Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
I know this isn't very PC

but sometimes people like that are just picky eaters as children and food becomes a crusade. I'm a huge Clif supporter but, give me a break, you'll be fine with Gu.:rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,298 Posts
Ask her which specific ingredients she doesn't like, and what scientific evidence exists for why you shouldn't be consuming them in reasonable amounts.

Also, explain to her that if you find a source of calories that works for you, and doesn't cause stomach upset, it would take a very persuasive argument for you to stop using it.
 

·
Intermediate wannabe
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In all fairness to my friend this is exactly what she said:

First of all, I think they should change its name! Who wants to put something in their body called Gu...yuck! That being said, my area of expertise is food, specifically whole foods, which this product is definitely not. It is marketed as a product for serious athletes/professionals for increased endurance and it combines carbs, amino acids, OKG and caffeine. The website offers references from journals as to why you would need these elements...before I put any such product in my body, I would look at some of these references and see if it makes sense.
>
> I looked at the comparison data on several different brands of gel. I'm not thrilled with the type of carbs used in Gu, namely, maltodextrin and fructose, assuming they are derived from corn and are simple carbs. I prefer the brown rice syrup used in the Clif gel product...it's a complex carb, less processed and takes longer to be used by the body. I'm also not real comfortable with the caffeine component...seems counterintuitive as an ingredient to consume when exercising.
>
> Do you have any friends who use Gu? What do they say?
 

·
Ibexbiker
Joined
·
181 Posts
That fat lady on "The View" once said that the world was flat. I chose not to believe her because science says something to the contrary. Like flargle says: what evidence is there to her statement? Nutrition is a science so there should be some evidence to support her statement.
 

·
Dirty South Underdog
Joined
·
1,733 Posts
lowendrick said:
...I'm also not real comfortable with the caffeine component...seems counterintuitive as an ingredient to consume when exercising...
This statement leads me to be less inclined to believe anything she said to me.

Other than just being incredibly overpriced sugar that can contribute to tooth decay, there's really nothing wrong with Gu (or any other gel) if it works with your stomach & keeps you going.
 

·
Intermediate wannabe
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For me its not a "Gu or no Gu" question. I wondering if Clif gel provides an advantage over Gu given that it has more complex carbs (as opposed to simple carbs) and will potentially last longer than Gu.

btw: I don' t watch the View ;), what self respecting mountain biker would? :D
 

·
Ibexbiker
Joined
·
181 Posts
Andrea138 said:
Other than just being incredibly overpriced sugar that can contribute to tooth decay, there's really nothing wrong with Gu (or any other gel) if it works with your stomach & keeps you going.
Article and quote from said article on the benefits of caffeine to endurance athletes. This was one of the first articles I found when entering "caffeine and aerobic exercise". Google it yourself and you will find hundreds of hits from reliable sources. Your friend seems to be speaking more about personal preference than with any actual proof. She also doesn't seem to understand nutrition and effects on performance. Is has been shown in many studies that caffeine can benefit certain types of athletes, especially endurance athletes.

http://us.home.lifefitness.com/content.cfm/theeffectsofcaffeineonexerciseperformance
" Research provided by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has shown that ingestion of 3-9 mg of caffeine per kilogram (kg) of body weight one hour prior to exercise increased endurance running and cycling performance of well-trained, recreational athletes in the laboratory. This correlates to approximately 2-6 regular size cups of coffee.

Improvements have been shown in athletes that perform short-term intense (near maximal) exercise lasting approximately five minutes. The reason may be a direct effect of caffeine on muscle contraction during anaerobic exercise.

The common explanation to why endurance is improved with caffeine is that muscle glycogen is spared. Glycogen is the stored energy in the muscle tissue that is broken down during exercise. Studies suggest that glycogen sparing may occur as a result of caffeine's ability to increase fat availability for skeletal muscle use. It is important to note, however that studies cannot fully explain the ergogenic effect of caffeine."
 

·
Intermediate wannabe
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ibexbiker said:
Article and quote from said article on the benefits of caffeine to endurance athletes. This was one of the first articles I found when entering "caffeine and aerobic exercise". Google it yourself and you will find hundreds of hits from reliable sources. Your friend seems to be speaking more about personal preference than with any actual proof. She also doesn't seem to understand nutrition and effects on performance. Is has been shown in many studies that caffeine can benefit certain types of athletes, especially endurance athletes.

http://us.home.lifefitness.com/content.cfm/theeffectsofcaffeineonexerciseperformance
" Research provided by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has shown that ingestion of 3-9 mg of caffeine per kilogram (kg) of body weight one hour prior to exercise increased endurance running and cycling performance of well-trained, recreational athletes in the laboratory. This correlates to approximately 2-6 regular size cups of coffee.

Improvements have been shown in athletes that perform short-term intense (near maximal) exercise lasting approximately five minutes. The reason may be a direct effect of caffeine on muscle contraction during anaerobic exercise.

The common explanation to why endurance is improved with caffeine is that muscle glycogen is spared. Glycogen is the stored energy in the muscle tissue that is broken down during exercise. Studies suggest that glycogen sparing may occur as a result of caffeine's ability to increase fat availability for skeletal muscle use. It is important to note, however that studies cannot fully explain the ergogenic effect of caffeine."
I am with you on the caffeine issue. I think my friend is wrong here. And no, she does not have experience with performance athletes. She is just speaking from a more general knowledge base. Clif gels have 2 varieties with caffeine so they get it too.

So again, does Clif offer advantages because it contains more complex carbs whereas Gu contains more simple carbs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
"clean" foods like the cliff stuff doesn't provide better energy sources, they might have more nutrients in them, but they are also processed as well. On a molecular level your body doesn't care where the nutrition came from and can't tell a difference.

There's nothing wrong with simple sugars during a workout (as long as it's not just glucose, or fructose as that can cause stomach cramps)
 

·
Intermediate wannabe
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bioteknik said:
"clean" foods like the cliff stuff doesn't provide better energy sources, they might have more nutrients in them, but they are also processed as well. On a molecular level your body doesn't care where the nutrition came from and can't tell a difference.

There's nothing wrong with simple sugars during a workout (as long as it's not just glucose, or fructose as that can cause stomach cramps)
Gu contains fructose
 

·
Brant-C.
Joined
·
1,072 Posts
i use hammer gel, powerbar gel, gu gel, and whatever gel they are giving away at events...the keep me from bonking...

choose what works for you.

it's a matter of preference.

just my $.02
 

·
Giant Anthem
Joined
·
716 Posts
heed

The science behind GU is that it uses longer chain (maltodextrin) as well as a simpler form of sugar. Supposedly it packs a good short term and long term energy flow. I use hammers heed (maltodextrin corn based) and homemade cliff bars during a race for fueling. I've found my stomach will take any kind of energy without any problems. I've used accelerade, GU2o, heed, gatorade, gu gel, hammer gel, cookies etc etc. I notice that gu packets don't do much for me and that the gnawing on a 300 calorie size homemade cliff bar with added whey protein keeps me fueled up nice for a two XC race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
I must agree with the fact that your gel supplement is a matter of preference.

I highly doubt that one gel being better than another gel is going to be the reason why anybody wins or does better at a race.

Cliff; however, does sponcor the NorCal League so I am partial... but to each and everyone their own!
 

·
Ibexbiker
Joined
·
181 Posts
I agree with many of the other posters that gels and food consumed on the bike are a matter of preference and what works for one may not for another. I believe each company has research to back up their claims of superior performance from use of their products etc. Does anyone know if these types of supplements are controlled by the FDA?

Gu uses fructose but only in smaller quantities. Their main source of carb is maltodextrin which is a form of complex carb that is high on the glycemic index, which means it is absorbed quickly. The three best forms of carbs when exercising are glucose, sucrose and maltodextrin according to the book "The Performance Zone." Below is a blurb from Gu's website that your friend may find useful since she was on the complex carb kick.

Maltodextrin & Glucose: GU’s Carbohydrate Formula for Success

GU provides athletes with a shot of 100 calories in the form of 70-80% maltodextrin and 30-20% fructose (The ratio depends upon the flavor.). Why maltodextrin? It’s a complex carbohydrate, and studies have shown that some complex carbs are actually digested faster than simple sugars like table sugar and honey. This matters because the quicker your body can tap these carbs, the less blood needs to be diverted away from your muscles to the stomach to digest them. This benefit also comes into play during recovery, as a packet of GU eaten just after exercise goes straight to work replenishing your muscle glycogen stores—the energy source first tapped by the body during intense physical exertion. Fructose is the principle sugar in fruit, and we use it because your stomach processes it faster than the maltodextrin, yet it doesn’t produce a sugar high like you experience with simple sugars. We don’t use more fructose because too much of it can upset your stomach and draw precious blood away from your muscles. Fructose also enhances the flavors—it’s what makes you crave GU. But we don’t make it too sweet. That’s because studies have shown that our mouths become highly sensitive to sweet tastes after extensive exercise. As a result, what tasted sweet at the beginning of exercise will, two-plus hours later, taste overly sweet and become unpalatable. GU, on the other hand, will taste perfect, which means you’ll continue to eat and keep your body fueled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
Here's a cross-post from the homemade gel thread I made about maltodextrin as its use in gel, it's a little weird out of context but I'm too lazy to re-write it. To summarize, it's a follow-up post about if maltodextrin would create to much of a blood sugar spike when consumed as a gel vs in a drink:

Glyceimic Index (GI) is based on how fast a food makes the blood sugar rise. Glucose is used as a baseline at a 100. Different sources show slightly different numbers but here's a chart that shows a basic representation on how different sugars rate:

Glucose 100
Fructose 22
Lactose 46
Sucrose (white sugar) 64
Brown sugar 64
Barley malt syrup 42
Brown rice syrup 25
Raw honey 30
Agave syrup 15
High fructose corn syrup 62
Stevia less than 1
Sugar cane juice 43
Evaporated cane juice 55
Maple syrup 54
Black strap molasses 55
Maltodextrin 105

While the insulin spike is apparently blunted during exercise, you can see that maltodextrin will increase the blood glucose levels very fast. Maltodextrin is technically a complex carb, as it's a chain of glucose molecules, but it increases blood sugar faster than glucose itself. Once it's blood glucose, it doesn't matter where it came from. It's even higher on the GI scale than HF corn syrup (which by the way is only 50% fructose, and the rest glucose). I'm not saying that this is a always a bad thing. It's fast absorption rate is perfect for a sports drink that is sipped over a period of time. The fast absorption rate probably also helps pull the H2O across the stomach lining as well to help hydration. I think it's biggest benefit is that it's not very sweet, so you can load up on the carbs in a drink without making it overly sweet (which is why Hammer sweetens their drinks with stevia and xylitol). Another advantage is that it is cheap, dirt cheap.
But, yes, maltodextrin as a slow burning carb source is a myth.
On longer rides and races, you probably want something more slow buring on board, probably why Hammer uses protein in Perpeteum to help lower the GI of the drink, and provide an alternate source of fuel. But, it doesn't have any low GI carbs in it.

On another end of it, Cliff products, including cliff shot gel is made with brown rice syrup, which seems to be one of the few.

Additionally:
Fructose isn't so bad in smaller quantities. It's processed from the liver into blood glucose, so it has a lower GI. It's only when consumed in larger quantities that the liver dumps the extra fructose back into the bloodstream converted as triglycerides, which is what happens from soda w/ high fructose corn syrup.
Brown rice syrup provides carbs in various forms from very simple to complex, so I think cliff shot may have the advantage for store bought stuff.

I'm still working on my own recipe for gel and drinks, because I think I'm closer to some formulations that are a better product than what's available. And besides, it gives me a chance to put my kinesiology degree to use, because I don't at my current occupation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
the one reason i prefer GU's over a cliffbar etc, is the moment the GU hits my mouth its absorbed and used instantly for your immediate energy needs. The worst is when iam pumping out crazy watts with labored breathing and all i have is a powerbar. I can watch my heart rate increase just from trying to chew that thing, it screws with my breathing. The GU is like a line of coke(not promoting drugs), for athletes. Suck it down and feel like a new rider. I crave those little jelly packs, its a mental boost when you eat it.
 

·
Intermediate wannabe
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks Whambat...very useful. I like data.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
d-town-3- said:
the one reason i prefer GU's over a cliffbar etc, is the moment the GU hits my mouth its absorbed and used instantly for your immediate energy needs. The worst is when iam pumping out crazy watts with labored breathing and all i have is a powerbar. I can watch my heart rate increase just from trying to chew that thing, it screws with my breathing. The GU is like a line of coke(not promoting drugs), for athletes. Suck it down and feel like a new rider. I crave those little jelly packs, its a mental boost when you eat it.
I don't like solid food during hard workouts or racing either. Brown rice syrup is typically listed as 50% soluble complex carbohydrates, 45% maltose, and 3% glucose. While I am still trying to find out exactly what those complex carbs are, as it's not listed anywhere, the maltose and glucose absorb about as fast as maltodextrin so you can still get that fast kick, but you still have something left for later. As you take gel shots once every 20-30 min, you don't want to have a kick for just the first 5 minutes, IMO.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top