Anyone use energy gel or drinks?

What do you prefer? Do you actually notice a difference?

Like gatorade or the serious stuff? I like Gatorade but I don’t do centuries.

I like gatorade too…

But I was thinking more like the Cytomax powder, GU Energy Gel, etc…

I have used a ton of that stuff…
What do you want to know?
What are you trying to accomplish with it? ie: Calories? Electrolytes? Both?

Id put a tiny bit of gatorade in my water for long rides.

What do you want to know? [/quote]

Does it give a noticeable energy boost? Which brands/type do you prefer?


HEED is awesome- I am somewhat doubtful of it’s real electrolyte replacing ability, it tastes just a little bit too sweet to me for that. But in general if you drink it with gels or something it is pretty good.

Hammer also makes the best gels, or at least my favorite. they are way less sweet than the competing options from gu and powerbar and even cliff- totally awesome. they taste like real food almost, which is great when you are like 20 miles into a ride and the last thing you want to do is eat something sickly sweet.

for non hammer stuff, a lot of people use cytomax, which is sort of an old standard. but I would prefer the flavor of HEED or something like hammer’s Perpetuem to that any day.

Re reading that it sounds like I am a huge hammer supporter. Really They are pretty good, and offer a great range of products for before/during/after style nourishment, but there could very well be something better out there.


Standard thought is that if you are riding longer than 90-120 minutes you should consume 250+ calories and 24+ oz’s of water, per hour, every hour. Drink mixes, Gels, Blocks, Bars, and “real food” can all get you to this calorie amount.

I think it is misleading marketing to refer to them as “Energy Gels” because most of them are basically just calories. You could accomplish the same thing with any number of foods. Gels and drinks happen to be convenient.

If you are doing long rides without a steady stream of calories, and you start using gels or a quality drink mix, you probably will feel a “boost” but unless it contains caffeine its not an “energy boost” like a some kind of narcotic, its just how it feels to not run out of fuel…

I think Hammer products rock! I mostly use their Gel. The Heed that Bold posted is great, but I got grossed out by either the stevia or the xybitol and cant drink it anymore. I like Hammer gel because it comes in big jugs that you can put in a flask or add to your bottle with water. You can put 1hr of calories in each of your first 2 water bottles, then fill two flasks and you have enough calories for 6 hours. Its pretty convenient.

FYI: Hammer and GU use Maltodextrin as their source of carbohydrates= very low suger/more complex carb.
Cliff uses brown rice syrup 30/70 simple to complex
Gatorade uses high fructose corn syrup

bean burritos and coke

The closest I come to those travesties, those abhorrent, inimicous, falsifiers of nature’s own true goodness is VitaminWater or the Snapple version of that product.

Generally I like to get my energy from food, not goo or anything else that emulates the consistency and texture of slime-molds or sperm samples. That said, I once drank almost a gallon of gatorade while removing about 2,000 sq.ft. of landscaping rock from my friend’s yard in the middle of July.

Plus I hate the fact that about 1/3 of the litter on one of my rides seems to be those stupid little goo packets. Go Lance!


Those gels are way overpriced for what they are. I use honey and it works great, adding maltodextrin is also good. I like it to a point but after awhile I need solid food on a ride so I eat either PBJ, bananna or Clif Bar. This is on stuff 2 hours or longer…

I’m basically the same, I carry things if I’m riding more than about 35 miles. When I did a century I ate some gels on it because they were available, but really I think the greatest effect I got from food on that trip was bananas and fruit leather. PB&J is also really really good, and cliff bars are just a shit ton of calories as well.
Ultimately I think I prefer real foods to the processed stuff, they make my poops not suck.

Oh, I almost forgot… dates. Gonna start eating those on long rides. Trader Joes got the hookup on a nice sized box of them for $2.50. They pack a lot of calories/carbs/sugar into a tiny package. And they make me feel really good on the bike!

Clif Bars rule everything around me.

Yup, these things keep you riding just about as long as you care to. I can’t seem to enjoy using stuff like gels tho, and solid foods don’t agree with me.

You can make some Montreal University juice, half milk half orange juice concentrate in a bottle and add some salt. With 1% milk, each portion (250 ml) gives 49,3g carbs, 8,6g of proteins, 2,2g of lipids. So, a bottle full keeps you going quite a while.

Otherwise, convenience stores and service stations are everywhere, they have chocolate milk. A 500ml 1% container is 15g proteins, 50g carbs, 4.4g lipids. Great as a recovery drink too.

Yes. Dates are fucking great. On ultra distance rides i have done well just filling a jersey pocket with them and having one every 20 minutes or so. Halva is another mid eastern/ mediterranean snack that’s good for ultracycling. The mixture of sesame seed mush and honey is very effective.