The race season has started and you’re gearing up to make an impression; the top three sounds good and you’ll do anything to get there. Besides keeping an eye on your nutrition, snacking on nuts during long rides, keeping your fluids up and maintaining a race-ready bike, there’s not a lot you can do to improve your times but practice, right? Technically, this is true. But what if you don’t want to pack a myriad of approved snacks and add extra weight to your load this year? What if you want to be faster and more efficient on the circuit? Beat last year’s times maybe? Sports gels are tailored for cyclists just like you, who desire to step their training up a notch. A smart energy supplement, gels are composed of electrolytes, energy regulators, immediate carbs and slow release carbs for a sustainable performance; this formula gives you the boost you need to ride the best time of your life.
Glycogen is stored in your muscles and blood, providing a natural chemical fuel while you drive your body to exert itself beyond previous limits. Though it is derived from many sources, both liquid and food, quick digestion through sports gels will speed its way through your system, replenishing stores when you need them.
Though most sports gels use small amount of caffeine, you shouldn’t rely on this ingredient to give you a wake up kick; look for brands that balance glucose levels with slow release calories. Slow release work in tandem with their quick release cousins to ensure you continue to thrive on track, cutting down the needs for constant snacking. If used effectively and correctly (it is very important to suitably hydrate any sports gel, lest less desirable effects result), a sports gel can mitigate snack times. This is especially useful for those of us who literally push ourselves our bodies to accept food, though we’re full and our tastebuds seem to be working against us. If you’re the same, a sports gel might be just what you’re looking for.
Get Past the Wall
The final point on energy gels is very simple to understand – they will get you beyond the dreaded wall. What is the wall? This is the zone where your body tells you it has run out of calories to burn, it’s closing in on exhaustion and the fuel tank is well and truly running dry. A sports gel can mean the difference between a blistering sprint to the finish line or flagging back several places as you run out of physical steam, despite your brain demanding pole position. If you’re a bit of a flavour nut – and let’s face it, who’s going to routinely consume something they don’t enjoy – shop around for a variety of brands, sampling some of their best sellers on sites like 99bikes.com.au before settling on a race favourite. Ideally, a sports gel should be palatable, effective and readily available when you need it.
Have you had a positive experience with a sports gel? Do you have a favourite flavour or certain recommendation you’d like to share? Save your fellow cyclists some trial and error, let us know what works for you below.