Gels have become the normal choice for energy for most cyclists and runners and while they have their place, a traditional gel is not perfect for all occasions. For efforts under 90 minutes, for the “pick me up” to get home or over the tough climb ahead, gels can be great. For a 6 hour effort – gels just won’t work as the only source of fuel. They were designed to work for about 30 minutes – not for hours of effort.
If you read the small print on most brands gels, it says to drink a lot of water with the gel. Gels are super thick for a reason – a brand has to pack as much “energy” in there as possible and in doing so ends up with a cake frosting consistency. To help the body break the gel down and use the calories, water is needed to help dilute the gel for digesting. The amount of water needed is about 10 to 12 oz – half a small water bottle!! If you don’t drink enough water with a gel, then the gel isn’t working for your fuel needs. On the contrary, if you are ingesting 2 gels an hour you need a full bottle every hour just to digest your gel – which means that water isn’t being used to re-hydrate you. So this means that you will need to carry lots of extra bottles OR have a support car following you OR stop often just to fill water bottles. None of those options sound great or practical.
At WCUP we approach things a little differently. We offer two types of gels – Energy Drink and Boosters.
Our Energy Drink product is like a gel, but done to not cause the issues mentioned above. First off we have a high carb count and low caloric count – 40g of carbs (a mix of simple and complex) and only 160 calories. For endurance efforts, carbs are more important that calories and the body can only absorb 80g of carbs an hour, so our gel is half way there. The competition averages about 17g of carbs per gel – so you need 2 to 2 1/2 of the competitions gels to equal the carbs of one of our Energy Drink pouches.
Why do we call our product Energy Drink instead of Energy Gel? It’s because you can drink it out of it’s container – that’s why there a screw top! You don’t have to squeeze it out of a tube, you just tilt it back and sip. By making sure our product has more liquid content, it absorbs and digests quicker and easier – giving you the energy and power you need!
Our Boosters do what the name implies – you get a BOOST when you need it. These are not to be used constantly during your effort, but instead only when you need that boost. You have a hard climb coming up? End of the race coming and you want to sprint with a full tank of energy? Almost home and starting to feel those 80 miles in your legs? Take a Energy Booster or Red Xplosion (for some caffeine) about 30 minutes before you need the boost.