Sunday, April 19, 2015

Real Food Alternatives To Gels

Annie's Cheddar bunnies - "stolen" from my son
Last week I wrote about how latest published research show that fast food from McDonald's is just as good for recovery compared to Gatorade, Cytomax and PowerBars etc.

But what about your long exercise sessions or when you race half marathon distances and longer? You definitely will require some nutrition along the way or you'll risk hitting the dreaded wall.

No way you can or should wolf down fries, hamburgers daily while training since it is not nutritionally sound long term.

Gels, PowerBars, Sport Beans are not exactly my thing. So now that I'm not racing anymore, I can share with you what I eat when I've had enough of the gels, PowerBars etc.

Let me discuss some whole food alternatives you can use to fuel yourself in your longer training sessions or races.

Firstly, they should fuel well you without making you bloated or make you wanna go to the toilet. For me, I find that simple carbohydrates, less protein and fat with low fibre work best.

Well, everyone's system is different and others may be tolerate more fibre, but not me. I'll end up running to the nearest petrol station toilet or bushes if I can't find a toilet when I consume too much fibre before running.

The food you train/ race with should be easy to transport. No chance of you eating spaghetti while out riding with your regular cycling group right?

Last point, to be able to fuel yourself sufficiently, you'll need between 30-60 grams of carbohydrate every hour (depending on how hard you train and how much you weigh). You can of course mix your "real food" with a sports drink, gel or bar if you like too.

Here's my list of real food that works - for me anyway. I always carry a large banana with me on long bike rides (probably tough to bring on a run though).

On a long run, I find that raisins and cashew nuts (it has higher fat content though) work well for me. I'll put them in a zip lock bag or wrap them in some aluminium foil. I love zip lock bags! Even my wallet is a zip lock bag. Waterproof- great if you're caught in a thunderstorm. I find that sliced apples work well for me too.

I've been using a zip lock bag as my wallet since 1997.
Sometimes I take a packet of my son's Snackimals. They all taste much better than gels and bars.

Snacikmals- my son's favourite
Hope I gave you ideas for some other real food options.

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