The Great Gel Showdown – preliminary data!

May 30, 2014

Yeah, I know. Today is supposed to be a rest day book review. I’ve read most of the book I wanted to review today but haven’t written the review. Since I’ve thrown the training plan out the window this week and am moving things around anyway, why not do the same with the blog, eh?! I already had 90% of this one written, and I know people are curious, so lets just post this and go to bed! Without further ado – I give you the preliminary data from my gel and blood glucose experiments!

The Great Gel Showdown – preliminary data!

This post focuses only on the data. I’ll probably talk about gels in general at some point, but since many of you are familiar with that, I though I would just jump to the good stuff ;)

Materials and Procedure:

I’ve been using the “Sidekick,” a cheap little blood glucose meter available at Walmart for about $20. It comes with 50 strips which are stored in a canister that is attached to the meter, which is on the top. But it does not include lancets. This is something you should know, perhaps by reading the front of the stupid box, before you sit down all ready to do your tests and then you have to make a special trip to Walgreens….not that I did that…*ahem*.

Stock photo:

sidekick 2

And here it is in action:

SidekickEach gel was taken with 8 oz of water. Water is supposed to help absorption of gels, so this is why I did this. The water was served in a glass with a bicycle image on it…the bike image iscrucial ;)

Powergel and water

I took each gel after having eaten nothing in at least the 2 hours prior to testing, in an effort to make sure my stomach was relatively empty. I’m sure the results would be different if I was 1) swimming, biking, or running or 2) having eaten foods in the past hour. That is, not sure if this data would correlate to what happens during a race at all. But its soooo cool anyway, right?!? ;)

The Gels

I tried to choose flavors that were as similar as I could…no idea if this matters…it might. For example, the Gu website does talk about variations in their carb content based on flavor, but the percentages are very, very close between different flavors. Anyway, it seemed logical to pick flavors that were as similar as possible.

PowerGel Strawberry Banana: Ingredients: Dual Source Energy Blend (maltodextrin, fructose), water, and less than 2% of: salt, sodium citrate, citric acid, green tea extract and caffeine from tea, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to maintain freshness), potassium chloride, natural flavor.. – See more at: http://www.powerbar.com/Products/powergel-strawberry-banana#sthash.LPBhG10p.dpuf

Ingredients

Dual Source Energy Blend (maltodextrin, fructose), water, and less than 2% of: salt, sodium citrate, citric acid, green tea extract and caffeine from tea, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to maintain freshness), potassium chloride, natural flavor.. – See more at: http://www.powerbar.com/Products/powergel-strawberry-banana#sthash.LPBhG10p.dpuf

Ingredients

Dual Source Energy Blend (maltodextrin, fructose), water, and less than 2% of: salt, sodium citrate, citric acid, green tea extract and caffeine from tea, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to maintain freshness), potassium chloride, natural flavor.. – See more at: http://www.powerbar.com/Products/powergel-strawberry-banana#sthash.LPBhG10p.dpuf

Clif StrawberryIngredients: Organic Maltodextrin, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Water, Organic Strawberry Concentrate, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Citric Acid, Green Tea Extract (contains caffeine).

Honey Stinger Acai PomegranateIngredients: Organic tapioca syrup, organic honey, water, potassium citrate, natural flavor,citric acid, sodium chloride.

Gu Strawberry BananaIngredients: Maltodextrin, Water, Fructose, Leucine, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Citric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Valine, Sea Salt, Malic Acid, Histidine, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Fumaric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), D-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Natural Flavors, Gellan Gum, Isoleucine, Pectin Powder, Ginger Extract, Chamomile Extract.

Results

I tested my blood sugar – the “1” on these. Then I slammed the gel and the water, and tested every 5 minutes after that – each next test is the next number on the horizontal axis. The gels times vary, because once I felt that my blood sugar had returned to what it was and was stable, I chose to spare my fingers. :) Or, after after an hour or so when it didn’t appear it was going to be a nice return to the starting point, I also stopped.

I do not claim to be a master at Excel graphing. Judge away. If you want the file for the raw data so you can do some proper graphing for yourself, hit me up!

PowerGel Strawberry BananaClif Strawberry

Honey Stinger

You will recall that I first tested with a Gu Strawberry Banana gel. I was curious about duplicating some, if not all, of these tests, so I started with that one:

Gu Strawberry Banana 1 and 2And here they all are:

All the Gels

So there it is! Like I said, analysis and thoughts will come later, this is just the data. Questions, comments, and snide remarks are welcomed!

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