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Cycling Dolomiti Friuli
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A triathlete friend is recommending I consume packets of goo or gel when riding so I don't run out of energy on touring rides (100 miles or so). Are there any healthy/natural equivalents to gels- not looking for anything exotic, just something that looks less like it came out of a test tube. I've heard fig bars and bananas mentioned and I'll try to start carrying those. Are there others?
 

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Dates, raisins, tortilla with a little PBJ in it, fruit, etc. I gave up on the processed foods and switched to real food and I think it works better for me. They don't upset my stomach and I get the energy I need. The gels and goos are for connivance and storage I sometimes I even pack some chocolate covered coffee beans.
 

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Bananas, dried fruit, fig newtons, candy bars...anything that supplies easy fast to absorb carbs (sugars). Nothing really wrong with gels for this purpose either, IMO.
 

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I make a lot of little sandwiches. Whole grain bread with honey and pb or hazlenut butter. Alan Lim's rice cakes are good and easy to make. You can also throw just about anything in there I usually do rice, brown sugar, apple, and salt. I saw one vid he posted where he did scrambled egg, bacon, brown sugar and said riders loved them.
 

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Are you asking about something that is not a gel, or something "wholesome"? What do you mean by "wholesome"?

Looigi hit the nail on the head with the easily digestible carbs. Pick whatever you like.

I would disagree with the bacon for an on the bike food. High protein and fat makes for slow gastric emptying. For me, I can't eat bacon anytime before (within 5 hours) a ride, or I burp it up.
 

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A triathlete friend is recommending I consume packets of goo or gel when riding so I don't run out of energy on touring rides (100 miles or so). ..
"Touring ride" suggests to me a moderate pace, aerobic regime, where you are burning some CHO (carbohydrate) and significant amounts of fat.

Gels are almost pure CHO and IMO mainly useful for intense training or racing.

For moderate pace long rides, you should be eating more "real food" as others have suggested.

My favorite for long rides is "PRO bars" because they are calorically very dense (370 Cal per bar), taste good, the ingredients seem pretty high quality, and contain a balance of CHO, fats, and protein.

eg, see:
PROBAR Meal Bar at REI.com
(note, REI gives 20% discount w/ purchase of any 12 food items).
 

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- Almond butter sandwiches
- Homemade almond butter balls (almond butter scoops mixed with oats, maple syrup and raisins, rolled up in tiny balls and refrigerated overnight) - sooooo good.

They're nice to have on those longer rides. On a long hot day, I crave natural foods. I can't stomach the thought of something synthetic or processed. I can certainly eat them on race day or in a pinch, but much prefer something natural.
 

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Thanks, I'll check those out. You're right, I'm riding a moderate pace (100 miles in 6 hours yesterday for example) .
Stuff you can get at a gas station... not really "wholesome" but not as over-sold and marked up as the various sports-specific bars and gels:

Bananas, juices, choco milk, sammiches and sammich fixins (pbj/honey etc), crackers / chips / candy bars (fig newtons and payday bars, 2 of my favorites for low intensity long rides)
 

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Cycling Dolomiti Friuli
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
- Almond butter sandwiches
- Homemade almond butter balls (almond butter scoops mixed with oats, maple syrup and raisins, rolled up in tiny balls and refrigerated overnight) - sooooo good.

They're nice to have on those longer rides. On a long hot day, I crave natural foods. I can't stomach the thought of something synthetic or processed. I can certainly eat them on race day or in a pinch, but much prefer something natural.
I'll have to get some of that. I've had almond milk but not butter- sounds good.
 

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I've been doing banana rice muffins from The Feed Zone cookbook lately and using them on both training rides and in road races (and the kids love them too). I use brown rice instead of white, and often make other changes to the recipe like adding a little almond extract, using wheat instead of rice flour etc. -- they are super tasty and go down easy on the bike. I find them a little less sticky than the rice cakes, so I can carry three or four in a zip-lock bag and they don't stick together or gum up my fingers too much.

I also make some of the rice cake type recipes but in the muffin tins as I just find it a little easier to deal with them in that format. The main difference is I don't cook the eggs first - just mix the eggs and other ingredients, put into the muffin tins and bake about 30 minutes.
 

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I sometimes make my own energy food. Equal parts of agave nectar and brown rice syrup for carbs and a little instant coffee for Caffeinne. Thin with water to desired consistency. It's a gel replacment but work well. Otherwise mixed nuts before a ride, Apple Newton bars during, and some sports beans are all nice for the longer rides.
 
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