Sunday Sunday Sunday and race nutrition

The hours between 5am, when I got up to run 12 miles, and now have disappeared.  It’s 3:30 pm and my long TO DO list is buried somewhere under other paperwork on the desk — no lines through anything.  Arrgh.  And now I’ve got to do some hurried work on the bathrooms before one of Asa’s little buddies is dropped off.  I don’t want to his parents to reconsider their decision to leave B. here if they stop in to use the facilities before they head out to dinner.  (There might be a dead bug in there right now.  I’m not saying that there is for sure, mind you…)  My mother always said that if your bathroom is clean, people will think the rest of  your house as clean too.  I will be testing that theory for you tonight.

In other news, I am trying a new gel.  I have tried and tried and tried to make Hammer products work for me, but they don’t get along with my intestines.  I really like everything about them otherwise.  Ingredients, taste, research.  I know many people who use Hammer very successfully.  But my need to run behind a tree anytime I use their gels or drink mixes for more than 10 miles is overwhelming and undeniable.  I also start belching like a sailor.  Lovely.  I do heart their recovery drink mix, Recoverite.  But it’s a no-go otherwise.  I just used Gu and Clif gels and water for Bandera.  3 gels an hour.  That seemed fine calorie-wise (remember, I’m a tiny person), though I didn’t drink enough water.  I’ve been told I need to drink 8 ounces of water for every 14 grams of carbs I take in.  (I’ll be doing that advanced math once Asa goes back to school Wednesday.)  I would like to have a source of protein for Rocky Raccoon, and Accel Gel was recommended.  I’ll let you know.

OK, I’ve got many more thoughts about the race nutrition journey, but I’ve only got 45 minutes until parents arrive and that theoretical bug still needs tending.

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8 Responses to Sunday Sunday Sunday and race nutrition

  1. kerry says:

    Thanks Liza. It’s definitely not Too Much Information to tell us about these gels’, ahem, physiological effects. Keep us up to date on what you try, and how it works.

    Also, I wonder whether the Clif gels you used were the old ones or the “new formula”. I almost screamed in REI when I read “new formula”, as the old ones were the only ones I could use. The new ones have replaced “organic brown rice syrup” IIRC with “organic maltodextrin”, whatever “organic” may mean in this context. I need to email the Clif people to ask, and to complain. I bought a few to try, but I get several miserable days of black depression from any of the other brands, so I’m afraid and haven’t tried yet.

    Only people with nothing to do have no bugs hiding anywhere–I wouldn’t worry too much about that. 😉

    • lizahoward says:

      Kerry, you are kind. I failed to mention that I might have noticed this bug first thing in the morning and ignored it all day.
      And, wow, about the Clif gels. I wonder why they changed too. You inspired a maltodextrin wikipedia search and it seems like it’s called glucose syrup if it’s a long chain of glucose and dextrin if it’s a short chain. “Maltodextrins are classified by DE (dextrose equivalent) and have a DE between 3 to 20. (The higher the DE value, the shorter the glucose chains, the higher the sweetness and the higher the solubility.) Above DE 20, the European Union’s CN code calls it glucose syrup, at DE 10 or lower the customs CN code nomenclature classifies maltodextrins as dextrins.” So maybe they changed it to make it more soluble. Any higher level information from the nutritionists reading?

      • kerry says:

        Dear Liza, Here’s what I got back from Clif. The comment about changing suppliers and the fact that they did not respond to my question about whether the suppliers were 3rd-party certified organic makes me even less likely to try the new formula. If I didn’t react to the first batch, I still could react the next time I bought it. 😦 You can buy organic brown rice syrup. Maybe I’ll try using that, mixed with my own electrolytes–maybe the cerasport recommended by another poster–though only one flavor of that is “natural” and doesn’t contain bad stuff all the other flavors do. More 😦

        Here’s the reply–best to you and your family as always.

        Hi Kerry,

        Thanks you for contacting us and for sharing your honest opinion about the new formulation for the CLIF Shot Energy Gels. I’m so sorry to hear that this change isn’t to your liking. I will certainly forward your request to return to the old recipe on to the team.

        I’d like to provide some insight into why we made the changes we did.

        Our new formula uses organic corn maltodextrin, which is corn starch made with non-GMO corn. It is minimally processed, much like the organic brown rice syrup we used to use. Your body breaks down both ingredients to glucose—the simplest form of sugar.

        We switched to organic maltodextrin for several reasons. First, it has a neutral taste that enables us to deliver delicious flavors. Second, it allows us to make a thinner gel—something consumers asked us to do. It also combines with the organic evaporated cane juice in our new formula to deliver carbohydrates into your bloodstream quickly.

        In addition, the blend of organic maltodextrin and organic evaporated cane juice provides the body with three different sugars: Glucose, fructose and sucrose. Current sports science indicates that a combination of different sugars enables athletes to absorb more energy from carbohydrates, increasing their endurance.

        While most other gels use maltodextrin, none of them uses organic maltodextrin. Organic ingredients are better for you and the planet.

        I realize this may not ease your mind about the new formulation. However I wanted to provide you with a bit of the reasoning behind the change.
        Clif Bar is committed to making great tasting, nutritious foods that are good for people and respectful of the planet. To do so, we source the highest quality ingredients available. To that end, we source ingredients from many different vendors to meet our consumer needs.

        As you can imagine, organic ingredient sourcing is highly dynamic and we constantly seek new suppliers to source our quality ingredients. So unfortunately, as much as I would love to tell you all the details, we cannot do so. We hope you understand.

        I’ll be sure to forward your comments on to the rest of the CLIF Shot team.
        Please let me know if you have any additional questions, comments or concerns.

        Emily Zisman
        Clif Bar & Company
        Consumer Services
        Although no trees were harmed during the creation of this message, a great number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.

      • lizahoward says:

        Thanks so much for copying their response Kerry. It was really interesting to read. I’ve heard similar info about different sugar sources (specifically fructose) allowing for more absorption than just glucose alone. I’d love to read that research sometime. Please let me know how the organic brown rice syrup with electrolytes treats you. I will say the idea of a thiner Clif gel sounds pretty nice.

  2. njk123 says:

    I wonder it is just Hammer products. I have trouble with them and know a lot of other people who do too. Yet it seems that all you can find is Hammer gels and Heed at the races round here. I know a lot of people who have trouble with them, Have you checked out Cera Sport yet? It’s a rice based electrolyte drink. I haven’t tried it yet (I want to), but I know a few triathletes have turned to it. (

    • lizahoward says:

      I know! I can’t tell you how grumpy I am about having to spend money on different gels and drinks when there are so many free Hammer products available at races. Thanks for the info about Cera Sport. I’ll give it a look.

  3. Sarah says:

    I use the power bar gels. They have 3x’s the sodium as other gels so I don’t need to worry about buying extra salt caps and carrying them on me at races. I do have the same problem as you when it comes to gels. I’ve found that my body just does not like simple sugars, so really any gel would do the same thing to me. I thought and thought what to do about the situation, but not using gels at races is really not an option because it’s the best way to get calories. So now before any race where I’m taking gels I take immodium beforehand, and another one 8 hours later if I’m still racing. It works like a charm, and there seems to be no effect on performance at all.

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