gels v honey

On my long rides over the last 3-4 months I've been experimenting with different nutrition. Sandwiches, flapjack, malt loaf, even pizza all of which made me feel a bit slugish.

Whilst speaking to a Tri store owner and good Ironman competitor I asked him about nutrition and what he does, his answer was a gel every 20 mins.

Now that sounds very expensive so thinking about thingsI decided to try honey and it seems to be working.

Would just be interested to now what any of you think of this and also why gels would be better, are they worth the extra expense?


  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    If it works then carry on with it.  

    Personally I would only use gels for racing -  for training I rely on stuff like bananas, cereal bars, flapjack etc - normal food - but if you feel that makes you sluggish then it's a case of experimenting like you are doing.

  • Egg and chips Mad, carbs and protein in one meal. Tape them onto your tri bars when you get them image
  • How do you get the honey in?
  • If I had egg and chips I'd need a pork chop and beans to go with em.
  • And bread and butter image
  • None, just carry a jar of honey and spoon with you
  • I've been putting it in gel flasks. At outlaw I'm going to use a drinks bottle and just mark off how many portions I need.

    What I'm trying to get at is, is there any special ingredient or benefit in gels that I would be missing out on by using honey?
  • Got this image of you on your bike being chased by a load of wasps...might be a good motivational tool
  • the main one would be salt I would have thought.
  • Practicality...of carrying it, i mean...although you could nick the little honey pots from the breakfast counter at the hotel
  • Flat Footed wrote (see)
    Got this image of you on your bike being chased by a load of wasps...might be a good motivational tool

    Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

    WW has a good point - what do you normally drink?  If you drink carb drinks, would you still get enough carbs if you swapped a couple of drinks for an electrolyte drink?

  • WW I have some elete electrolyte that I'll be carrying as well.

    FF, mixed with water, the amount of cals I need and just carried on the bike in a drinks bottle. No faff opening gel wrappers, just take a glug when needed.

    But you're right, the wasps might be a good thing image
  • Lee, at Cowman I used just water and high5 zero in my drinks bottles and honey mixed with water in my gel flasks on the bike then I had 2 normal gels on the run. It worked very well until I had a caffeine gel for the last lap of the run then I had gut ache.
    All my carbs came from the honey.
  • Im a honey fan but one of the main differences is that honey is a single form of sugar so you get a single hit, a lot of gels are multi-form so have a more sustained release ... if that makes sence
  • Will, if taken regularly say every 20mins would that matter?
  • I've used honey in training rides/runs, and honey based commercial 'gels' in races. Had no problems with the commercial stuff, and most honey, but one lot of honey I used made my throat feel like I'd been gargling sandpaper. Thankfully it was just a training run around Richmond Park, but had me coughing and wheezing and necking water to reduce the symptoms. Think it was some cheap no-name honey we had at home, but as suggested above, best to experiment before the race! I just tipped it into a couple of little gel bottles I had (the ones that go on the special nutrition belts), the honey stayed runny enough in my back pocket of the jersey.

    Fair points about electrolytes and mix of sugars, but I've never raced on just honey.
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