Make your own sports gels

I have experimented with the recipe over the past couple of years and have come up with what I believe is a better tasting and a better product than you will find in the shop for a fraction of the price.

The main ingredient in sports gels is Maltodextrin. This can be found in most homebrew stores or some health food stores.  The recipe below makes the equivalent of four standard sports gels you will find in the shops.

• ½ cup Maltodextrin

• 2 tablespoons of fructose (if you train your stomach you can increase this to 4 table spoons)

• One saltstick (You can also add more depending on your pan for salt intake.  Personally I add 2 per hour I expect to be racing)

• ¼ cup, plus one tablespoon of water

• ½ tablespoon of vodka (helps combine everything)

• ¼ Lemon for flavor (Can use coco or other things for flavor)

This is how to make it:

Combine maltodextrin, fructose and saltsticks in a bowl. Stir well with a spoon. Put water in a saucepan and heat till you see steam. Do not let it boil.    Add 1/3 of the dry content into the saucepan and stir well till all lumps disappear.  Add vodka. Add another 1/3 of the dry content and stir well and then add the remainder of the dry mix.  Pour into a coffee mug and place into fridge.

From start to finish, including cleaning, takes around 15 minutes.

Calories / Carbs

  • The above recipe on average would look like: 437 calories (109.2 per gel) & 102.7 carbs (25.6 per gel)
  • With the added two extra table spoons of fructose would look like 467 calories (116.7 per gel) & 111.1 carbs (27.7 per gel)

It is recommended by many nutritionist that we consume around 60-90 grams of carbs per hour.  There has been a lot of work done to get elite athletes up to that 120g per hour but this can take a lot of work to train the system to handle that amount of carbs per hour under load.

How I use the gels

I store the gels in a drink bottle on my bike and an easy to carry small bottle to run with. For myself, I will sip (half a mouthful) on the gels every 20 minutes and always wash it down with water.  If it is a hot day, take water before and after each sip of gel. Never take gels with or near sports drink or cola unless you have trained this. This will only give you gut problems.  Rule of thumb, when using gels, water is king.

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