4/11/11

The Great Gel Experiment–Update

Well, I’m now over a month into the great gel experiment and I think *knock on wood* that I’ve solved my gel issue.

The first week, I took a GU gel with disastrous effects. Some running friends suggested that it may have been a result of something I ate in the day leading up to the run vs. the gel itself, but I didn’t eat anything out of the ordinary for 48 hours leading up to that Sunday morning, so the only culprit was the GU. Big thumbs down, GU.

Fast forward to the next Sunday, I played a little eenie meanie minee mo in front of the nutrition shelf at Running Room and settled on Clif Shots. Given that I’m still in “training,” may as well start training my tummy, right?

Well, What. A. Difference.

Now, I wasn’t completely pain free but I only experienced some minor stomach flip flops AND I was able to function like a normal human being for the rest of the day. BONUS.

Could we be a match made in heaven?

To be sure,  I decided to give it a REAL test drive and had one during the Chilly Half. Seeing as I treated the race more like a normal Sunday run, I thought there wouldn’t be any harm in it. Although upon reflection, it was kind of stupid as I have realized I did not see a single portapotty on the route. Or maybe I was too busy looking at my feet and avoiding running in piles of snow.

Was it only me?

But all was well and I survived the 13.1 miles with no trouble and then followed it up with Around the Bay, again with only minor tummy discomfort.

After talking with a few other people, seems as though the culprit might be Maltodextrin. Although Clif shots have it as well, the effects aren’t as uncomfortable as the times I’ve used those made by GU or PowerBar. Could be the more “organic” source they use, or maybe it’s just a placebo effect – who knows! All that I know is that I can survive a 30k run and NOT feel like I’m dragging my behind across the finish line.

However, I am considering making my own and testing it out.

Is that crazy?

12 comments:

Tara said...

Great news. I'm really glad you found a solution.

I thought too that maybe it was an ingredient thing, knowing how sensitive your stomach can be.

I actually thought about making my own too, after reading about it on another blog. Looked interesting.

Amy said...

Have you tried Sport Beans?

They're the only thing that don't make me sh!t my pants. lol

marie said...

@Amy - Yes. They don't work for me.
Same with blocks, chomps, sharkies, etc.

H-woman said...

What about the ones made with honey? I think they're called zingers or something...

Healthy Living Experiment said...

I hear you!! I may have found a solution to my tummy troubles: pepto bismol pills 30 min. before my run. However, I have found that I may need to take some with me as my gut does some flip flops mid way. My stomach only likes clif shot bloks and diluted electrolytes. I haven't experimented making my own electrolytes yet, but I did see an article on it with a recipe!

Sam said...

Carb-Boom GUs have a different sweetener. . . not maltodextrin, and they are pretty organic/hippy-dippy woo woo. But tasty. And sold at RR. Try Apple cinnamon. No, seriously. I was skeptical too, but it's good!

I tried them on Sunday and liked it a lot, and it didn't upset my belly terribly (which is almost as sensitive as yours).

Anyway, "food" for thought . . .

marie said...

I guess I've confused people.I'm not looking for advice on what else to use. I'm happy, thanks, but am intrigued by making my own.

@Sam - the first ingredient in carb boom is maltodextrin.

Tricia said...

Happy you've found something that works for you!

Nanookie said...

That's good to know! I'm just starting the gel experiment myself for the half.

I like the sportbeans, but they're such a pain to handle. I picked up a few different gels at MEC on the weekend, so hopefully they work out.

Sarah said...

My problem isn't during the race..it's after. About 30-45 minutes after I stop running a distance over 10+ miles. I too am intrigued about you home made Gu's.

sunshine! said...

I don't think that it's crazy at all....you already are sensitive to many things, so why not see if you can come up with something without things that are toxic to you.

Laura said...

I know GU doesn't bother me so I am not experimenting anymore...they are all just gross to me to be honest.
CarbBoom - makes me want to CarbBarf.
Cliff Shots were ok but did nothing for me 'energy wise'. Could be my imagination....
Everything else - beans, chomps, Stingers etc are fine but how do you carry all that stuff around? I need a sherpa.

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