Fuel’s Innovation with Gels
approach to energy gels is Peak Fuel’s toothpaste-style container. This
is a huge advance over the usual gel sacs, with tear-off top and usually
discarded sticky package (check any MTB race track after events and
these messy things abound – would you shove one of these in your back
pocket with the gel still oozing out?) With Peak Fuel you can ingest it
progressively on a needs basis, rather than trying to down the lot in
one swift gulp. You simply one-finger snap the lid down after each
intake. The empty clean container can then be properly disposed of at
the end of the event – or if some remains, save it for next ride!
Comment on Sports Nutrition Generally
I start to
get into difficulties when trying to comment on the benefit or otherwise
of sports nutrition products. It all starts to get very subjective on
matters of taste and efficacy, and how you feel on the day (not having
human biochemistry expertise from which to make informed analysis, I
have to depend on gut reactions)
the answer is to treat it like wine – concentrate on the ones you like
(and don’t bother with the labels)
years, trying many different concoctions in strenuous situations, the
only reasonably consistent finding I have had is that energy gels seem
to give you a boost that lasts for some time. By and large, I have had
best success with gels. Sports drinks give you a boost but are not as
long lasting as the gels.
bars give me the feeling of taking a light meal, which is a comfort on a
long endurance event, where anything heavier would probably put you out
with stomach cramps. A problem with the most commonly used brand is that
it often tenaciously sticks to the roof of your mouth – you often
finish with 80% still idly hanging in there.
drinks do have a place in nourishment and replacing lost electrolytes;
however, after finishing the 100 km “Epic” that prospect did not sound
like fun to me. I was looking for something more tempting - downing a
banana, two hamburgers, a hot dog, cup of coffee, a beer, and a glass of
wine, all in rapid succession. Follow this advice at your peril – I did
and then threw up. Perhaps I was wrong and should have stuck to the
Specific Peak Fuel Products
visiting New Zealand regularly for the past 12 years I have developed a
great affection for the people, the place and the food. I am probably
biased toward NZ products as a consequence.
the best farm produce in the world is available there and the Kiwis are
adventurous with their cooking. Their berry fruits - cranberries,
blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are irresistible to me (have
you tried a cranberry pizza?)
of this digression is that Peak Fuel use a number of such berries in
their products and I was keen to try these.
Shot Hydration Formula
33gram sachet of a powdered drink with 5.3% carbohydrate and various
essential salts likely to be lost with intense activity. Two flavours,
lime and berry burst. I predictably tried the latter and found it to be
tasty but not too sweet (nice smell) I had been working hard before
mixing the powder in a 600 ml water bottle but cannot determine whether
or not I was invigorated by it. I liked it a lot though. The salts
formulation would undoubtedly keep the electrolyte levels up.
Gel “Xpresso Rush”
re novel packaging. This comes in 4 flavours, Berry Burst, Choc Boost,
Lime Lift, and Xpresso Rush.
Xpresso Rush to seek out the caffeine boost. This confirmed my perceived
view that gels are good for endurance events. It has a mixture of 70.5%
carbohydrate (maltodextrins) and 18.5% short sugars for an initial quick
boost and 21mg caffeine to sustain the energy production. It has a
light, sweet coffee taste and is very smooth and pleasant to consume
(Addictive? –perhaps. As a matter of fact, I just this moment opened the
smart lid and gobbled some down to confirm my test impressions. (If
things get a bit erratic from now on, it will be the caffeine.)
formulations vary across these 4 gels. The maltodextrin carbohydrates
and sugar content are similar for all but the caffeine content varies
widely. Lime Lift has no caffeine and, surprisingly, Berry Burst and
Choc Boost have nearly 3 times the caffeine content of Xpresso Rush. The
sodium/potassium contents also have wide variations across the products.
Why this is so is beyond me. It is likely that the variations are driven
by taste considerations, as Mark Inglis is undoubtedly into taste
subtleties with his winemaking skills.
product literature suggests that each gel tube should provide energy for
2 hours of work. Take half the tube over the last 40 minutes of the
first hour. After that, take the remainder every 15 minutes or so. For
events longer than 2 hours, take more gel tubes.
in 2 flavours – “Cranberry and Apple” and “Peanut Brownie” I tried the
cranberry and apple and, thankfully, could not get it to stick to the
roof of my mouth. The taste and texture is pleasant and easy to absorb.
It does give you the comforting feeling that you have eaten something
substantial. The underside had a suggestion of something like yoghurt
(as in “yoghurt/muesli” bars) but this did not detract from it in any
way. They are made from oats, rice and soy products, with natural
flavours and no preservatives or artificial colouring.
have low to medium Glycaemic Index rating meaning energy is slowly
released. They both contain protein (14% to 17%) fats (4% to 10%)and
carbohydrates (53% to 63%) giving long-lasting energy, in addition to
the usual electrolytes.
be logical to use these products according to the design rationale; i.e.
before an event make sure you are hydrated using Solo Shot/ Hydration
Formula, also use this in one of your water bottles. Use the gels
progressively at the rate of one every 2 hours (washing it down with
fresh water). If the event is longer, consider eating a Summit Bar with
water. Finally, at the finish, dose up on High Performance Recovery
real world, quirky mortals that we are, the tendency is for individuals
to rely on what works for them.
have the ideal above and information on the products. It is up to you to
determine what suits your circumstances.
would suggest is that you certainly try these new products as they come
with impeccable credentials
Little More on Mark Inglis
Did you know that: -
In 1982 he was trapped on Mt. Cook in a snow cave for 2
weeks. Because of bad frostbite, both his legs were
amputated below the knee. He was fitted with carbon fibre
He returned to Mt. Cook to summit in 2002.
-In 2003 he received the NZ Order of Merit for services to
disabled people. He has provided support and advice to
amputees in Tibet and land mine ridden Cambodia.
He reached the summit of Cho Oyu (over 8000metres) in 2004.
15 May 2006 he climbed the highest mountain in the world –
Everest 8848 metres! One of his carbon fibre legs broke on this
in a fall at 6400 metres – he continued on after duct tape
repairs. This man is tenacious.
He is heavily involved with charitable bodies in NZ and
other parts of the world.
He is an acclaimed motivational speaker, has written a
number of books on his experiences, some of which have been
Would you trust your sports nutrition to this man? – you bet, I
Biker of small repute – formerly known as the Count of no Account)
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Friday May 10, 2013