Monday, December 8, 2008

Mint Chocolate Gu

I've been comparing nutrition info for different gels and came across Gu's seasonal flavor- Mint Chocolate. I know many people are all about the mint & chocolate combo, i.e. Jen and Claire, so I thought this might interest most.

I also was checking out the Roctane and reading the research on that. It seems like a pretty good product and the science makes sense, so it has my stamp of approval, although I have not tried it yet. There are only two flavors right now- Blueberry Pomegranate and Orange Vanilla. Gu says to use it for the ultra-endurance events, so I will probably be trying it shortly on some of my long runs.

14 comments:

alyssa said...

fyi - I tried both the blueberry pom and orange van, and they tasted like motor oil and dish washer detergent (respectively). I would def take a taste before you are relying on them as your only source of energy and stuck out in the woods 10 miles away from home while the sunlight is quickly fading.

Ben said...

so, what is the consensus about taking gels during long runs? My thought is that you should do it at least a few times so that you're body is used to it - and probably on all really long runs over 2.5 hours or when it's hot out - but, most long runs you should go without to stress your glycogen storage capacity. does that sound right?

i was at a seminar a few weeks ago at the marriot at harbor east. During the afternoon break they had cliff gel shots as part of the snack. all the non-runners looked at these things like someone had taken a crap on the buffet table.

RM said...

1) I did actually take a crap on the buffet table. Yep, I snuck in while you were in the seminar and dropped off some knowledge.

2) That's definitely a random seminar snack. Wonder what made them think of that. Not my type of afternoon snack food.

3) I work under the same principle as Ben, "stressing my glycogen storage capacity" but I don't think it's good for you. Typically I don't run long enough to warrant eating something, but I am no longer afraid of eating. It's good to know what your body can and can't handle, and certainly there's nothing wrong eating. I'd be more likely to eat in the cold though than the heat.

3a) On the bike I never used to eat, but now I do. Of course I forget until I'm actually hungry. There are definitely times when eating trumps being hard and not eating for the sake of not doing it.

4) Blueberry Pom, more like Blueberry Vom.

Arjun Majumdar said...

There is definitely a school of thought that preaches "stressing your glycogen storage capacity." However, it is always prefaced with a use at your own risk disclaimer. If I can dig up the research I will post it, otherwise I am sure it littered the letsrun.com msg boards at some point.

From what I have read/experienced I agree with the idea of using it carefully. I alternate long runs between a long and slow run for time on your feet and a shorter and faster run for time at or around marathon pace. In the longer slower run I think restricting nutrition can be beneficial. For me this means taking one gu for a 2ish hour run, but for others this may vary.

Johnnie Cochran said...

Just by way of anecdote, I like getting calories in the middle of my long runs and think it is the optimal training strategy. This past summer I would usually drive a 20 oz. Gatorade and a cookie or whatev to the middle of my run and stash it. This gave me some incentive and a nice boost. I practiced taking gels with me on several 20 plus runs to practice race conditions. Gels taste bad, but they are easy to carry and easy to digest.

I am not convinced, with the "stressing your glycogen system" theory. While it is important to train in adverse conditions at times, I think you should always set your self up to succeed. I think the benefits of finishing your long runs strong and confident are more important than training your body to run with low sugar.

alyssa said...

"and probably on all really long runs over 2.5 hours or when it's hot out" - I don't even think that I can go 2.5 hours watching TV without eating something, so I am shocked you can make it through runs that long without eating. I would say that on a training run I plan to eat about 2/3 of what I eat during a race, and any run over 1 hour I have something with me. For one thing, I think you can push harder and get more out of training runs if you eat, and I tend to think it's a little riskier to stress your glyocgen storage capacity. Also, eating during long runs certainly speeds up recovery from these sessions, making it easier to to put in harder training weeks because you need less recovery.

Jen said...

Am I the only one who think the Blueberry Pomegranate tastes good?

Ben said...

alyssa - i think you misunderstood me - i meant that i would mos def (i'll use abreviations if i hear them on "the wire") use gels for runs over 2.5 hours or even less if it's hot out. But, at this time of year I don't think I would use a gel for runs <2.5 hours.

i've run 4 marathons and I'm 99% sure that glycogen storage is my #1 problem. i agree that it's important to set yourself up to succeed in workouts - but, if i'm going to run a good marathon I'm going to need to transform my abilities in that regard, not just fine tune them.

Arjun Majumdar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PB said...

Somebody should look into this, but I believe you can also train your body with scheduled fasting. The human body did evolve, after all, to fit the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, with its alternating times of want and plenty. The first European settlers in New England, for instance, reported that the Native Americans were accustomed to going days without food during the winter months as a matter of course. So in the long-term history of humans, 3 squares a day is probably not at all natural.

///MM said...

Since my "long runs" are about 12-14 miles I never take food. Water is clutch so I plan to run by fountains. I found that the energy boost from gel is a nice surprise around mile 10 and mile 20 and helps with morale. Then again I'm pretty slow and train dumb...

///MM said...

and Hammer Gel is the sh*.

RM said...

1) Zero, you can curse on here, I don't monitor it.

2) Water is overrated and I try to never drink it. Learn to be dehydrated, train dehydrated, it's never a problem.

3) Salt on the other hand, I like.

4) I like PB's point.

5) But I also really like to eat.

fbg said...

I never ate anything during any of my training runs, but made sure to get water at least once. On marathon day, I popped a sugar/salt tablet with some water at about mile 14, and crashed at 15. I still wonder if I would have been better off with just water for the race.

For the record, I had planned to do my longest training run (22-23 miles) with some carbos at some point, but since was at least half sick the few weeks before and after the marathon, this run never manifested itself.

I should have asked you guys for advice.