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RangerRob
02-23-2012, 06:05 AM
Has anyone ever used Gu on a long alpine route to help maintain energy levels? if so, did you use a certain formula....(one Gu every x hours during climbing)? I have to say, the stuff tastes like garbage, but if its going to help keep me from bonking 12 hours into the day I will stomach it. Any advice out there?

Derby
02-23-2012, 06:46 AM
I think the gu gel is like eating straight cake frosting. I do like the Shotbloks made by Clif. They are small enough to fit several into a jacket pocket, they are still chewable when it is very cold, they won't make a mess if they blowup in your pack or pocket. It may be psychological to certain extent, but I believe I can feel the glycogen being restored to my muscles within a few minutes after ingesting.
If possible I'd like to have some real food with me as well, but I rarely do.

rockytop
02-23-2012, 07:38 AM
I regularly use Gu gel while ice climbing, mostly because I've found I don't tend to take in as many calories otherwise. On an average day out here in New England, I usually take 3-4 with me and a liter-size thermos of ginger tea with honey in a hip pack along with spare gloves. We used Gu in gel and shot block form in Newfoundland on long routes - 800 to around 2000 feet long with Wi5 cruxes so burning a fair number of calories. Perhaps adding a little ziplock of cheese and crackers might help with adding fiber and a higher fat content on even longer routes, say up in Alaska? I took 8 packets up the route with me on the longest day, and found averaging around 1.5 Gu per hour helped a lot. Of course, 800 calories still isn't enough to fuel for your body on a long day but it helped and fortunately, I had some natural body fat stores too. LOL. Sharing a bar of solid dark chocolate was nice to have to break up the flavor too. In general, I also try to down one packet just before a hard pitch or when arriving at the base after a long or strenuous approach so I don't deplete muscle glycogen stores as much.
...anyhow, that's my 2 cents.

Myxomatosis
02-23-2012, 09:15 AM
The post below mine is pretty good advice based on my experience, though one caveat. These things give me MAJOR muscle cramps, to the point where I don't use them very often. Most lack sufficient salt I think, but I still haven't pinned down the exact reason. I sprinkle them in with salted nuts and dried fruit. Cheese and dark chocolate are also awesome.

KathyS
02-23-2012, 09:22 AM
I've used gels a bunch for cycling, but haven't had the opportunity to try them at altitude. I like to keep one handy climbing for when my blood sugar falls low if I am not eating enough. They are a real shot in the arm in that situation. The Clif Shot Bloks do have electrolytes, which are absent in most of the gels, and I use them more now than the regular gels. While I love chocolate, I can't choke down chocolate gu on a hot day. I stick to fruit flavors and find them easier to take. I like any of the berry flavors, but my favorite is Car-Boom apple cinnamon. It's like an apple pie without the crust.

JDCII
02-23-2012, 10:01 AM
a friend and I used gu in Ecuador on Cotopaxi and Chimborazo...might have simply been the short break to open and swallow them that gave extra O2 to our systems, but I think they definitely gave a a nice boost! we just took them as we felt we needed them. I usually carry them everywhere since, biking, climbing, etc and try to use them like mentioned by others prior to and/or just after a high exertion section and especially if I notice that i need a quick hit, but don't use them in place of good primary nurishment.

gunkiemike
02-23-2012, 12:10 PM
Any good suggestions to keep the used packets from making a sticky mess in your jacket or pack pocket?

it'llgo
02-23-2012, 12:39 PM
RC and I have always used shot blocks, but didn't find that we were taking in enough calories throughout the day. Lately, we've been using Snickers bars as our main sources of calories with blocks to supplement and it has been working out great. I go through one every 1-2 hours and she is more on the two hour side of that. If we go much longer, our stomachs start to actually growl. Snickers are super palatable, cheap calories, and are easy to come by. We just start the day with a few in our chest pockets to keep them semi-thawed and replenish throughout the day from our packs.

We've also started to take a couple big cookies (those big chocolate chip bastards) each on longer days. It seems like the big rich chewie cookies work the best. Again, they're palatable, you'll look forward to eating it, and they also don't freeze.

pcooke
02-23-2012, 01:06 PM
Mike - Just throw a small ziploc or sandwich bag in your pocket and throw the wrappers in that.

I pretty much only go with gels or shotblocks while I'm climbing since I find they don't affect my digestion as harshly as eating solid food on the go. For mountain routes I'll bring an energy bar, candy bar, cheese, or something similar if I find I need something more. Usually I'll try to down a gel or some shotbloks every hour or so on a mountain route, or I'll down some before/after a hard pitch.

KZKlimber
02-24-2012, 07:34 AM
I gnaw on a twig. Filling, lot's of fiber, minimal weight added to pack. Just make sure you're not anchored to it. Downside -the splinters several hours later.

Alfonzo
02-24-2012, 08:37 AM
I chew my own cud.

Auto-X Fil
02-24-2012, 09:34 AM
I have trouble getting down anything too solid when I'm working hard.

My favorites are Shot Blocks and Lara Bars. I usually throw in some Cliff Shots as well.

Cramer
02-24-2012, 10:39 AM
I go with the Luna Lemmon Zest girly bars and Whatever gue is on sale.

I prefer to go with a Chocolate Chip cookie or two from "Old Village Bakery" if "Front Side Grind" has any and i am getting a late enough start they are open.

For real thought Gel, Energy bars, sports drink "Cytomax" or the like not "Sugaraid" and a good recovery drink have taken me a long way.

I struggled with converting this behavior over from my days racing road bikes for my first year or two of climbing. I gave in full boar this season and i have had very little cramping muscle spasm problems since.

Derby
02-24-2012, 11:38 AM
I chew my own cud.


At last, the secret to Al's high energy level has been revealed. I guess we should all chew Al's cud

oaklem
02-25-2012, 03:08 AM
I pretty much go with nothing but gels of some sort and shot blocks. I like to alternate just to mix things up. Your body can metabolize these much faster and more efficiently than solid food such as cliff bars. It's also good to bring along something high in fat like pepperoni or a halvah bar in case you start to bonk.

If you are going out for a long day you want to get a good mix of gels and a drink mix. That way you keep electroyles, muscle glycogen, and complex carbs up in your system. There is a reason the top alpinists in the world live on Gu. Extreme alpinism has a really good nutrition section.

Alfonzo
02-25-2012, 05:30 AM
Calavera, Sorry maybe my comment was too much tongue in cheek. My meaning is this, it's all an exercise in food and hydration balance that starts many days before, and individual preference the day of.

I have chewed my own cud however..... Shot Bloks. They then ended up on the ground in a very colourful array. That product now resides in the closet with the Southern Comfort I got plastered on when I was young and a tad more stupid than I am now.

Krummholz
02-25-2012, 12:05 PM
my favorites for gel/chews are honey stinger chews. they're made with sugar cane instead of high fructose corn syrup so I think tastier, I like all the flavors. gels seem like they'd be way too messy and fiddly to me, never tried them. cliff shot blocks are ok, but I think they have caffeine in them? not something I want on the trail/cliff.

I like to alternate between chews when I feel super tired and need a quick burst of energy just before doing something hard, and cliff 20g protein builder bars which I find to be really filling, more of a 'meal' for when i have time chill and munch like at belays or a rest when hiking.

KathyS
02-25-2012, 08:51 PM
Like gels, some of the Shot Bloks flavors have caffeine, and some don't. It'll be on the label somewhere.

Cramer
02-25-2012, 09:58 PM
All this caffeine talk has me thinking. Ephedrine spiked gels, can't believe it has yet to be done, what an idea.

No cramps due to caffeine and a even better shot of energy!!

I kid i kid, but i bet it would be kinda awesome in some ways if you don't want all that shit rolling around your body. As it is i hurt a little every time i put a man made processed anything in my body.

gunkiemike
02-25-2012, 10:12 PM
As it is i hurt a little every time i put a man made processed anything in my body.

How sad, to go through life with an adversarial relationship with food.

Cramer
02-25-2012, 11:08 PM
How sad, to go through life with an adversarial relationship with food.

It's a matter of perspective i think. Well at least for me it is. It's not a adversarial situation for me, quite the opposite to be honest. It feels so good to eat things in there natural form that taste perfect and work perfect and better 99.9% of the time just the way they are straight outa the earth or off the animal. I rather like that it makes me cringe to eat processed chemical laden man made food. It would make me hurt more if it did not bother me and i was ok with being a dumping ground for chemical this chemical that hormone antibiotic laden gentetically engineered food. Well if you can even call it food? "Soylent Green"

And yes i understand i am not the norm and in fact the weird one. I do however think it is a shame we accept anything less as people but that's a whole nother rant.

KZKlimber
02-26-2012, 05:05 PM
How sad, to go through life with an adversarial relationship with food.

Mike - Doesn't every woman pretty much have an advesarial relationship with food?

Crag
02-26-2012, 07:49 PM
I used them in the Cascade. 36 hour push from base to summit back to car. I'm now trying out the HoneyStinger product as I need to change from product to product to help keep things "tasteful."

leaf
02-26-2012, 08:56 PM
its simple. bring what you like to eat, and you'll eat it and have energy.

sandstone
02-26-2012, 09:21 PM
I regularly use Gu gel while ice climbing...I also try to down one packet just before a hard pitch ...

I do the same, the main difference being in the definition of "hard pitch". All the Gu in the world won't get me up his hard pitches. :-)

I can tell a difference if I down a Gu and some water about every hour. I use the ones with no caffeine in them.

hobbsj
03-03-2012, 10:12 PM
Just eat calories. That's all you need. Sandwich, honey, crackers, anything your gut can take. GU is great b/c its compact, easy, and for some people is easier to handle than solids. But, if you don't like it, no need to spend money on it. These energy gels have their place in the nutritional arsenal, but are overdone by people prompted my the companies separating you from your money. Your body has around 2000 kcal of glycogen stored up. It takes a good deal of effort or lack of attention to nutrition to cause a bonk. Try different nutritional strategies and you may even be able to avoid gu's and their stick mess all together. Or, find that you love them and they are the perfect supplement for you. As far as caffeine goes, a lot of it is placebo. Many of the doses in gels is to small to cause a benefit. And even then, the mechanism and extent of the benefit is not well documented. Used to be thought that it caused increased fat metabolism,but that was debunked. Now its a "central drive" theory. And the gel's won't stop cramping. There's no link that has been shown between hydration, nutrition, and exercise induced cramping. Bottom line, try a variety of options and find what works for you, not what marketing and current fads say should work. I like chockblox becuase they are easy and taste good. I carry 2 Gu's. I eat each of them maybe 3 times per year because my nutritional strategy works great without them. Experiment and see what you like.

Cramer
03-04-2012, 09:23 PM
John is that you ;)

You gave yourself away long before i read you screen name...

Did you get the Hobbit this afternoon?

hobbsj
03-05-2012, 06:30 AM
Yeah man, its me. You know I tend to spew mindless dribble when it comes to exercise physiology.

Cramer
03-05-2012, 08:23 AM
Yeah man, its me. You know I tend to spew mindless dribble when it comes to exercise physiology.

It's ok i tend to just spew in general...

Jacon
03-05-2012, 08:31 PM
Anyone else play the most caloric-bang-for-your-buck game at the gas station? The 99c bag of peanuts is really good, at about 1000. So is a gallon of whole chocolate milk, if you can find it (comes out a little over 1000cal/1$). Which really puts Snickers bars in perspective, at 280 for like 89c, and other stuff is left WAY behind.

Full confession: I've actually started doing all of my grocery shopping with this as my basic framework for food value. Obviously other things matter (quality, locality, freshness, etc.), but cal/$ is at the core.

Cramer
03-05-2012, 08:50 PM
Anyone else play the most caloric-bang-for-your-buck game at the gas station? The 99c bag of peanuts is really good, at about 1000. So is a gallon of whole chocolate milk, if you can find it (comes out a little over 1000cal/1$). Which really puts Snickers bars in perspective, at 280 for like 89c, and other stuff is left WAY behind.

Full confession: I've actually started doing all of my grocery shopping with this as my basic framework for food value. Obviously other things matter (quality, locality, freshness, etc.), but cal/$ is at the core.

When i raced bikes for a living many of us did exactly what you are speaking of. It was just a way of life at the time doing 5000 calorie training days for weeks upon weeks months at a time in preparation of race season.

Pretty funny now thinking back a bunch of skinny ass guys stuffed 6 to a car that seats 5 field tripping to the grocery store every other day wondering the isle of a grocery store reading the label of every item dam they put in there cart.

You really cant beat canned beans as far as calories health and bang for your buck!!

hobbsj
03-07-2012, 06:28 AM
Can of lard! Fat is a very energy dense substance. And its cheap. Healthy? Well, depends on who you ask ;-) Plus, its already in gel form!

For some reason, thought of a bike story. I was on a 75 mile training ride with a not so bright friend who was on the Adkins diet (you can probably see where this is heading). Buddy was starting to bonk so I finally convinced him to eat. Wouldn't you know it, he pulls out a big ol ham steak from his jersey pocket and chows down! Needless to say I pulled him all the way home.

Cramer
03-07-2012, 09:14 AM
Bonking mid training ride calls for a mandatory stop at the Quicky Mart and a can of Coke followed by a face full of Little Debby's Nutty Bars, doughnuts and a snickers for the back pocket. I think i used to train not so much cuz i enjoyed racing but so that i could eat 4000 calories a day and not gain weight. Ice cream everyday bitches!!

Actually any ride over 75 miles calls for one of those stops unless you are getting paid six figures to race your bike. Even then you could probably get away it with little affect on performance.





Can of lard! Fat is a very energy dense substance. And its cheap. Healthy? Well, depends on who you ask ;-) Plus, its already in gel form!

For some reason, thought of a bike story. I was on a 75 mile training ride with a not so bright friend who was on the Adkins diet (you can probably see where this is heading). Buddy was starting to bonk so I finally convinced him to eat. Wouldn't you know it, he pulls out a big ol ham steak from his jersey pocket and chows down! Needless to say I pulled him all the way home.

spydermonkey
03-21-2012, 10:02 AM
Chocolate and Apple Pies found at your local stewarts are 560 calories (I think), for a dollar I believe. Tasty, don't freeze too easily, and will get you goin!

ELM
11-20-2012, 08:24 PM
I use gel during any high-out put activity. Gu tastes like crap though. I only use Hammer gel; it tastes amazing and is better balanced.

Joseph_The_Red
11-26-2012, 01:43 PM
I like honey stinger wafer cookie things. The vanilla is awesome. They're pretty expensive, but show up on steep and cheap occasionally. The gu makes me boot.

Scottie loves ice
11-26-2012, 07:56 PM
I like the singer waffles also and only use GU brand chocolate outrage, cappuccino, and peanut butter. It's just what works for me.

When I was training for Ironman I went through every brand to see what worked best for me. I would recommend doing the same and you will eventually find a brand/flavor you like.

vasken
09-13-2015, 08:54 AM
I like the convenience of gels. I use GU and even the pricey Roctane. I like to carry salami, cheese and nuts for longer forays. The salami really Stokes the furnace on cold days, especially after the Barfies.