed my mother-in-law's lawn for about 1 hour all fasted, no problems. This is because I have switched from carb metabolism to fat metabolism.

            I guess if I was going to go race a century I would pack some trail mix and maybe a squeeze bottle of honey, but I wouldn't want to do that for a training ride.
            Strive for healthy today.

            Satisfaction is the death of desire.

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            • #7
              Thank you for all the replies! Definitely some good food for thought.

              Chronic cardio? I dunno...maybe. I don't care about speed/cadence at all. Mileage though...it's what inspires me. I don't ride very fast at all so I really have no idea if it counts as "chronic cardio". But really, I don't care.

              I have at least 75lbs to lose and cycling ignites a passion in me. It might not be completely "Grok-ish" but it's a million times better than sitting on the couch watching my butt grow. I actually found a form of exercise I LOVE. Not giving it up because it's not primal enough to ride that long. I'm just tooling along a gravel bike path on my cruiser bike.

              My shortest ride is 1hr/45min. I never go less than that...and it takes me that long to ride 16.75 miles so I'm not breaking any speed records lol.

              I'm not sure if I see all that much difference between an energy gel and a bottle of honey. They're both basically pure sugar.

              I've been mulling over this the past couple days and I think I'm going to leave well enough alone as the summer progresses and my mileage increases. Once I've reached my goals (will take me all summer to get there) it will be time for fall. Less mileage, cooler temperatures. Fall seems like a better time to experiment with different food options (I like the dried fruit idea!). I'm thinking nausea might not be such an issue without the heat and humidity.

              I've tried riding fasted and it didn't go well. Perhaps once I'm at the point where I'm maintaining rather than building fitness it might work better for me. Or again, once we hit fall. I ride away from civilization, then turn around and come back. I need to feel secure that I'm not going to peter out mid-ride. If I did while deep in the middle of a wildlife preserve it would be a problem. I hadn't factored that in before but it's an important consideration.

              Thanks again! It's really helped to have people add their thoughts!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dannielle View Post
                Thank you for all the replies! Definitely some good food for thought.

                Chronic cardio? I dunno...maybe. I don't care about speed/cadence at all. Mileage though...it's what inspires me. I don't ride very fast at all so I really have no idea if it counts as "chronic cardio". But really, I don't care.
                For two years I was all about mileage, anything less than 100 miles a week I felt like I let myself down. But from what you described.

                My shortest ride is 1hr/45min. I never go less than that...and it takes me that long to ride 16.75 miles so I'm not breaking any speed records lol.
                I think your right on the edge of carb .vs fat burning

                I would guess that your really not eating low carb either. Earlier you said.
                I tend to eat relatively low carb (<50g on a non-biking day) because it keeps my cravings in check and helps with weight loss for me.
                and
                I've been riding my bike 4-5 days a week, 2-3.5 hours at a time in St. Louis heat/humidity. I'm working to increase both distance and speed this summer
                SO that means that 4-5 days a week you are eating more than 50 grams carbs and the extra carbs are in the form of simple sugar.

                My advice from a guy who has been exactly where you are including 75lbs or more overweight. ( I have lost 45 lbs since changing my riding) Would be to back off the bike riding for about 4 weeks and replace it with walking for the same amount of time and yes I really know that walking for 2-3.5 hours is boring, but you won't loose any fitness, (I didn't bike for my first 16 weeks or so on the PB because I knew I would push it too hard and i didn't loose any fitness) then when you start back up take it easy and focus on maintaining a comfortable pace where you can easily carry on a conversation. Soon a 3 hour bike ride won't push you to consuming more calories on the bike than you are actually burning.

                Before I went PB i would have laughed at you if you told me I could ride 5 hours without eating and consuming a "recovery" meal as soon as i finished a ride, now i know better. I can ride as long as i want without eating any carbs as long as I stay at a fat burning pace and don't burn up all my muscle glycogen in the first hour.

                Just my 2 cents, but if you really can't change during peak riding season and I do understand the desire to ride while the ridding is good, consider making it the focus of your winter training??

                I missed my mountain biking secession today due to rain maybe I can get one in on Thursday
                Strive for healthy today.

                Satisfaction is the death of desire.

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                • #9
                  OK couple more things.

                  1. If your not racing like a Pro bike rider why train like one? I see guys and girls out on the bike path who look miserable every time I ride because they are always competing with themselves, I use to be like that. When you were a kid and rode around the neighborhood all day with your friends you didn't suck down energy jells all day

                  2. I have lost more weight since changing my style then when I was training for distance rides

                  3. I really enjoy myself more now then I did before.

                  Best of luck in whatever you decide.
                  Last edited by Kev; 07-13-2010, 07:15 PM. Reason: clarity
                  Strive for healthy today.

                  Satisfaction is the death of desire.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lots of great advice here already, but I read something in Born to Run that I found rather intriguing. Chia seeds can be ground and mixed with water to make a gel that will rehydrate you at a more steady rate than water... or something like that (my copy is with a frienD right now). It may be that the rehydration will be what you need to get you past the carb hump.

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                    • #11
                      No, I'm not eating that many extra carbs every ride. Sorry if I wasn't clear. For my shorter rides (16.75 miles-1hr/45min right now) I usually only have one gatorade which is 25g carbs. I save the gels for my long weekend ride (which is in the 3-4hr range). On a medium ride I kinda play it by ear. And if I'm pushing my speed on a short ride I might add another 1/2 a gatorade if I'm feeling spent and still have a ways to go.

                      My off-the-bike carbs are mostly veggies. I track my food so I know exactly how many carbs I'm eating. On non-biking days it's definitely under 50g. Today I rode my 16.75 mile route. Had 1.5 bottles gatorade..a little more than usual but it was 90-something degrees and 85% humidity (and I rode the first half slow and the second half extra fast). My total carbs for the day was 98 grams (26 were from fiber).

                      And, yeah, I am torn between wanting to stay in fat burning mode (for weight loss) and wanting to push speed on short rides (so the long rides will take less time). I'd like to ride a century someday and it would be nice if I could do the whole thing during daylight hours lol.

                      I appreciate your thought process but I don't think I can ditch biking in favor of walking. I'm having far too much fun. :-D And I have a 100 mile weekend trip planned this fall. I was going to do it 2yrs ago but some medical stuff derailed my plans. I'm far to excited to be back at it, finally.

                      Two years ago I had 3 goals: a 50 mile ride, a metric century, and the 100 mile weekend trip. I got as far as the 50 mile ride. This year I fully intend to do all three.

                      I can (and usually do!) carry on a conversation at the pace I ride. I'm pretty sure I am burning more calories than I'm consuming on the bike. I've been losing weight at a good clip (2-3lbs per week). During a ride I'm consuming 50-150 calories per hour. I (conservatively) estimate that I burn 400cal/hour on the bike.

                      I guess I've just decided that the biking progress means more to me that being 100% primal right now. But there's history there with old goals that need to be accomplished. But, yes, definitely will be moving toward "primality" in this area too once those goals are met.

                      What? No mountain biking in the rain? Sounds like rain (but not thunderstorms!) would make for fun mountain biking! I love riding in the rain.
                      Last edited by Dannielle; 07-13-2010, 07:44 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I'm not miserable at all on the bike path. Quite the opposite...I love challenging myself on the trail. And then there's the old goals that need to be accomplished...

                        But, no, not going into pro racing anytime soon lol.

                        CHIA SEEDS! Why didn't I think of that! I love chia seeds. I'm going to use them on my next ride (probably eat them before I ride, for breakfast) and see how it goes. Thanks!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dannielle View Post
                          What? No mountain biking in the rain? Sounds like rain (but not thunderstorms!) would make for fun mountain biking! I love riding in the rain.
                          Big storm just as I was leaving work and the Mountain biking park is managed by the parks department, they closed access for the day.

                          I hear you on the goals, like I said I have been there. My first 50 mile ride was a big deal as was my first metric century and full century. Now having fun takes first place on my bike. I don't want anyone saying "hey look at that fat guy, he is really cruising, for a fat guy" I know I use to piss off skinny guys when I passed them going up hill, that was fun though

                          Really consider making your winter training all about staying in the fat burning zone. It is really liberating not having to grab Gatorade, gel, granola bar, banana, camel-back, ect. on a long ride. Hitting the road early in the morning with nothing but a water bottle or 2 on an empty stomach and riding until your done with no loss of energy and no boinking is well worth it. I can still hammer when I want as long as I use it wisely and don't stay in that zone for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
                          Strive for healthy today.

                          Satisfaction is the death of desire.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dannielle,
                            It sounds like you are in fat burning mode the entire time you are riding. At 16.75mi in 1hr and 45min which is about 10mi/hr. Have you tried wearing a heart rate monitor? I don't know how much you weigh now but if you stay around 125-140 bpm you should be ok. Sprinting occasionally is a good thing too. You can do that century. Slow and steady wins the race. Glad you are having fun on your bike. I love biking too. I rode from San Diego to St. Augustine Florida back in 2007 with a bunch of old gals (average age 60 or so). I will remember that trip forever. If you are interested I can tell you more about it.
                            Last edited by Classic; 07-13-2010, 08:39 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I think the main (hydration) benefit of the chia seeds comes from the water that they hold when ground.

                              De nada.

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