Review - Homemade Energy Gel

1/31/2010 10:52:00 AM

After now having run a couple of long-distance races, I have realized that the food I tolerate best after more than 20 miles of running is any type of energy gel. I am just not able to chew or stomach food any thicker than that. Any gel of the fruit flavored variety works for me. However, living with a vegetarian, I also try to eat foods as natural as possible, so I figured I'd try to make my own "gu". I am not very creative and I also barely cook, so I turned to the internet for some recipes. I figured someone out there must have tried this before and I got lucky.
 I found the following two recipes by Derek Nolek:

Homebrew Power Goop

- 7 and 1/3 tablespoons of honey
- 3/4 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses
- 1/10 teaspoons (just shy of 1/8 tsp) of table salt
Tip: Be sure to mix everything together well. It should make enough to fill a five-serving GU flask.

Honey Goop With a Protein Kick

- 6 tablespoons of honey
- 5/8 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses
- 6 and 3/8 teaspoons of soy protein isolate
- 1/16 teaspoons of salt
- 1-3 tablespoons of water
Tip: Mix everything together in a cup and add water as needed to develop a nice "goopable" consistency. Makes five servings.

I opted for the second recipe as I wanted to get as many nutrients as possible. I have been crashing late during or after long races and I would like to avoid that. After I purchased everything I needed from a local natural foods store, I began to measure ingredients and fill them in my energy gel flask. After I added all of the ingredients, I used a kitchen utensil to mix it all up. Now it was time to do the taste test, so I turned to my fiancé. The gel passed her taste test, so now it was up to me. My first impression is that the gel is slightly more liquid than I would like. I am sure reducing the  amount of water added will solve this issue. Second, the honey flavor covered all other flavors, which is not a bad thing. However, I will have to see how it tastes during one of my upcoming long runs to really be able to finalize this review. After all, I am of the opinion that food has to sustain a runner during an ultra and is not meant to win any "Top Chef" awards. So, if it keeps me energized and going, then it works. More details to follow.

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