Raisin the bar

Last summer, I brought along a box of Torq rhubarb and custard flavour energy gels. Of course, in reality any energy gel at all is overkill for a duffer like myself, but I do live in fear of the mid-ride bonk, and don’t fancy being stuck halfway up a mountain with even less than usual in my legs. Anyway, I found the Torq gels to be OK, but much too sweet. I actually prefer the more neutral-tasting SiS gels, which are isotonic, meaning you don’t need to drink water when you have one.
So this year, I got a box of blackcurrant SiS gels, plus several of their powdered energy drinks. In addition, I always have Zero tablets on hand, to make a sweet-tasting but calorie-free drink. To this mix, I added a box of chocolate chip Clif bars.
So I had a carload of mostly unnecessary sports nutrition, but it’s all part of the ritual, blah blah blah.
Early on, I discovered that the flapjack-like Clif bars are really hard to eat when you’re breathing hard, and even if you stop for a rest and a drink, you struggle to chew and swallow them. So I didn’t bother taking them for rides. Instead, I would supplement breakfast with the Clif bar, wait an hour or so, and then go out. They’re okay, but an expensive luxury, and I think a few fig rolls or an actual flapjack is probably as useful. Or a cheese sarnie, for that matter.
The blackcurrant flavour of the SiS gels is barely detectable, but that’s fine by me. They’re easy to get down, and don’t lie heavy on the stomach. I would generally take one on a ride a little bit before a big climb. On shorter rides, I take just one drink (SiS Go in Orange or Lemon Lime or SiS Electrolyte in Blackcurrant), whereas on longer outings, I’d take a second, made with the zero tablets.
As for the drinks, the electrolyte is very sweet-tasting (added sweeteners rather than extra sugar), but okay. I don’t like the orange flavoured Go drink, but the lemon-lime is okay.
Finally, every ride finishes with a recovery drink. Science has proved that chocolate milk is by far the best recovery drink, but I had some chocolate-flavoured SiS Rego, anyway, on the basis that if I had chocolate milk in the fridge, the kids would drink it before I could.
Verdict: none of this was needed, but what the hell. Cycling is supposed to be fun, right?

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