energy drinks & bars

let me preface this by saying I am 77 & not paddling around Manhattan or similar endurance events. 12 miles & 6 hours is outside limit. I have been using something called accelerade & it works fine, but leave a residue in a water bottle. What I have purchased is a camelback so I don’t have to stop paddling when taking a drink. What I need is something liquid that does not leave a mess or some kind of gel or energy bar. Wonder what would you suggest. Just need a little boost !!

Mix energy drink and water half and half
What containment device you use is up to you, but an old biker’s trick is to have a second bottle of half and half energy drink and water. Provides better digestability, still handles the electrolyte issues and isn’t nearly as gooey to clean out.

Some thoughts:
1. A mixture of half water and half gator aid works good for me.(experiment with the flavor. I personally like the old original lemon and lime. Others like orange)

2. A mixture of half water and half defizzed coke works good for my wife.

3. On longer endurance paddles we pre mix the packets of power Gel with water.

No one thing seems to work for everyone, and what works perfect for one person is liable to give the next person a upset stomach.

Good luck



Another Biker Checks In

– Last Updated: Apr-20-08 3:25 PM EST –

If you want a real boost, your local bike shop will probably carry a gel that has caffeine added. Lots of flavors to choose from.

More hands-off-the-paddle foods that local bikers like:

Fig Newtons
Peanut M&Ms (aka power pills)
Moon Pies
Pretzel rods (aka cigars) good source of salt
Vanilla wafers

Try different things and see what works for you. You absolutely don't have to spend a lot of money on fancy power bars to have good energy food.

sugared liquids

– Last Updated: Apr-20-08 4:47 PM EST –

will leave a residue. There's no way around it, if you need hundreds of calories and you're trying to get it through a liquid there will be a residue needing rinsing out.

The utility for liquid sugars is to not interfere with heavy breathing while chewing leading into a larger effort that will quickly metabolize the relatively small amount of calories contained in the liquid.

If you need a boost,,that will last only a short while,,keep it in a smaller 4oz bottle that you can gulp down, basically the liquid equivalent of an energy bar and save your camel back for water to rinse out your mouth.

It makes more sense to rely on water for hydration and a seperate container for the boost, whether it's a power bar needing water to get it down or the small bottles of thin syrup.

The amount of calories you can get for a boost in a watered down liquid aren't much and putting enough calories into a liquid will mess with hydration needs.

My sense is that if a person needs a boost and it's not a competitive event then they aren't managing their reserves and output well. In other words you might be starting out with a calorie deficit or pushing too hard throughout the paddle leaving your reserves always feeling thin or near depletion.

Sounds to me like you want that "fresh" feeling where occasional sprint efforts revitalize you and don't put you into deficit. That's a more a function of staying in a zone that leaves something in reserve than getting it out of a food or energy drink.

If you are waiting until you're feeling like you need a boost you've waited too long. The resulting calorie rush will be wonderful feeling but it would make more sense to keep the deficit feeling from happening to begin with.

Look at two typical products, 100 calorie tube of goop and 230 calorie bar. If you are feeling like you need a boost you've already started heading into deficit territory where your body is having to metabolize reserves and not rely on readily available sugars you started the day with. Basically that 100 calorie tube of goop ,,or the dozens of calories in watered down sugar drinks won't get you out of that deficit where you felt the need for a "boost".

For example, if you start feeling low two hours into a four hour paddle then you should eat a 250calorie bar one and a half hours into the paddle BEFORE you feel the need. It's just like hydration, do it before the needle is past 1/4 tank. Then you can top off with goop and liquids for a boost.

If you haven't bonked before,,where you totally blow up and can't put out more than 50% max until sugar level picks up again then this might seem like over preperation. But if you have,,take it as a clue that putting out effort until you feel the deficit is a clue you're putting out too many calories without the tank kept fully stoked up to supply the effort.


– Last Updated: Apr-20-08 4:54 PM EST –

What you eat the day/evening before an event matters a lot.

I know some folks' digestive system doesn't like it, but if you want to be charged up for a morning event, eat breakfast before you go to bed.

Yes. Eat before you get hungry. Drink before you get thirsty.

nothing about it feels good. When I did solo cycling, long distances at medium aerobic effort I like that depleted feeling.

Then when I road with the racing club where two to three times as much effort was put out it was a quick lesson on how big the tank was(wasn’t) and how fast it could run out.

Before Power Bar came out one skinny junior racer ate fruit pies,on the training rides we knew stuff was going to happen after he ate one of those.

i like
clif bars. You can buy them by the box. Yum.

It’s So Embarassing
When you’ve been biking for years and you’re supposed to know better… and you bonk. It was great when Lance Armstrong did it in a stage at the Tour de France. Misery loving company and all. It happens to the best.

Water and Food
For my distance paddling, I drink water every 30 minutes and eat about 250 calories every hour. I don’t buy energy bars very often, because they are expensive and I can make my own.

Roll or Drown Squares:

5 to 6 ounces every 15 minutes, good for about 2 hours, will need something more past that.


clif bars, MoJo bars (by Clif) and Shot Bloxs (also by Clif). Some Shot Blox have caffeine… I think the Black Cherry. I hold it between my cheek and gum like a wad of tobacco so it lasts longer(keeps my mouth wet). It is like having a shot of espresso! Awesome!

exquisite suffering

how revolutionary!
but that’s it in a nutshell, food and water. Needing a boost and having a boost are two different things. If you can’t get it from food and water then it’s not going to come from goo and wrapped bars.

Love the Shot Blocks
Only problem is I can eat them like they are candy. They taste too good!

try hammer nutrition
they have a myriad of great products, much better than gatorade, accelarade, etc.