Thursday, June 10, 2010

gu, my best and worst friend

You have to love modern technology. GU wasn't around when wt and I were kids. Wondertwin used to carry around a baggie full of sugarcubes to counteract any emergency blood sugar lows. I carried little tubes of cake frosting. These days, things are much simpler with things like gu, honey stingers, clif shots and other energy gels. They are small and light and easy to slip into any bag or the pocket of your gym shorts or even tucked into your crew sock if necessary. They don't need refrigeration, don't get stale and are pretty durable. Yes, you can puncture them if poked with something sharp, like my dog's teeth, but usually they hold up to abuse pretty well.

I just packed up six gels to bring with me on my century bike ride this weekend. And as I packed them, my stomach turned a bit. Problem with the gels is that they are kind of disgusting. The taste is ok but I find the consistency rather gross. But they do work so well! I'd have to drink a whole bottle of most energy drinks to get the same amount of carbs into my body as one little gel, plus the gel raises my blood sugar quicker and doesn't leave me feeling bloated. I do really like the honey stinger fruit chews but they are too bulky to carry on such a long ride especially since I need to bring extra tubes, my raincoat and all my blood testing supplies. My goal on saturday is to make it to each rest stop with a decent enough blood sugar to not need a gel and be able to rely on normal food like bananas and bread and peanut butter instead. That is the tricky part. I am not too worried about my legs. I think they will fare the best. My concerns are my blood sugars, my butt (oh, it will be sore even with padded shorts) and my hands. My hands tend to fall asleep, especially the right one when I'm biking. I've been doing so much riding that now it falls asleep even when I'm not on the bike. I can just see myself driving home from the event bonking from low blood sugar, with a bleeding hemorrhoid (got my first a couple of weeks ago) and losing control of the wheel because my hands are asleep. Just kidding, I will sleep in the parking lot if I have to! But seriously folks, it is a fun sport and once I get over my nerves, I will have the ride of my life:)


  1. Yeah, Gu is...not great tasting. I do like it for long runs and bike rides, though -- it's easy calories when you get hypoglycemic (which is a problem for me, a non-diabetic, after 20 miles of running, so I'm sure it's 10x more of a problem for you!). I've found the vanilla flavor to be far the most palatable -- have you tried that one?

    Good luck on the ride! You'll do great!

  2. Yeah, vanilla is usually the best flavor and oddly enough chocolate is usually the worst! Even though I love chocolate it often tastes like crap in a gel or powder.

  3. Hi- have a great ride!!

  4. I love you! I'm trying not to think too much about your ride until it is over:( Good thing World Cup Soccer is on! wondertwin