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Home-Made/DIY Gel & Cycling Food

Old 12-20-20, 08:45 AM
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Home-Made/DIY Gel & Cycling Food

I'm curious to know if anyone makes their own gels and/or cycling food in general. When I started to take my on-the-bike nutrition more seriously and realized how freaking expensive gels and energy bars are, I started making my own. There didn't appear to be any magic ingredients in the products sold at my LBS (i.e. Gu, SiS), so I did some research, looked at some DIY recipes and came up with the following:

Gels: Brown rice syrup and agave syrup at a ratio of 2:1 provides a really good base recipe for a simple cycling gel. One serving at 2:1 (3 tbsp.) yields 53g of carbs, 50 mg of sodium, 1g of protein, and is a total of 210 calories. If we adjust serving size to 2 tbsp. (equivalent to 1 Gu original gel) we get ~35g of carbs, ~33mg of sodium, 0.66g of protein and ~139 calories. By comparison, the nutrition from 1 Gu original gel is: 22g of carbs, 60mg of sodium, 0g of protein and 100 calories.

To that brown rice syrup / agave syrup base you can add flavors/ingredients to taste. I usually add some cocoa powder for flavor (only 10 calories per tbsp.) as well as some ground ginger and cinnamon (a little goes a long way, especially with the cinnamon). The ground ginger and cinnamon definitely add flavor, but they are are known to treat inflammation (added bonus IMO since a lot of my back pain is related to inflammation). Lately I've also been adding some banana for potassium, but this will shorten the life of the gel. Without the banana the base recipe will last for weeks and requires no refrigeration. I also like using 1-2 tbsp. of sunflower lecithin, which helps the ingredients combine evenly and acts as a mild preservative. You could also use soy-based lecithin.

Energy Balls: As for solid food, it's still a work in progress. However, I'm experimenting with the following: brown rice syrup and agave syrup at the same 2:1 ratio combined with ground flax seeds, puréed dates, peanut butter, walnuts, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ground ginger and sunflower lecithin. I'm still tweaking the ratios, but using 1 serving of each ingredient and then portioning the recipe at ~100 calories per "enegy ball" yields a carb to fat ratio of 2:1. Not horrible, but I'd like to get the carbs to fat ratio to 3:1 or 4:1, as the fat will slow digestion and the absorption of carbs.

Anecdotally, I feel just as good on the bike (if not better) eating my home made gels and energy balls, and at a fraction of the cost compared to the Gu and SiS products.

Adding nutrition to hydration?: With regard to my hydration, I do add electrolytes and sugar via Gatorade powder, so that's adding some carbs and keeping my sodium levels from getting depleted. However, getting more nutrition into my water bottle seems like an opportunity that should be taken advantage of.

Any suggestions, recipes, links to research studies, anecdotal info, etc. is welcome. Thanks in advance for the feedback!
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Old 12-21-20, 03:46 AM
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I drink most of my carbs. I'll add some creatine powder with the usual stuff -- carbs, amino acids, eye of newt and other voodoo potions. Maybe some fruit flavored stuff with caffeine. It works out to about 200 calories per 24 oz bottle.

Just seems easier, especially on fast group rides. Less fiddly with while also watching for guys with sketchy bike handling non-skills. Way too common around here, guys with intermediate level power and speed, and Cat 6 handling skills.

In warmer weather I'll also add electrolytes -- usually DripDrop, although occasionally I'll cheap out and use Propel. Both come in single serving Mylar packets, very small and handy. Weather-resistant so they'll keep for months in a saddle bag or even stuffed into a sweaty sock or jersey.

You can buy some gels in bulk packs and transfer them to reusable squeeze bottles. Saves a little money.

I don't use enough gels to make cost an issue. Maybe one or two on a 2-3 hour workout, mostly for the caffeine as much as the carbs. I buy a carton or two at a time and those last for months. On rides under 2 hours I might not eat anything at all since my water bottle already has some carbs.

Clif Bloks are pretty comparable to gels, less messy, and about half the price. They're just gummies with carbs and caffeine. Good alternative for folks who dislike the texture and flavor of gels.

If I just want carbs I'll get cheap packets of cookies from the dollar store, something that doesn't melt in summer. Shortbread cookies are good, not too sweet, no digestion problems. And I found a big box of stroop waffles for $5. There were a few dozen of the things in that box. They're a handy size, very thin, so it's easy to stuff several into a jersey pocket. And like the shortbread cookies, not too icky sweet.
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Old 12-21-20, 05:36 AM
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canklecat : Thanks for the info. Less fiddly is good, so I'll continue to explore options for getting more carbs into the water bottle. I checked out the DripDrop site and that stuff looks really good, but also really expensive. I wonder how easy it would be to reverse enginner a similar recipe at a fraction of the cost. Will need to do some more research.
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Old 12-21-20, 09:50 AM
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I tried homemade stuff before but I don't do it anymore.... It's a lot easier to bring along a Snickers bar or a chocolate chip muffin or stop along the way and buy a slice of pizza then messing around with all kinds ingredients trying to make something. I try to keep my nutrition as simple as possible.
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Old 12-21-20, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I tried homemade stuff before but I don't do it anymore.... It's a lot easier to bring along a Snickers bar or a chocolate chip muffin or stop along the way and buy a slice of pizza then messing around with all kinds ingredients trying to make something. I try to keep my nutrition as simple as possible.
For a very brief time I tried items similar to those you mention above. It just didn't work for me. I wasn't getting much of an energy boost, they felt heavy on my stomach, and at the end of a long ride I felt sluggish.

After a ride, well that's another story. I love me some pizza!!!!!
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Old 12-21-20, 01:57 PM
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The simplest fix for rides up to 3 hours is - buy a bottle of Hammer Gel and one of their 6 oz. squeeze flasks. Not expensive and works better than sugar-based gels.

For serious rides, the only thing I'll use is my homemade liquid food. In a large container, mix 7 parts maltodextrin with 1 part chocolate whey protein, by weight. Two cups of this powder mix is ~750 calories. For long rides, mix the two cups of powder in a 24 oz. or liter water bottle. Carry extra powder in Ziplocs in your saddle bag. I got about half my calories on 400k rides from this stuff, all of my calories on one-day STP and RAMROD. I carry Endurolyte capsules for electrolytes. So food in one bottle, plain water in the other, the Endurolytes in a Hammer squeeze coin purse shoved up my shorts leg. The malto-whey mix has a very mild flavor and does not taste sweet. It doesn't bother my mouth when used all day. I buy the maltodextrin in 50# bags from a homebrew supplier and the 5 lb. whey protein containers online.

I've been using this stuff on almost all of my long weekend rides for about 20 years. At the above strength, I take a swallow about every 15' and then a swallow of water, but both those vary with the temperature and terrain. I also carry a Hammer flask just in case I screw up and get underfed, but that almost never happens. Still . . .

Hammer makes the hardware a little hard to find. It's here: https://www.hammernutrition.com/products/gear
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Old 12-21-20, 07:21 PM
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Sounds delicious. Certainly if you enjoy making them that is a large part of the picture that most anything else said will pale in comparison. I used to make my own power bars that I used while riding a long time ago. But I didn't enjoy making them enough to continue and simple dried fruit like raisins, figs, apricots and most any other fruit you can dry or dehydrate is what I go for when I do take food. Maybe some sort of granola bar or power bar. Mostly I too just put my carbs in my bottles. I'll do four hour rides with just bottles alone.

I'd be okay with what you are making. I just don't see myself getting ambitious enough to do that any time soon. I do all the meal cooking and bread making. Those things like deserts are really my wife's area. Sadly she doesn't care to ride bikes. Just like sailing, she teases me that she will start, but she doesn't.

My only suggestion might be to look at the carbs (sugars and starches) you are using and see how fast those get absorbed. Some carbs are faster at being absorbed and also some are quicker/easier for your body to convert to energy. But something like that will likely only be real important for times you might ride at an all out pace for several hours. If you don't, then no big deal.

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Old 12-22-20, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The simplest fix for rides up to 3 hours is - buy a bottle of Hammer Gel and one of their 6 oz. squeeze flasks. Not expensive and works better than sugar-based gels.

For serious rides, the only thing I'll use is my homemade liquid food. In a large container, mix 7 parts maltodextrin with 1 part chocolate whey protein, by weight. Two cups of this powder mix is ~750 calories. For long rides, mix the two cups of powder in a 24 oz. or liter water bottle. Carry extra powder in Ziplocs in your saddle bag. I got about half my calories on 400k rides from this stuff, all of my calories on one-day STP and RAMROD. I carry Endurolyte capsules for electrolytes. So food in one bottle, plain water in the other, the Endurolytes in a Hammer squeeze coin purse shoved up my shorts leg. The malto-whey mix has a very mild flavor and does not taste sweet. It doesn't bother my mouth when used all day. I buy the maltodextrin in 50# bags from a homebrew supplier and the 5 lb. whey protein containers online.

I've been using this stuff on almost all of my long weekend rides for about 20 years. At the above strength, I take a swallow about every 15' and then a swallow of water, but both those vary with the temperature and terrain. I also carry a Hammer flask just in case I screw up and get underfed, but that almost never happens. Still . . .

Hammer makes the hardware a little hard to find. It's here: https://www.hammernutrition.com/products/gear
Thank you for the suggstions. Did you really mean 2 cups of powder for a 24 oz. bottle? That seems like a ton of powder. How are you arriving at that serving size? I think the recommended serving size for maltodextrin is roughly 50g, but that's probably for a 12 oz. to 16 oz. container. I do see another table that provides different serving sizes and the corresponding calorie count. According to this source (https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-n...c/maltodextrin) 1 cup maltodextrin = 744 calories.
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Old 12-22-20, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
Thank you for the suggstions. Did you really mean 2 cups of powder for a 24 oz. bottle? That seems like a ton of powder. How are you arriving at that serving size? I think the recommended serving size for maltodextrin is roughly 50g, but that's probably for a 12 oz. to 16 oz. container. I do see another table that provides different serving sizes and the corresponding calorie count. According to this source (https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-n...c/maltodextrin) 1 cup maltodextrin = 744 calories.
Good questions.

I measured my ingredients by weight to get my volume measure, 4 Cal./g, same as whey protein, which is convenient. 2c of powder came out to ~750 Cal, so 250/hour for a 3 hour bottle. My stomach can't process more than that per hour, though I frequently don't need that much. On long rides, I go by hunger to a large extent after the first 3 hours.

I don't know about that linked source. Weigh your own. It's impossible for a carb to be over 4 Cal/g. Your source would have malto weighing 7.3 oz./cup, which is obviously wrong. So my guess is that those folks do not have any secrets to reveal about fat.

50g/bottle is a standard measure for all day riding - if your domestique keeps bringing you bottles, and it's a warm summer day and you can drink a bottle/hour without having to pee every hour. Winter riding in the PNW, I might only drink 2/3 of the food bottle and half a bottle of water in 60 miles. That's why I separate food, water, and electrolytes. I have to be able to vary those necessities separately as conditions warrant.

Yes, that is a ton of powder. I put maybe 6 oz. water in the bottom of the bottle, add the powder, fill the rest with water, shake like a maniac, add more water, repeat, refrigerate overnight. It's a thick liquid but not at all off-putting. Goes down fine, tastes a bit like rice water with a bit of chocolate added. I use that amount so that one bottle will last me at least 3 hours. That and a coffee and pastry stop will usually take care of my average day ride. As I said, I also bring along a Hammer flask or maybe a tube of Shot Bloks, though I seldom need that extra boost. If I see my HR drop off for effort, I take an extra hit of carb.

On long rides where I bring extra powder I refill the bottle at my water stops, giving the bottle some extra shaking to break up the lumps. Often I'll only need to top off the food bottle. I almost never empty it. This is a bit frustrating as one loses time mixing the bottle, but I think I get it back by having even energy all ride long, and everyone has to eat something somewhere. Thus I don't have to eat at a control or rest stop as long as the powder lasts, taking all my calories in on the bike. Combine that with a 2 liter Camelbak and one can cover a lot of distance in an all-day ride. On long mountain brevets, I can't bring enough powder and besides it gets boring, so I'll eat something at every control and maybe add bars, spacing out the food bottles so I have some food to drink between controls for the whole ride.

To really gross out the foodies among us . . For breakfast before a long ride, I'll put 100g of my powder in a quart bottle, shake it up, refrigerate overnight, and drink it for breakfast 2-3 hours before the ride start. It's a perfect breakfast and really quick to prepare! I'll only do that once a week - it's totally not a perfect breakfast for every day.
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Old 12-23-20, 01:28 AM
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On my long training runs - I used homemade honey packets instead of gels like GU.

Worked great and doesn't break the bank.
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Old 12-23-20, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Good questions.

I measured my ingredients by weight to get my volume measure, 4 Cal./g, same as whey protein, which is convenient. 2c of powder came out to ~750 Cal, so 250/hour for a 3 hour bottle. My stomach can't process more than that per hour, though I frequently don't need that much. On long rides, I go by hunger to a large extent after the first 3 hours.

I don't know about that linked source. Weigh your own. It's impossible for a carb to be over 4 Cal/g. Your source would have malto weighing 7.3 oz./cup, which is obviously wrong. So my guess is that those folks do not have any secrets to reveal about fat.

50g/bottle is a standard measure for all day riding - if your domestique keeps bringing you bottles, and it's a warm summer day and you can drink a bottle/hour without having to pee every hour. Winter riding in the PNW, I might only drink 2/3 of the food bottle and half a bottle of water in 60 miles. That's why I separate food, water, and electrolytes. I have to be able to vary those necessities separately as conditions warrant.

Yes, that is a ton of powder. I put maybe 6 oz. water in the bottom of the bottle, add the powder, fill the rest with water, shake like a maniac, add more water, repeat, refrigerate overnight. It's a thick liquid but not at all off-putting. Goes down fine, tastes a bit like rice water with a bit of chocolate added. I use that amount so that one bottle will last me at least 3 hours. That and a coffee and pastry stop will usually take care of my average day ride. As I said, I also bring along a Hammer flask or maybe a tube of Shot Bloks, though I seldom need that extra boost. If I see my HR drop off for effort, I take an extra hit of carb.

On long rides where I bring extra powder I refill the bottle at my water stops, giving the bottle some extra shaking to break up the lumps. Often I'll only need to top off the food bottle. I almost never empty it. This is a bit frustrating as one loses time mixing the bottle, but I think I get it back by having even energy all ride long, and everyone has to eat something somewhere. Thus I don't have to eat at a control or rest stop as long as the powder lasts, taking all my calories in on the bike. Combine that with a 2 liter Camelbak and one can cover a lot of distance in an all-day ride. On long mountain brevets, I can't bring enough powder and besides it gets boring, so I'll eat something at every control and maybe add bars, spacing out the food bottles so I have some food to drink between controls for the whole ride.

To really gross out the foodies among us . . For breakfast before a long ride, I'll put 100g of my powder in a quart bottle, shake it up, refrigerate overnight, and drink it for breakfast 2-3 hours before the ride start. It's a perfect breakfast and really quick to prepare! I'll only do that once a week - it's totally not a perfect breakfast for every day.
Thank you for the thorough explanation.
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Old 12-24-20, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post

I measured my ingredients by weight to get my volume measure, 4 Cal./g... 2c of powder came out to ~750 Cal, so 250/hour for a 3 hour bottle.

I don't know about that linked source. Weigh your own. It's impossible for a carb to be over 4 Cal/g. Your source would have malto weighing 7.3 oz./cup, which is obviously wrong. So my guess is that those folks do not have any secrets to reveal about fat.
After reading your post again I think it needs some clarification so we and the broader audience are all on the same page.

You are absolutely correct that carbs contain 4 cal/g and that the correct method to measure for calories is by weight. Using the same source referenced in my post (https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-n...onamount=1.000) you will see that 1 cup of maltodextrin has a stated weight of 186.6 and a stated calorie count of 744. 186.6 * 4 = 745.48 so the referenced source seems to be generally accurate.

What would explain the difference between the info in my referenced source versus your stated calorie count in the 2 cups you use for your drink mix?DENSITY!

Looking at a specific product - Now Foods Carbo Gain Maltodextrin - at the same source (https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-n...n-maltodextrin) shows 1 cup at a weight of 100g, which, multiplied by 4cal/g, yields a calorie count of 380. Same 1 cup volume for both items, significantly different weights... therefore significantly different calorie counts.

If you're using Carbo Gain (or something with a similar density) in your recipe then 2 cups would be right in line with the ~750 calories you referenced in your post. So for folks following along who might want to try your recipe, knowing the specific product you use would be helpful because it has a specific density that greatly influences the calorie count. For now I will have to assume you're using Carbo Gain or a product with similar density.

I'm not sure if you addressed carbs/hr. within the context of your drink recipe, but if the nutritional profile for the product you are using is similar to Carbo Gain then 2 cups is roughly 180g of carbs per bottle. Consuming that bottle over a 3 hr period provides ~60g of carbs per hr., which puts you at the upper limit of carbs that a human body can process in an hour. If you're also taking in food or other sources of carbs for that same 3 hr ride you may not be getting any added energy benefit.

Last edited by Cycletography; 12-24-20 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 12-24-20, 08:36 AM
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I've been using Carbonfiberboy 's bike food recipe for the last five seasons and like it a lot for longer rides. I buy 50 pound bags of maltodextrin and ON Gold protein from Costco, weigh it out on the kitchen scale into individually sized snack baggies with 84g carb/12g protein which is ~360 calories by my calcs and goes in one big water bottle. I put ~half-strength gatorade powder in the other bottle. I've experimented with different concentrations and like this one the best for the way I ride. I've ridden lots and lots of 200-400k rides on nothing but bike food and Gatorade. I just drink water on anything under 100k.
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Old 12-24-20, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I've been using Carbonfiberboy 's bike food recipe for the last five seasons and like it a lot for longer rides. I buy 50 pound bags of maltodextrin and ON Gold protein from Costco, weigh it out on the kitchen scale into individually sized snack baggies with 84g carb/12g protein which is ~360 calories by my calcs and goes in one big water bottle. I put ~half-strength gatorade powder in the other bottle. I've experimented with different concentrations and like this one the best for the way I ride. I've ridden lots and lots of 200-400k rides on nothing but bike food and Gatorade. I just drink water on anything under 100k.
I might also give Carbonfiberboy's recipe a try. As long as the calories and carbs are within an acceptable range for cycling (which they seem to be) it may be a good way to get more "food" in the bottle.

As for 1/2 strength Gatorade, that's what I currently use in my water bottle. However, it's primarily for electrolytes and a little bit of sugar/carbs. Most of my calories and carbs are currently obtained primarily from the home made gel and energy balls.

Since I'm trying to "up my game" on the bike in 2021 I think I also need to improve my fueling protocol in order to support that effort. Of all the elements of a smart training plan, food and hydration seem to be hardest to figure out. But I'm making progress!
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Old 12-24-20, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
After reading your post again I think it needs some clarification so we and the broader audience are all on the same page.

You are absolutely correct that carbs contain 4 cal/g and that the correct method to measure for calories is by weight. Using the same source referenced in my post (https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-n...onamount=1.000) you will see that 1 cup of maltodextrin has a stated weight of 186.6 and a stated calorie count of 744. 186.6 * 4 = 745.48 so the referenced source seems to be generally accurate.

What would explain the difference between the info in my referenced source versus your stated calorie count in the 2 cups you use for your drink mix?DENSITY!

Looking at a specific product - Now Foods Carbo Gain Maltodextrin - at the same source (https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-n...n-maltodextrin) shows 1 cup at a weight of 100g, which, multiplied by 4cal/g, yields a calorie count of 380. Same 1 cup volume for both items, significantly different weights... therefore significantly different calorie counts.

If you're using Carbo Gain (or something with a similar density) in your recipe then 2 cups would be right in line with the ~750 calories you referenced in your post. So for folks following along who might want to try your recipe, knowing the specific product you use would be helpful because it has a specific density that greatly influences the calorie count. For now I will have to assume you're using Carbo Gain or a product with similar density.

I'm not sure if you addressed carbs/hr. within the context of your drink recipe, but if the nutritional profile for the product you are using is similar to Carbo Gain then 2 cups is roughly 180g of carbs per bottle. Consuming that bottle over a 3 hr period provides ~60g of carbs per hr., which puts you at the upper limit of carbs that a human body can process in an hour. If you're also taking in food or other sources of carbs for that same 3 hr ride you may not be getting any added energy benefit.
I just weighed 1 cup of my mix on my gram scale. It weighs 118g, so 472 calories so 942 for 2c. I established the weight per cup about 20 years ago in my kitchen scale, which may not be as accurate as my new gram scale. It's also possible that the malto settles with time. I made up that mix that I just weighed well before Covid, so maybe 10 months ago. I measured the weight per cup of a fresh can of whey protein. It is 94g/cup or 376 calories, so right about 750 for 2c. I could weigh out each serving of mix just to be sure, but it's not worth the time, IMO. I mostly eat to hunger anyway and don't count calories.

So yes, density does make a difference. Who knows where your source found that weight per cup. This source https://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/...oodID=11111317 thinks malto runs 380 calories/cup.
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Old 12-25-20, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
I might also give Carbonfiberboy's recipe a try. As long as the calories and carbs are within an acceptable range for cycling (which they seem to be) it may be a good way to get more "food" in the bottle.

As for 1/2 strength Gatorade, that's what I currently use in my water bottle. However, it's primarily for electrolytes and a little bit of sugar/carbs. Most of my calories and carbs are currently obtained primarily from the home made gel and energy balls.

Since I'm trying to "up my game" on the bike in 2021 I think I also need to improve my fueling protocol in order to support that effort. Of all the elements of a smart training plan, food and hydration seem to be hardest to figure out. But I'm making progress!
Somewhere along the line I forgot to mention the reason that I favor maltodextrin over other carbs: osmolality. Food won't cross the stomach wall if stomach osmolality is too high, IOW if the concentration of food molecules. is too high.
https://www.infinitnutrition.us/osmolality-101
https://www.gastrojournal.org/articl...75)80228-9/pdf

Using malto results in a lower osmolality per calorie because the sugar molecules are chained together. One can move more calories per hour into the bloodstream per hour using malto than anything else I know of. I have had the experience of almost bonking because my stomach was full of food which wouldn't move into my bloodstream and I've seen that happen to others as well.
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Old 12-25-20, 05:34 PM
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My cheap ready made items are Gatorade powder, dried apricots or a banana, and Nature Valley crunchy granola bars from Sam's Club. For general training and riding, the name of the game is carbs that digest easy, and don't get messy / inedible when hot. That's the problem I had with trying to do things like rice cakes and other kinds of homemade energy bars (heat).

I also have a giant tub of maltodextrin to make DIY drink mix, but I didn't get it right this year, with a couple spectacular blowups from too much maltodextrin (which is usually very easy to digest) basically becoming a bomb that shut down my stomach. Next year I will experiment more with using stevia to add a slight sweetness instead of sugar in a lower concentration, and also using those coil things in my bottles to help it mix better. There's nothing wrong with Gatorade, but for very long rides it does get a little too sweet, and it isn't good for your teeth.
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Old 12-25-20, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by zen_ View Post
My cheap ready made items are Gatorade powder, dried apricots or a banana, and Nature Valley crunchy granola bars from Sam's Club. For general training and riding, the name of the game is carbs that digest easy, and don't get messy / inedible when hot. That's the problem I had with trying to do things like rice cakes and other kinds of homemade energy bars (heat).

I also have a giant tub of maltodextrin to make DIY drink mix, but I didn't get it right this year, with a couple spectacular blowups from too much maltodextrin (which is usually very easy to digest) basically becoming a bomb that shut down my stomach. Next year I will experiment more with using stevia to add a slight sweetness instead of sugar in a lower concentration, and also using those coil things in my bottles to help it mix better. There's nothing wrong with Gatorade, but for very long rides it does get a little too sweet, and it isn't good for your teeth.
When you have that stomach bomb, it's because you didn't drink enough water to dilute it adequately. The during-ride solution is to not eat anything more for a while, instead drink plain water, a couple sips maybe every 5 minutes until you feel your stomach empty. It's very noticeable. The other thing I do, if that should happen, is to take two Endurolytes when you start the more-water treatment. But that's the reason one should always carry plain water. Never mix sugar in with maltodextrin. I use flavored whey protein to give it a somewhat nice taste which makes it more palatable on a long ride.

The before it happens solution is just to drink more water with it.
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Old 12-27-20, 07:04 AM
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I think I'm going to take a chance on the maltodextrin / electrolyte mix, but will forego the whey protein. The whey protein might be something I want to add later. We'll see. Right now I don't see it as a critical ingredient, as I get plenty of protein off the bike. I'm not saying it doesn't provide added benefit. I'd just prefer to first see how the maltodextrin / electrolye mix compares to Gatorade powder (in terms of on-the-bike performance) without the added variable of protein powder.

I plan to try the following mix in my bottle: 700ml water, 100g maltodextrin, 1/4 tsp. pink himalayan salt, 1/2 tsp. magnesium citrate, 1/4 tsp. potassium chloride. That mix (per 750ml bottle) will provide ~380 calories, ~94g of carbs, 590mg sodium, 210mg magnesium, 600mg potassium.

I'm also going to purchase some Hi Lyte electrolyte replacement tablets as a secondary strategy to make sure I get enough electrolytes. They do not dissolve in water, so they must be swallowed as a pill. However, for longer rides and on extremely hot days I'll use these to supplement the electrolytes in the bottle.

This is obviously still a work in progress, but I think the new plan is progress and I look forward to comparing the results. I'm going with this formula starting in January and will evaluate my ride data at the end of the month to see if I make any tangible performance improvements. The "success" of this experiment is just as much about how I feel on the bike as it is about actual performance, but I expect that if I feel better on the bike that should translate to some degree of performance improvement.
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Old 12-27-20, 02:41 PM
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380 Calories in what to me is a 24 fl oz bottle is a lot of Calories. At least to me it is if consumed in an hour or less. Are you going to be alternating that with plain water and plan on it lasting a couple hours or more?
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Old 12-27-20, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
380 Calories in what to me is a 24 fl oz bottle is a lot of Calories. At least to me it is if consumed in an hour or less. Are you going to be alternating that with plain water and plan on it lasting a couple hours or more?
Yes, I agree... I should have noted that in my response. As part of the transition to the maltodextrin mix @ 100g per 750ml bottle plus electrolytes, I plan to alternate with plain water. If I keep two 750ml bottles on the bike - one with maltodextrin + electrolytes and the other with plain water or water + electrolytes, that should get me through a 3 hr ride (on average). We'll see how it goes. It's a work in progress.

EDIT: Today as I was out on the bike, enjoying the cooler weather, it dawned on me that a 380 calorie bottle with 94g of carbs would have been overkill. On shorter rides I think a 1/2 strength formula would be plenty. I'll probably have to experiement a little.

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Old 12-29-20, 06:00 PM
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I've gone down the rabbit hole of osmolality and tonicity. Good reading.
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Old 12-30-20, 03:05 PM
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I tried this recipe. I do not recommend it, but point it out just in case you run across it and wonder if it might be good. It is not. It is disgusting.

Over on Cycling Tips, "Shoddy" wrote up a few
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Old 12-30-20, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
I tried this recipe. I do not recommend it, but point it out just in case you run across it and wonder if it might be good. It is not. It is disgusting.

Over on Cycling Tips, "Shoddy" wrote up a few
Thanks for the warning!
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Old 12-31-20, 03:28 AM
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maltodextrin, rice syrup, high fructose corn syrup, does not do the trick, pay lots of money for a let down.

so we DIY our stuff.

don't know what kind of water they use at the gataorade factory. got killer water in town. artesian wells. cold and clear. delicious.
so we make our own gatorade. you want 4:1 Na to K. sea salt for Na, Morton Lite salt for K.
Winco friut punch mix is about 50 cents a pound. tastes exactly like fruit punch gatorade which is our favorite.
Dextrose can be bought at nuts.com for about 2.50 a pound.
you want about a 4:1 ratio of Na to K to save the kidneys.

we tried using raw honey for the sweetener but it ferments if left for about two weeks. (mead is an ancient alcohol drink made from water and honey)
so>
Makes 1 Gal or about Six 1.25 Pint Bottles

add more salts for more electrolytes if you want,
this here will give you stock gatorade salts which is 270 mg Na and 30 mg K per 1.25 pts.

Little less than 1 Gal water
7 Tbsp Winco Fruit Punch Mix
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup dextrose
1/3 tsp Morton Lite Salt
1/2 tsp Morton Iodized Sea Salt


For bars we use 1 lb fresh ground cashew butter, 1 lb raw honey , 1 lb organic plant protein, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup carnation malted milk, 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

for the coating we use 1/2 cup coconut butter, 1/2 box confectioners sugar, 1 cup carob powder, 1 cup nonfat evaporated milk, 2 tsp vanilla extract,

make the filling, put in freezer to stiffen up then add coating.

wrap in saran wrap, put in double ziploc freezer bags and we are set for a month.

tried diy rice cakes but they fall apart and are not as powerful.

we make em big so they run at about 35 grams protein and 48 grams carbohydrate,

this blows away anything at the market. 1 bar and 1.25 pints gatorade = 70 miles of riding.

i went to the bike shop yesterday to try factory food while on break from work, i bought two gels, 1 vanilla, 1 raspberry and a bonk bar. 11 bucks. i ate all three at once and nothing happened. i was still hungry. what a ripoff joke.

diy means i come in at a cheaper price point, get all the stuff i want and none of the stuff i don't want, and i get the satisfaction of making my own stuff. and the bars taste like heaven, not dried sawdust.

you can sub peanut butter for almond butter or cashew butter, or use all 3 if you want variety.

when i come home from a ride after a diy gatorade and a diy bar i am not even hungry for an hour or so. jus sayin...wtf?



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