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I think we all sit with some mixed messages. You need enough energy to sustain your energy level (say if you were trying to race but with no food or food that doesnt break down fast enough to digest).

That said, the fastest digesting foods are generally labeled as unhealthy or should be eaten in moderation.

Is there a good guideline to race needs and what sugars are ok? I cant do any real amounts of honey and that is slightly healthier than certain sugars (akin to refined white table sugar or agave).

Should anyone even care about GI values to determine if that sugar is helpful for your processing?
 

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FWIW: Agave is almost 100% fructose. Added or excess sugar is bad, in general. For quick energy during extending strenuous exercise, it's good. Fruit is a good source. Nothing magic about sugar in fruit, except perhaps there are a few other nutrients in there. Same for honey, though even less so.
 

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It is not about one ingredient. Our culture loves to demonize a single nutrient as the root of all dietary evil (low fat, low carb, gluten, salt, cholesterol, eggs, etc.). After decades of this, we are fat and unhealthy (likely due to more than diet alone).

Currently, I like this concept, "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants". Outside of metabolic issues (diabetes, medicines, etc.) or real allergies, a good diet is not intellectually difficult - everything in moderation concept. If you like to eat something "bad", go to it. Just not every day.

One long rides (3+ hours), I will drink a full strength coke. Gives a good kick when you need it.

FWIW, I see the "no added sugar" mantra as the next big diet thing. Once again, blaming a single ingredient as the root of all evil. It doesn't matter if you fill your coffee cup with honey or sugar. Both are going to result in a big cup of calories.

Can't just blame processed foods either. My wife just bought a package of dates. They are big and taste like little candies - because they are. The label says two dates is 140 or 150 calories with 23 grams of sugars. Dates have "no added sugar". But, I don't think you can down pounds of them and have any real expectation that that would be a healthy dieting choice.
 

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When you're exercising strenuously, then it is ok to consume simple carbs, even simple processed carbs. But you don't do it while laying around the house.
 

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What you can take in for carbs/calories successfully without GI distress on a ride depends on the intensity you are riding. Fueling for a 2 hour event is quite different than an ultra-distance event obviously.
 
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