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To Gu or not to Gu?(16 posts)

To Gu or not to Gu?MikeM2003
Aug 31, 2003 9:53 PM
What are some opinions on carb rich supplements like Gu gel, "power" drinks, or the various bars on the market? Is it worth throwing a few Gu packets in a jersey pocket and sucking one down every 40 minutes or so?
re: To Gu or not to Gu?moschika
Aug 31, 2003 10:45 PM
I like Gu the best and power gels are good too. Hammer gels are yuck. they've 'saved' me on many occasions when i've bonked, and have gotten me home.

i don't know about eating one every 40 minutes but that's just me.

the other supplements i don't know anything about.
I agree, but only to a pointRay Sachs
Sep 1, 2003 2:03 AM
Gels are a great way of staying ahead of the bonk if you don't have the time or opportunity (or stomach) to really eat during a ride, particularly a long one. On centuries, I make sure to bring along enough to have a serving every 15 miles or so. I've done full centuries on little other than a gel every 15 miles and been ok.

I don't find much difference between the various brands though. I've used gu, cliff shots, power gel, hammer gel, probably tried a couple others as well. I find they all do about the same thing. I tend to buy hammer gel (because it's cheap and carrying five servings in a flask is pretty well the only way to use it) and gu for shorter rides where I only want to carry one for emergencies.

Ditto.KG 361
Sep 1, 2003 6:07 AM
I agree with Ray on the hammer gel for the reasons that he mentioned. However, on longer rides, I prefer something solid like a Clif bar or a Zone or Balance bar. Solids tend to satisfy me better. As far as hammer gel is concerned, I like the expresso (with caffiene) or chocolate flavors, as well as the apple cinnemon and raspberry.
A Gu fan speaks4bykn
Sep 1, 2003 3:32 AM
I've gotten to really like Gu. I'm not very good at keeping my bottles clean and have thrown many away after finding some impressive cultures growing after using "energy drinks"(gatorade etc.) Now I use only water in my bottles and carry Gu on rides over 25 miles. If possible I stop at a convenience store for food, but that's not always an option, so a few packs of Gu in the jersey can save the day. I've tried the PowerGel and preferred Gu. I also make sure to get a flavor (vanilla bean is my favorite) that contains a bit of caffeine.
Yes, you should.cydswipe
Sep 1, 2003 4:54 AM
Gu, or any other supplement will become valuable when you are desparate for fuel. I keep a couple of Power Gels and Power bars in my bike bag just in case. They have a good shelf life. The ammount you intake over time depends on your metabolism and energy output. Besides the fact that you may like a brand over another because of flavor. I've used a lot of different options with my diabetes. They all work. The only negative I've ever had was with my particular metabolism the Powerbars tend to have a wee bit too much fiber, not good on a long Iowa summer ride, if you get my drift. :)
saved my buttocks yesterday...Farmer John
Sep 1, 2003 6:09 AM
Got up for a planned morning ride with a friend before we cleaned up and headed over to Canada to watch yet another bud compete in a crit.

I figured; 2 hour ride, let's have a couple of mugs of coffee and a couple of bananas.

She figured; I want to spend 3-4 hours on the bike.

she won (hey, I"m weak).

But I'll tell you, that one gel I had in my jersey tasted so good at the 40 mile mark, especially when I knew I had another 35-40 to go. I could have used 1 or 2 more, but the one I had was enough for the intensity we were riding at.

Gels are clean, easy to carry and require a lot less effort to ingest while riding.
GU does the jobDaveG
Sep 1, 2003 7:13 AM
Gu is very effective at bringing you back from the dead at the end of a tough ride. I only use Gu (the caffienated version) on long rides when I really need a lift. I think its unnecessary (and expensive) to use it as your main food source. Keep one or two in your jersey just in case
re: To Gu or not to Gu?R600DuraAce
Sep 1, 2003 7:36 AM
I found my GU substitute. Pure honey. :-) Cheaper. Easily availiable. I even use it in a race. True, it does not give you the "kick." However, it is a good source of carbo. I use Extran carbo drink in a longer ride (50 miles +). Diluted Gatorade in one bottle and full strenght Extran in the other. Filled up the GU flask with pure honey and two cookies with peanut butter + jelly I can last 100 miles.
Showing the MTbiker in me nowTNRyder
Sep 1, 2003 8:28 AM
When I am going for a really long ride I like to use the powergels (Tropical fruit or Vinella). I like them as the packets are easier to tape to my top tube than the GU packets. This keeps them within easy reach whenever I need one with no need to stop and rummage thru my bag or perform some weird twisting on the bike to get into a jersey pocket.

Before averyone freaks on me, I only use white cloth tape (medical) to do this. Any residue from the tape will wash away pretty easily. And yes, this is something that you will see MTbikers do for races. I can't escape my roots!
TNRyder, ever seen one of these?cydswipe
Sep 1, 2003 8:59 AM I found these to be interesting. I do the same thing you do with the tape. I am on the fence as to which is more cost effective, rolls of tape or the "bento box".
Ride On!
No, but it looks neat and tidy!TNRyder
Sep 1, 2003 10:59 AM
I wonder how it would work while bouncing through babies heads?
A Poem About GUReed Weedakowski
Sep 1, 2003 8:56 AM
This was originaly posted at

"Cool Poem about Tandem Mountain Biking"
Professor Bob sent this to me today and I thought I'd share it here.
He calls it..... The Story of Frank'enGU........

Today at Allamuchy

The racing has begun

Three hundred mountain bikers

Are waiting for the gun.

At noon their wish is answered

They fly right up the hill,

And down the rocky hillsides

Hoping not to spill.

Among these hardy bikers

Are two of tandem's best,

Reed and his buddy Frank

With GU taped to their chests.

They pedal fast and furious

Maneuvering the course.

Their energy is waning,

Attacking hills with force

But even hardy bikers

Will soon begin to wane.

Out will come the GU packs

To give them strength again.

Now Reed knows the way GU works

But Frank just has no clue,

He's pedaled now for hours

And he's hungry for that GU.

Frank eats one pack in one big gulp

His hunger wanting more.

He eats another, liking it

Then three, then finally four.

Caffeine works through his system,

It stimulates his brain.

His mouth just keeps on moving,

It's energized again.

By now they both have sapped their drinks

Their bladders full of this.

So Reed says "Hold up, my friend"

I really need to whiz".

He jumps down off his metal steed

And runs behind a tree.

The woods can hear his welcome sigh

As he begins to pee.

To his surprise, hose still in hand

He hears familiar sounds..

A tandem riding off alone

It's wheels go round and round.

He looks way up the distant trail

to see what it could be,

Hears Frank yell back as off he goes,

"You take too long to pee".

Reed screams, "Get back you fool"

But GU has done it's thing.

It's fried Frank's brain to make him think

That he's the biking king.

The trees still echo Frank's reply,

"I'm sorry my good man.

I can't sit still, I've gotta go

Just catch me when you can"

Reed runs up after him,

his weiner still in hand,

Unfinished business trailing him,

A wet trail in the sand.

Another rider passes him

As he puffs along the side,

Says "Where's your bike? Are you OK?

What happened to your ride?"

Reed keeps on running,

The rider passing by.

"Just kill him when you see him",

Was Reed's reply.

The trees zoom by as Reed runs,

The curses flying fast.

Then up ahead, below a hill

He sees Frank there at last.

"You simpleton, what's wrong with you

You can't do this alone"

But Frank just said "Jump on my friend,

Let's get this baby home."

Once again together,

they powered up the hill

And Reed wished he'd brought along

A tranquilizer pill..

...To shut up Frank, to quiet him

The GU still working fast.

Or maybe just a roll of tape

To quiet him at last.

They made it back into their camp

But Frank could not sit still.

He jumped and spoke incessantly

The GU controlled his will.

Evening comes upon the course

And Frank can not be found.

Word says that he was seen a lot

Just wandering round and round.

Begging kids for their GU packs

And taking what he could.

They heard him mutter as he went

"Damn, that GU is good!!"
Yeah, they're almost as good as food.Kerry Irons
Sep 1, 2003 5:24 PM
You can get all the performance of a gel from things like fig bars, dates, etc. It's just that the real food contains some nutrition along with the carbs, and it's a lot cheaper. To those who say they can't eat on the bike, I ask just what magic trick the pros have discovered, as they ALL eat solid food during long races. Is this a genetic selection factor in order to be a top level racer? "Must be able to eat solid food and ride the bike."
Yeah, they're almost as good as food.Woof the dog
Sep 1, 2003 9:42 PM
It is clear that their whole perception that Gu works wonders is based on long easy rides. GU doesn't do sh!t if you go hard AND long. It just burns like a match. Poof...gone... useless. Why would you want to have spikes in your sugar levels. It is hard to time when the GU starts working into your system and you end up either bouncing off the wall or hungry as sh!t. Bars provide sustained energy and they have more calories as well.

Woof the dog.

P.S. If you were to take a refill pack of Gu that contains 5 times the normal Gu packet, maybe that will make it work longer.
re: To Gu or not to Gu?dotkaye
Sep 2, 2003 9:38 AM
Gu's are most helpful in situations where you're going too hard to digest real food: marathons, the shorter triathlons, etc. (the original Gu was called Leppin Squeezy, developed for the Comrades Marathon, a 50-55 mile running race). Also they are convenient to carry, so I usually have one or two as insurance on longer rides. But I don't rely on them. I'd rather eat real food which has actual nutritional value, as Kerry says ..