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  1. #1
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    Wholesome alternatives to goos, gels

    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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    I recently got hooked on the Honey Stinger lemon waffles.

  3. #3
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    I make my own granola bars. Not that hard and you can control what you put in them. If you're touring and not racing, you don't need the convenience of gels.
    Tour De France Granola Bars

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    Thanks! Those sound good- have to give them a try.

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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.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

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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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    That's three.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    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).

  10. #10
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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) .

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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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    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)
    * posted by Creakybot 2013 all rights reserved.
    * not actually waterproof.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonaway427 View Post
    - 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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    +1 for fig newtons and Allen Lim 's rice cakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spade2you View Post
    I recently got hooked on the Honey Stinger lemon waffles.
    I love them but with LA's affiliation with the company I gave them up. I just could not look at his image on the wrapper anymore.....but they are soooooooo good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    Thanks, I'll check those out. You're right, I'm riding a moderate pace (100 miles in 6 hours yesterday for example) .
    sounds to be solidly in "ham and cheese sandwiches" territory.
    Blows your hair back.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carverbiker View Post
    I love them but with LA's affiliation with the company I gave them up. I just could not look at his image on the wrapper anymore.....but they are soooooooo good.
    More for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spade2you View Post
    More for me.
    LOL
    A local coffee shop has something similar, slightly thinner with a layer of caramel in between. I switched to those last fall.

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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.
    miles to posts ratio is > 30:1

  20. #20
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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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  21. #21
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    gels get expensive fast - around $1/100 calories. For long rides that aren't too high intensity I stick with powerbars - cheap, easy to find, taste OK. Plus, if you crack a frame you can wrap a powerbar around it for quick fix...

  22. #22
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    Re: Wholesome alternatives to goos, gels

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    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?
    Hammer gels are all natural and contain real ingredients. Still a gel, but good.

    Also, Chocolate #9 contains only 2 ingredients - cocoa and agave. They're a little thick, but as natural and simple as they come.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

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    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  23. #23
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    The Feedzone Cookbook has some great recipes for "portables".

    And there is a new cookbook for portables that will be released any day.

    I really like the bread cakes.

    Of course there's still PB&J sandwiches!!!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by den bakker View Post
    sounds to be solidly in "ham and cheese sandwiches" territory.
    Sorry, all that fat would jack up my stomach.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    Sorry, all that fat would jack up my stomach.
    well enjoy those almond butter balls then
    Blows your hair back.

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