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craigepo
09-23-2010, 23:27
I have taken to solely running trails when running. LOTS of hills on my various routes.

I must be getting old, but when I get near the ten-mile mark, I am dragging. I am wearing a water bottle, which helps, but not enough.

I am curious if anybody has any experience using these energy gel things. Specifically:
(a) which brands/flavors don't make you vomit when running;
(b) which brands actually work by keeping energy levels up;
(c) should caffeine be avoided in the energy goo(several of the brands add caffeine);
(d) what is good timing for taking the stuff;
(e) would I be better off filling my water bottle with Gatorade-type drink.

mpb1335
09-24-2010, 01:12
Energy gels kind of take on an acquired taste. What works for some doesn't work for others. Based on my experience (2 Marine Corps Marathons) Clif Shots and the Gu Energy Gels tend to work pretty well. Another "gel-type" product worth trying would be the Clif Shotbloks which are similar to the gels, yet they are chewable.

As for the vomiting part of things, it's honestly trial and error. I would however suggest staying away from the Powerbar gels. For flavors, I'd suggest Clif Shot Vanilla, Mocha, Chocolate or Espresso (has caffeine in it, you'll notice a slight kick in energy) and for the Gu gels I would go with Orange.

For timing, typically I have one about every 5 miles or roughly every 30 minutes, but as with flavors, you can tailor that to your needs. Having water to drink while taking the gels definitely helps. For a post-workout/recovery drink, try Endurox made by Accelsport--I've had nothing but good results taking that after long runs.

Hope this helps.

Boomer-61
09-24-2010, 12:13
I'm not an ultra runner but I do some long bike rides. I use to indulge in the gels to keep me going and after about the 3rd one they just got sickening. I read Stu Mittleman's book Slow Burn and that changed things for me. Stu is/was a successful ultra distance runner. He recommends getting off the high carb diet that has been pounded into my head my whole athletic life. He explains that if you stay low on the food chain (simple unprocessed foods) and get refined carbs off your diet your body will convert to a fat using machine. I was a bit dubious but I gave it a try. I weaned myself off of the carbs and in about two weeks I was back to training hard feeling fine even on longer rides. The last MTB ride I was on I had a turkey burger and spinach for breakfast and did not get hungry at all in the 3 + hours I was in the saddle. I drank water with lemon juice during the ride. It has been a transformation I can live with. If you can, find a copy of Stu's book and give it a read. If you can make the transformation you will be a more efficient machine. As an aside, there are some studies that directly relate joint inflammation to highly processed sugars. Good luck with your running plan.

BearW
09-25-2010, 07:23
GEL!

I've use them during endurance events and the way our hired nutritionist explain to use them is one 15 mins before excercise (if you're rolling on an empty stomach) and then one every 30 mins with a few ounces of water.

I arguably passed the death march on selection because of these bad boys, and I've acheived my personal best time on the canadian Battle Fitness Test while i was on these puppies.

I was skeptical at first, as most are but after trying them they DO make a difference. It's really nothing but a bit of simple sugar, carbs and a vital compound called Maltodextrin, and they work because your body processes them almost immediately. In the past i've used the individual gel packs in a hip pocket, to keep them warm (because they're impossible to get out and consume on the move when they're frozen or almost frozen). But i've seen guys experiment with pre mixing it in their water bottle's too. I like keep my bottles and camelbaks clean so i'll stick to the packs.

My fav's personally are Clif Shots (any fruit flavor) and AccelGel

craigepo
09-25-2010, 10:47
Last night, wife and I went out with some friends and ate like pigs. 8-ounce filet, smoked trout, blackberry cobbler(w/ice cream), beer(plural), etc.

Went out for a run this morning, and expected to feel like crap. Got to running, and felt so good, wound up doing a 10-miler. There is definately something to having some calories on board.

BearW, do the gels you take have caffeine?

BearW
09-25-2010, 18:34
Craig,
I don't the ones i've had have caffeine in them. Though, i'm not 100% certain i'm pretty sure they don't. I'm not sure if it would make a difference to me anyways because i drink a lot of coffee, redbull etc.

I think if i was going to do serious endurance events where i'd be on the move for hours at a time and, most likely, dehydrated i think the caffeine would give me headaches.

It would be different if i was using it in moderation for a short say 5k race distance but for hours under a ruck or on the road i'd personally stay away from it. Then again, everyones tolerance is different so maybe give it a shot and if you get headaches then you know its not for you, right?

Theres other metabolizers, aside from caffeine, if your looking to increase your heart rate and core temp for wieght loss purposes that are more effective, don't give you the jitters and headaches. I'm not sure if thats what you were looking for but it's out there-as you probably know..


Lastly, Its a great feeling when you wake up and you've got loads of enegry for those pre-breakfast runs, eh? I know how you feel and it's a great excuse to eat big suppers! :p

Bear

Peacekeeper
11-06-2010, 11:05
I just found this thread, sorry the post is a little late, but I hope my .02 helps.

I've ran in half marathons and the Chicago marathon and always used PowerBar gels. I've tried a couple of other brands, but always come back to the PowerBar gel packs. For me, I like the citrus flavors primarily and switch to other flavors that contain some caffeine during the later part of my distance runs.

I've never had a problem with PowerBar gels, for me they digest fine, but it is a personal preference. My usual rule of thumb is about every 3 miles, I'll use a gel pack with some water.

I also use a fuel belt on distance runs, which gives me a way to carry the gel packs along with 3 bottles of Gatorade and a bottle of water to wash the gels down.

Some guys I work with that do tri-s and Ironman competitions like the Endurox and Accelerade products, but I haven't personally used them.

I use Gatorade Endurance Formula, IMO it's much better than regular Gatorade and I can tell the difference using it on longer runs.

Hope this helps...

Papa Zero Three
11-06-2010, 11:27
+1 for GU gel packs. As has been stated, 1 before, 1 or 2 during your event and then one afterwards. I've used them as well while humping the boonies with my painbag up and down mountains. As always, drink water.

Masochist
11-06-2010, 12:33
I don't know much about energy gels, however be careful about energy drinks overall, some of them are nothing but sugar and caffeine, in massive quantities. I drank one, called Monster Energy Drink and :eek::eek::eek: it was like Popeye and the spinach, basically "crack in a can" as a friend phrased it.

However afterwards you crash.

Stay away from any "energy drinks" like Monster, Red Bull, etc. that function strictly off of caffeine and sugars when working out. I despise Monster because they are mostly sugar. I tried one once -- I wasn't working out, was properly hydrated and STILL felt hung over for the next 24 hours. Tried it a second time to be sure, same result. Never again.

As an avid mountain biker and distance runner, I've tried various gels. As mpb1335 said, it really is trial and error to find what works for you taste- and consistency-wise. I prefer to stay with the low to no-caffeine gels as I'm dehydrated enough as is, and stick with basic flavors like orange. My stomach tends to get a little queasy on hard runs/rides. Depending on how long the workout is, I try to use one packet per 10 miles running, with half taken around 6 miles and the rest finished every mile or so after. Better to start early than wait until you bonk and try to recover. Helps keep the blood sugar steady.

I have found that most pre/during/post workout products by Cytosport tend to be easy on the stomach and are effective in reaching their goals. For gels I've had success with CytoMax Energy Gel (easy to swallow, with or without water, a little caffeine a good ratio of 35mg sodium/65mg potasium/27g carbs). For drinks, I used CytoMax after races for years. Most recently I've taken to AmonoVital's Endurance.

craigepo
11-06-2010, 13:41
Last weekend I ran in the Bass Pro Shops 25K trail run. The run was a beast(the 25k had 6500 feet of climb; times 2 for the 50k). During the run I took along a couple packages of the Jelly Belly energy jelly beans. Every time I got to the top of a hill, I would eat a few, chase them with some water, then speed back up.

The energy jelly beans worked really well, tasted good, and didn't mess with my stomach. At the end of the race, I felt like I had another 5 miles left, which is pretty good for no more than I've been able to run to get ready.

Masochist
11-06-2010, 13:55
That reminded me of an 18 mile march I did this summer. After knocking out the first 12 or so miles at a blistering pace, I was feeling sluggish and a friend offered me the gummi version of those Sport Beans. I have no idea if their nutritional content did me any good, but I know I had a surge of energy after something besides dirt (very dusty trail) and water was in my mouth. The sugary taste immediately brought a smile to my face and got me back up to speed. Amazing how something as simple as sugar can inspire you.

Razor
11-09-2010, 09:47
I tried one once -- I wasn't working out, was properly hydrated and STILL felt hung over for the next 24 hours.

You must be a really cheap date. :p

Masochist
11-09-2010, 10:14
You must be a really cheap date. :p

Some people wouldn't complain about that. :cool:

MtnGoat
11-10-2010, 21:44
This is my take on this.. Not a Medic, but am staying in a Holiday Inn Express :D

I'm looking at it as we are athletes. Hydration is just as important as food intake before and after exercise. Two hours before exercise, athletes should consume 16 ounces of water or a sports drink to help hydrate them ahead of time. Thirty minutes before exercise, athletes should intake another eight ounces to prepare themselves for activity.

During activity, fluids should be available for athletes at all times. Because athletes are sweating out important fluids, they must replenish them by drinking eight ounces every 20 minutes. If players are engaging in short
activity, of 30 seconds or less, they are at a high risk for dehydration because of the intensity of the work.

Long-term activity of 30 minutes or more requires periodic rehydration, such as the eight ounces every 20 minutes just suggested by BearW.

If an activity lasts more than 40 minutes, water is not sufficient to rehydrate the body. The nutrient loss through sweat requires a sports drink to replenish electrolytes.

Many athletes will prefer not to drink during activity or will feel ill directly after intense exercise. All athletes must drink adequate liquids before, during, and after activity to avoid dehydration, which can lead to nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. After activity, athletes should continue to intake fluids.

At this point, fluids can be the normal amount the athlete would consume with a meal and through the rest of the day.

A total of 64 ounces of fluid is a minimum for athletes, though more is suggested. A good test of proper hydration is a urine test. If you don't know this, ask your medic. One rule is total body weight devided by two; equals you intake in ounces. Most athletes that is over a gallon a day. Just drinking, not training. Training you most intake more before, during and after training event.

I like to encourage people to pay attention to their own needs, as all athletes will have slightly different needs. If you feels uncomfortable, light-headed, or otherwise abnormal, you should seek medical help (Attention). Wait us SF never go to sick call. Medic!!!

As fluid intake levels will change based on environmental effects, pay attention to the outside influences affecting fluid needs. Weather, Season, combat, Temp of the day, Elevation training at and will be doing your event at (higher?? Training lower??), terrain.

Meal Replacement Drinks.. during endurance events stay away from them. Weight training, ok. I think eating meat is best. But your take. During endurance events you should not intake Meal Replacement drinks. They pull blood away from your muscle that need the blood there to feed the muscles. Also if your using them before a big endurance event, then mix as you normally do, but top off your shaker bottle with water. Warmer the water the better too. It will be absorbed into your system faster.

Masochist
11-10-2010, 22:04
This is my take on this.. Not a Medic, but am staying in a Holiday Inn Express :D

I'm looking at it as we are athletes. Hydration is just as important as food intake before and after exercise. Two hours before exercise, athletes should consume 16 ounces of water or a sports drink to help hydrate them ahead of time. Thirty minutes before exercise, athletes should intake another eight ounces to prepare themselves for activity.

During activity, fluids should be available for athletes at all times. Because athletes are sweating out important fluids, they must replenish them by drinking eight ounces every 20 minutes. If players are engaging in short
activity, of 30 seconds or less, they are at a high risk for dehydration because of the intensity of the work.

Long-term activity of 30 minutes or more requires periodic rehydration, such as the eight ounces every 20 minutes just suggested by BearW.

If an activity lasts more than 40 minutes, water is not sufficient to rehydrate the body. The nutrient loss through sweat requires a sports drink to replenish electrolytes.

Many athletes will prefer not to drink during activity or will feel ill directly after intense exercise. All athletes must drink adequate liquids before, during, and after activity to avoid dehydration, which can lead to nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. After activity, athletes should continue to intake fluids.

At this point, fluids can be the normal amount the athlete would consume with a meal and through the rest of the day.

A total of 64 ounces of fluid is a minimum for athletes, though more is suggested. A good test of proper hydration is a urine test. If you don't know this, ask your medic. One rule is total body weight devided by two; equals you intake in ounces. Most athletes that is over a gallon a day. Just drinking, not training. Training you most intake more before, during and after training event.

I like to encourage people to pay attention to their own needs, as all athletes will have slightly different needs. If you feels uncomfortable, light-headed, or otherwise abnormal, you should seek medical help (Attention). Wait us SF never go to sick call. Medic!!!

As fluid intake levels will change based on environmental effects, pay attention to the outside influences affecting fluid needs. Weather, Season, combat, Temp of the day, Elevation training at and will be doing your event at (higher?? Training lower??), terrain.

Meal Replacement Drinks.. during endurance events stay away from them. Weight training, ok. I think eating meat is best. But your take. During endurance events you should not intake Meal Replacement drinks. They pull blood away from your muscle that need the blood there to feed the muscles. Also if your using them before a big endurance event, then mix as you normally do, but top off your shaker bottle with water. Warmer the water the better too. It will be absorbed into your system faster.

Very well put. It amazes me how many people neglect proper hydration. So many "issues" people have after training can be negated by replacement of fluids and electrolytes. And STAYING hydrated before, during and after training.

In addition, make sure to up your water intake with most MRDs. Water helps increase digestion of the usually high protein content. And as MtnGoat said, they are best for building muscle, not to sustain you during endurance events as they will further dehydrate you.

Blitzzz (RIP)
11-11-2010, 09:28
As an old timer , my opinion is one doesn't need to develop any artificial dependency on "Energy Product". focus more on increasing you operational endurance with all available nourishment . You will not have access to these products in the real operational environment. While our physical requirements are high, relying on energy substitutes can not be good later in the real world where you wouldn't have them and must rely on you internal strengths.

Just man up gentlemen.
With tough love Blitzzz


PS..Save the money and drink beer and coffee.

craigepo
11-12-2010, 09:18
If my "real operational environment" becomes combat zone-esque, it is a good sign that a "Red Dawn" sort of scenario has occurred, and everybody needs to begin their escape and evasion plans.

Masochist
11-12-2010, 14:13
If my "real operational environment" becomes combat zone-esque, it is a good sign that a "Red Dawn" sort of scenario has occurred, and everybody needs to begin their escape and evasion plans.

Being in court doesn't count as "combat zone-esque" at times?

mpb1335
11-13-2010, 21:52
After re-reading this thread and seeing what everyone else has been posting, I realized I failed to mention another energy source that I've found has worked pretty well, FRS. Its a non-caffeinated energy drink, relying heavily on quercetin, an antioxidant found in fruit. After drinking one of these before a run or workout, I've found that my overall energy levels have remained higher throughout the duration of the activity, as opposed to relying on energy drinks such as Red Bull or Monster. Additionally, FRS makes a chewable version that could be utilized while running, in lieu of having to carry the 12 oz can with you. The chewables work just as well as the drink, although they are rather pricey (grabbing a few from the free sample bowl at GNC is usually cheaper).

Masochist
11-14-2010, 13:39
After re-reading this thread and seeing what everyone else has been posting, I realized I failed to mention another energy source that I've found has worked pretty well, FRS. Its a non-caffeinated energy drink, relying heavily on quercetin, an antioxidant found in fruit. After drinking one of these before a run or workout, I've found that my overall energy levels have remained higher throughout the duration of the activity, as opposed to relying on energy drinks such as Red Bull or Monster. Additionally, FRS makes a chewable version that could be utilized while running, in lieu of having to carry the 12 oz can with you. The chewables work just as well as the drink, although they are rather pricey (grabbing a few from the free sample bowl at GNC is usually cheaper).

A can of FRS has 48mg of caffeine (about the equivalent of half a cup of coffee). *

* SOURCE: http://www.frs.com/frs-frequently-asked-questions

Masochist
11-14-2010, 13:43
That being said, I have tried the RTDs and concentrates and like its high antioxidant and Vitamin B/C content. Plus it's made mostly from fruit juice concentrates. As with anything else, know your caffeine tolerance and hydration levels. The "recommended intake" is 2-3 cans per day, however I've found myself slightly dehydrated drinking three in a day and "buzzed" after drinking two within a few hours of each other. Possibly more caffeine than listed, or possibly due to me having a low caffeine tolerance. FRS is just about the only source of caffeine I ingest. I haven't had a soda in more than two years, don't drink coffee and rarely have tea or an "energy drink" like Red Bull (maybe half a dozen times/year). I mainly stick with milk, water and fruit juices ... and the occasional beer, of course. ;)

MtnGoat
11-14-2010, 21:58
One thing I like to drinka nd this started out way before anything hitting the media.. is coconut jucie.

I like Vita Coco (http://vitacoco.com/)Juice

Why do I like Coconut juice. Well I picked it up in Jamaica back in 1994. Coconut juices are very high in potassium, and it also has some other useful nutrients like magnesium. Some people have used coconut juice as an energy drink, to promote hydration and replacement of electrolytes. Coconut water has also been used as an intravenous fluid, especially in military conflicts, (history buffs.. look it up) where medical supplies can sometimes be difficult to obtain, particularly in remote areas. Its great for hung overs too. :lifter

Just don't drink to much in one sitting, or you will be doing some sitting.. On the toilet.

Masochist
11-15-2010, 12:03
One thing I like to drinka nd this started out way before anything hitting the media.. is coconut jucie.

I like Vita Coco (http://vitacoco.com/)Juice

Why do I like Coconut juice. Well I picked it up in Jamaica back in 1994. Coconut juices are very high in potassium, and it also has some other useful nutrients like magnesium. Some people have used coconut juice as an energy drink, to promote hydration and replacement of electrolytes. Coconut water has also been used as an intravenous fluid, especially in military conflicts, (history buffs.. look it up) where medical supplies can sometimes be difficult to obtain, particularly in remote areas. Its great for hung overs too. :lifter

Just don't drink to much in one sitting, or you will be doing some sitting.. On the toilet.

I love coconuts and coconut juice, and try to get fresh ones whenever I can. I drink the milk and use the meat for fruit smoothies. I have no idea what is added to the VitaCoco, but it's way too sweet for my liking, to the point it almost causes me to vomit. And it's not the natural sugary sweet, but it tastes like it has added artificial sweeteners.

Sarski
07-11-2012, 23:27
Decided to post into this thread because it delves into hydration.

I appreciate posts #15, #17, and #23. Very spot on, and coconut water is great, as per the reasons mentioned with electrolytes.

I personally do not take energy drinks, or drink gatorade or sportsdrinks, mainly because of the sugar content.

I also do not drink enough water, well, because of the taste. Dining out, I love having a glass of ice water brought to me, and probably since I have just finished working out, the waiter or waitress usually has to bring me about 5 before I am back to normal...sometimes they just bring me two glasses at a time. At home, however, I just don't drink enough water.

And I'll keep some water on hand in my truck while I am working, but I may or may not drink it, even though I should be drinking it.

For the most part I have been drinking milk (a lot) and juice- both high in sugars.

Here is how I have upped my water intake, and basically it is just flavored water. I have a 15 ounce empty juice bottle, and a 20 ounce empty water bottle. In the 20 ounce bottle, I will put orange juice, or hawaiian punch, or store bought lemmon aid..., also all high in sugar.

I will pour about 3-5 ounces of this into the 15 ounce bottle, and then fill it with water from a gallon jug (or the tap if at home) which I also have in the truck. Thus I dilute it significantly and I can also measure how much I am drinking. I will usually drink 3-4 of these (the diluted 15 ounce bottles) on the road and working outdoors, and another 3-4 in the evening, plus whatever milk and juice I might drink during breakfast or dinner.

So the 20 ounce "concentrate" yeilds me about 4 or 5 of the 15 ounce bottles that I mix with water.

This way I am hitting my body weight divided by two goal, plus a little extra. And I am drinking more fluids throughout the day, adding mostly water.

I've heard before that we humans are in a constant state of dehydration. I'm not sure if there is any truth to that, but it makes sense.

I think it important, though I am not an MD, Medic, or Navy HN (corpSe man), to begin hydrating a day ahead for the day to come, especially when working out, training, or competing in events. I think this especially holds true in the hotter months of summer, and for those who might work or spend much of their time outside in the elements.

greenberetTFS
07-12-2012, 00:34
When I was working the graveyard(10-6-am)as a security guard at the front gate,I took the Markers Mark brand..........A little red/black bottle that was a 5 hour energy drink(berry favorited)that was half the price of the original brand....($25 for 24 bottles)and they worked on me very well.......... Really only needed one bottle since the first 3-4 hours on my shift was very busy but it did taper off quite a bit after that...:cool:

Big Teddy :munchin

Cake_14N
07-12-2012, 08:17
I have used this device in the past (LINK (http://www.rei.com/product/834353/zerogoo-fuel-injector)) and it works very well.

Just a couple of cuts in the hose from your camelback and you can insert the Goo injecter ( Wow, opening it up for some rude comments here..:munchin ) You can control the concentration of additive as well. I used the goo they sent with the device as well as some regular gel I bought at a cycling shop. Both worked well. But, in my opinion, just drinking more water probably helped me more than the goo or gel.

Camelback makes enough quick connectors so that you can rig you hydration bladder to either use this device or not.

Cake

booker
07-12-2012, 08:40
I have taken to solely running trails when running. LOTS of hills on my various routes.

I must be getting old, but when I get near the ten-mile mark, I am dragging. I am wearing a water bottle, which helps, but not enough.

I am curious if anybody has any experience using these energy gel things. Specifically:
(a) which brands/flavors don't make you vomit when running;
(b) which brands actually work by keeping energy levels up;
(c) should caffeine be avoided in the energy goo(several of the brands add caffeine);
(d) what is good timing for taking the stuff;
(e) would I be better off filling my water bottle with Gatorade-type drink.

Check out Hammer Nutrition (http://www.hammernutrition.com) (out of Whitefish, MT), they have a lot of good educational material on their site that will answer a lot of your questions. They also have some very knowledgeable people manning the phones - I've gotten some really good answers from them that way as well.

I would stay away from Gatorade, it will create an acidic environment that you are trying to avoid, especially in endurance events. I typically don't do gels unless it is a multi-hour run (even then I will eat real food as Mtn Goat alluded to above), but I do take Hammer's Endurolytes, which are extremely helpful. You can do capsules, mix a powder, or do a fizz type of thing. The electrolytes may be the first thing to try, it will make a big difference if you are usually using just plain water.

A good resource for endurance fueling is Tim Noakes' book Lore of Running. I personally stay away from gels, because most of the runs I do are at an aerobic pace that doesn't require additional carbohydrates - if you run at the correct pace you will preferentially burn fat stores. Phil Maffetone has some good stuff on his website that will explain this far better than I.