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Power Gels during racing(5 posts)

Power Gels during racingMichelle
Apr 30, 2001 9:42 AM
Just curious if anyone has ever experienced negative effects in performance when using GU's or power gels during racing. In the past few races, everytime I've taken a GU it seems shortly thereafter my performance plummets and seem to hurt worse than before taking it (i.e. leg sieze, extreme fatigue, etc). Wondering if the sugar is having some negative effect or maybe it's not a good idea to be washing it down with Cytomax (?)

The other possibility is I'm missing the window of when I should be taking one, therefore am open to some feedback on when is usually the best time (ex. 10 miles into a race,etc).

Thanks for the words of wisdom!
Michelle
Here's what I've heard/readLazy
Apr 30, 2001 10:14 AM
1) If an event is shorter than 2 hours, you shouldn't need anything other than some water and maybe a sports drink (assuming fully stocked glycogen stores).

2) If an event is longer than 2 hours, eat something right near the beginning since it will take a while for the GU/food to take effect.

My amateur guess as to what's happening to you is that after you eat your GU, your body is re-allocating resources to the digestive system. This is reducing the amount of blood that can be used for pedaling.
you've heard/read wrongWilly D.
Apr 30, 2001 2:08 PM
The advantage to gels is they don't have to digest like food... they take effect within 2 minutes and generally last about 45 minutes. A good idea is to take on the start line and take another every 35-45 minutes during competition. If the race is long take some solid food for the first couple hours, then switch to gel when the action heats up and you can't chew solid food anyway. Always wash down with about 1/2 bottle.
you've heard/read wrongLazy
Apr 30, 2001 2:26 PM
I believe it. I suppose in retrospect that info was concerning food, not gels. Thanks for clarifying.
HoweverKerry Irons
Apr 30, 2001 6:18 PM
While gels are easy to digest, any carbohydrate in the stomach will require water to dilute it as it enters the digestive tract. If a rider is somewhat dehydrated, a slug of sugar to the stomach will pull in more water and aggravate the dehydration. This could explain the cramps and flat feeling.