I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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How good/bad are sugar packets (like the ones in cafes) as energy top-ups on rides? How do they compare to gels? What's the nutritional value difference between raw and white sugar?
Carbs of last resort. Both are cr@p.
The reason is they give you a quick pick me up where you feel life is good... and then pretty soon after they dump you, leaving you feeling awful ... until the next one (sounds like a formula for a hit love song ). Same goes for sucrose-based energy drinks, and Gatorade et al.
Better I find is a white bread jam sandwich. The jam gives you a quick pickup, and the starch from the white bread is easy to digest and gives you a good sustained slow burn.
When at hard training pace or racing, though, I find the sanga hard to get down. While better than muesli bars which are like chewing a lump of cardboard, they still tend to stick to the roof of the mouth and stay there. So I tend to go with gels and slow-burn electrolyte drinks like Endura or High 5 until the pace backs off and the saliva glands start working again.
If you mean the litte paper packets of sugar for coffee, they are 5grams of sucrose, which is about half fructose half glucose, both of which are short chain saccharides, and therefore quickly absorbed into the blood, and capable of spiking your blood sugar, and insulin response, which can drop your blood sugar quickly.
Gels are made primarily from a longer chain saccharide called maltodextrin, which is absorbed more slowly and therefore provides most of the energy without the sharp spikes.
There's a few recipes around on the net for making your own sports gels from maltodextrin. But at the end of the day, unless you are competing in races >2 hours, my view is a combo of jelly beans, bananas/apples, muesli bars, sandwiches, or regular meals, and home made sport drink are more cost and nutrition efficient than gels and much better than cafe sugar. If you are going to gulp sugar, try and take it with half a glass of water per sachet.
Gels are meant to be consumed with fluids too, which is something many don't seem to get.
Pure sugar is a bonk accelerant IME.
But it doesn't hurt, most of them stick in my mouth like araldite coated peanut butter.
I've gone back to jelly beans and bananas or dates, works for me.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Most gels are not isotonic. IIRC, Endura recommends consuming 400ml of water after taking theirs.
The ones that are isotonic seem to short-change you on the quantity of carbs per serve, from my reading of the nutrition labels.
Read Sweet Poison
From a 1999 website. No guarantee of accuracy.
http://www.espn.go.com/trainingroom/s/1 ... 66818.html
What about sugar before exercise?
Some athletes can consume sugared soft drinks just before exercising, but they are taking a risk of causing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. About ten minutes after starting out, a sugar low will hit with lightheadedness and fatigue. The rush of sugar causes a rush of insulin, and with the muscles using glycogen so quickly, low blood sugar results. This is not common, but you know if you have this problem.
Will eating a candy bar before exercise give the quickest energy? No, but maybe a tummy ache. The fat in a candy bar may delay stomach emptying Most of the energy used during your workout is stored glycogen, which comes from what you've eaten for days before you exercise. Also, how you replenished fluids and fuel after your last workout is important now.
What about food during exercise?
During exercise, your body uses sugar without needing insulin, so a sip of sweetened drink during exercise is no problem, but water is best. Exercise that exceeds one hour may require carbohydrate intake, to delay fatigue. Before getting too tired, consuming 30 grams of carbohydrate every 30 minutes can provide an extra boost. However, if the drink is too high in sugar, the liquid will remain in the stomach longer and cause sloshing. Sports drinks are designed with a small amount of quickly absorbed carbohydrate and electrolytes to replenish sweat and blood sugar during exercise. For a short workout, less than 60 minutes, water is adequate. See next week's article on fluids and sports drinks.
Motorists hate cyclists and cyclists hate the motorists and the pedestrians hate the bikers and everybody hates the trucks.
many years ago when I was club riding I use to keep a loaded syringe (about 100ml) of hazelnut spread in my jersey that I could quickly squirt into my gob at measured doses, I found the low GI of the hazelnuts gave a nice slow burning fuel, I found the no frills brands had a lower measure of carbs which helped avoid a sugar crash but god only knows what other nasties they've added to it now days. It did get some odd looks and some explaining to be done at the end of races however not sure how that would go down now days with the increase of PED I'm sure having a syringe hanging out of ur mouth in the middle of a ride isn't quite the look most clubs are after lol
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