Homemade gels.. Anyone?

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robeambro
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

Hi all,

I've just ordered a Hydrapak Flask (basically a squeezable flask, there's ton of those, mostly aimed at trail runners), with the idea of filling it with some kind of possibly homemade gel-like (or creamy) nutrition in lieu of solid foods (not completely though) and commercial gels.

I wanted something for longer rides (which for me is 3-6h, YMMV). I decided to experiment with this for a number of reasons, but mostly:

- I find commercial gels to be a waste of packaging and also quite expensive.
- solid foods are ok to an extent, but usually I would need a lot of it (I like to eat, ok? :roll: ), and I don't quite fancy carrying seven thousand bars or a whole banana plantation.

I've seen very few on YouTube seem to do this, and all approach to it in a different way.

So, I would like to know if there is anybody here who does / has done the same, and hear some ideas. I'm not necessarily interested in crafting the perfect recipe with just the perfect amount of simple/complex carbs, and polyprocarboblah, and this and that, to maximise performance. Since it would not be race nutrition but just to fuel during long rides, I'd rather have a simple recipe that is easy to make, and keeps me going on those long rides without taking up all of my jersey pockets; if it's in the ballpark of the right amount of macros and nutrients, then all the better.

by Weenie


Grobar
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:47 am
Location: Switzerland

by Grobar

I also use a soft flask and I usually put stewwed apples inside. Easy to prepare and ecological.

zefs
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

Used to make those, for it to get the gel form I used psyllium seed powder (1tsp) although chia seeds would also work since both absorb water.
Then just sugar or honey/lemon drops and salt or whatever you wish to add.

JoO
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 7:30 am

by JoO

I am also tempted by the idea. I was thinking boiling water + sugar + maltodextrin

AJS914
Posts: 3113
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I take these on rides. Almost a gel but only $1/pound.

Image

Lately I started making my own drink mix with dextrose (10 pounds for $30). It seems to work pretty well for liquid calories.

robeambro
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

Thanks all for the interesting contributions.. Will try and quote all.

AJS914 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:53 pm
I take these on rides. Almost a gel but only $1/pound.

Lately I started making my own drink mix with dextrose (10 pounds for $30). It seems to work pretty well for liquid calories.
I thought about Haribos/candy, but was put off by the difficulty of eating them mid-ride if I don't want to stop. A gel, especially in a flask as described in my OP, would be relatively easy to fish out of the jersey pocket and consumed with one hand, whilst with candy I think it might be much trickier.. Unless you have a solution for that!
JoO wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 6:41 pm
I am also tempted by the idea. I was thinking boiling water + sugar + maltodextrin
Sounds simple enough. Would it last and keep its consistency in the fridge? For how long?

zefs wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 5:36 pm
Used to make those, for it to get the gel form I used psyllium seed powder (1tsp) although chia seeds would also work since both absorb water.
Then just sugar or honey/lemon drops and salt or whatever you wish to add.
Would chia seeds not be virtually free of carbs though?

I wonder whether regular oats could be an alternative? They do absorb water after all, and have plenty of carbs (of which no sugars though). Blending them with some honey etc..

Grobar wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:35 pm
I also use a soft flask and I usually put stewwed apples inside. Easy to prepare and ecological.
I've had a look at apple puree, which they sell in jars here, and was kinda surprised at how little sugars there's in there. Would it be enough to fuel you during a ride?

AJS914
Posts: 3113
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I just put gummies in a plastic zip lock bag. I can eat them while riding it's not hard.

zefs
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

Blended oats could work as well but do not absorb water as good as the other 2 probably. You only need quick release carbs though, usually gels are used when you want to perform (or near the end of long rides) and need simple sugars that are easy/quick to digest so everything goes to the muscles but adding a little portion of oats for the water absorption shouldn't be an issue.

robeambro
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

zefs wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 7:04 am
Blended oats could work as well but do not absorb water as good as the other 2 probably. You only need quick release carbs though, usually gels are used when you want to perform (or near the end of long rides) and need simple sugars that are easy/quick to digest so everything goes to the muscles but adding a little portion of oats for the water absorption shouldn't be an issue.
What happens to the slow release carbs though? Are they effectively "wasted" or would they serve a purpose later on in the ride? I mean, let's imagine that I blend oats with water and honey/syrup/whatever, so that I have some quick and some slow carbs in the mix, let's imagine it's a 50/50 share.

I'm on my ride, I chug some of this mixture, the simple sugars go straight into helping me... What about the other ones.. :mrgreen:

JamieG
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:50 am

by JamieG

My homemade gel was something like:

- 4 oz honey
- 1 oz blackstrap molasses
- 1/8 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1 tbsp water
- Few drops vanilla extract for flavour

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Lewn777
Posts: 691
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

I hate plastics, but I need caffine near the end of a long ride. I wonder if there's a way of making a coffee gel and putting it in foil or something reusable?

zefs
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

robeambro wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:40 am
zefs wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 7:04 am
Blended oats could work as well but do not absorb water as good as the other 2 probably. You only need quick release carbs though, usually gels are used when you want to perform (or near the end of long rides) and need simple sugars that are easy/quick to digest so everything goes to the muscles but adding a little portion of oats for the water absorption shouldn't be an issue.
What happens to the slow release carbs though? Are they effectively "wasted" or would they serve a purpose later on in the ride? I mean, let's imagine that I blend oats with water and honey/syrup/whatever, so that I have some quick and some slow carbs in the mix, let's imagine it's a 50/50 share.

I'm on my ride, I chug some of this mixture, the simple sugars go straight into helping me... What about the other ones.. :mrgreen:
Well how much would you add on a gel flask? it would be a little to have any benefit. Depending on the intensity the simple sugars would get used immediately then the slow release would need to be digested and used over time.

If you are doing Z2 endurance rides you don't need the gels unless you want that little extra on the final hour or so (of a 4hour ride for example), and would probably be best to use something like bars/banana and energy drink/electrolyte.

If you want to do a TT or race then you could eat a good meal 3 hours prior and use a gel during or 30mins before you hit the effort (depending on duration etc).

robeambro
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

zefs wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 10:30 am
robeambro wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:40 am
zefs wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 7:04 am
Blended oats could work as well but do not absorb water as good as the other 2 probably. You only need quick release carbs though, usually gels are used when you want to perform (or near the end of long rides) and need simple sugars that are easy/quick to digest so everything goes to the muscles but adding a little portion of oats for the water absorption shouldn't be an issue.
What happens to the slow release carbs though? Are they effectively "wasted" or would they serve a purpose later on in the ride? I mean, let's imagine that I blend oats with water and honey/syrup/whatever, so that I have some quick and some slow carbs in the mix, let's imagine it's a 50/50 share.

I'm on my ride, I chug some of this mixture, the simple sugars go straight into helping me... What about the other ones.. :mrgreen:
Well how much would you add on a gel flask? it would be a little to have any benefit. Depending on the intensity the simple sugars would get used immediately then the slow release would need to be digested and used over time.

If you are doing Z2 endurance rides you don't need the gels unless you want that little extra on the final hour or so (of a 4hour ride for example), and would probably be best to use something like bars/banana and energy drink/electrolyte.

If you want to do a TT or race then you could eat a good meal 3 hours prior and use a gel during or 30mins before you hit the effort (depending on duration etc).
Well, I don't really do Z2 rides, I get tremendously bored going at recreational steady pace. Even if I do an "endurance ride", I like to push myself hard and/or do some sprints etc. I know I don't "need" the gels, but as I said, this is to overcome some of the issues I found with regular solid foods and commercial gels (eg space, environmental impact, cost).
Lewn777 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 10:10 am
I hate plastics, but I need caffine near the end of a long ride. I wonder if there's a way of making a coffee gel and putting it in foil or something reusable?
Well, most people either pour coffee in their gels (rather than, or in addition to, water), or even resort to melting instant coffee granules in their gels, I've read it often.

JamieG wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 10:05 am
My homemade gel was something like:

- 4 oz honey
- 1 oz blackstrap molasses
- 1/8 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1 tbsp water
- Few drops vanilla extract for flavour
I've read about blackstrap molasses, but I don't think I've quite ever seen it. Doesn't help that I don't speak the local language of the country I live in (Netherlands), but I can't recall seeing it in the UK either.

Did you have to cook this mixture or it would just be a case of mixing things up?

dim
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am
Location: Cambridge UK

by dim

not a gel, but this is used to replace electrolytes:

juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt (I use normal coarse salt from a salt grinder)
1/2 cup of coconut water

not my recipe, but I found this on a forum and the person who posted the recipe says it's very good
Trek Emonda SL6
Miyata One Thousand

by Weenie


robeambro
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

dim wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:31 pm
not a gel, but this is used to replace electrolytes:

juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt (I use normal coarse salt from a salt grinder)
1/2 cup of coconut water

not my recipe, but I found this on a forum and the person who posted the recipe says it's very good
Interesting.. To be honest this is another thing I've thought of doing, just to spruce up my water bidon with some lemon/salt.
Why coconut water though? Just for flavour, or does it have some particular nutrient I'm unaware of?

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