Energy Gel? I can make it myself!
I think I might be turning into the grandmother from the BBC’s Goodness Gracious Me. Here’s yet another thing I’ve found that I can make myself. All I need is some honey, some peanut butter, a little hot water, and a small aubergine.
Actually you don’t need the aubergine.
This started when I decided it was time to start working on refuelling during exercise. Bananas and my home made protein bars are great, but trying to get ‘em down my neck when I’m at 85% of HRmax is a bit of a challenge. So a couple of weeks ago, I went grazing through the ‘pocket foods’ section at the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative. The trouble was that pretty much everything seemed to be from the ‘Power Bar’ range, and since VonSmallHaussen has convinced me that Nestlé is in fact the spawn of Satan (note to any Nestlé lawyers out there - that’s only an oppinion, and probably not a fact that I’m asserting) , I had to rule their products right out.
And then I saw a display from the Honey Stinger range. Ingredients: mainly honey + things like chocolate. Hmmmm . . . . shounds good. So I tried a couple during the longer sessions of the last couple of weeks, and they go down well too. And they do the instant pickup sugar rush thing that I’d been reading about. So far so good.
The only problem was that I tended to catch the corners of my lips on the sachets, and struggled to get ‘em open and emptied single handed. Still, needs must, etc.
So I was back in the shop on Friday, ready to restock, when I saw that they also sold 4 fl.oz gel flasks. These are basically reusable squeezable containers that are just the right size to pop into your back pocket, with a wide-ish neck and a ’sports’ top that you can open with your teeth. So I got one.
And then I filled it with my own version of energy gel:
- 7 parts honey. This is a medium-high glycemic index food, so it’ll give you an instand hit, followed by a sharp come-down in about 30-40 minutes.
- 2 parts peanut butter - low GI, so it acts as a buffer to the honey, slowing down it’s burn rate.
- 1 part hot water to help mix the other two ingredients.
Basically I spooned the smooth peanut butter into the flask, poured in the honey, and topped it up with hot water, before closing the lid and shaking to mix.
Tastes great, and on the basis of a single ride yesterday (hey - with this sort of sample size, I may even go into beauty products’ advertising), seemed to do the trick just as well as a manufactured gel product. Cleaning the flask out is a bit of a pain (the oil in the peanut butter is particularly stubborn), but with hot water and a bottle brush, it soon comes clean.
I’m wondering how I can make other flavours now. Chocolate should be pretty easy, as will banana, provided that I can stop it going black (probably by adding a little lime juice to slow the oxidation?).
Give this a try - and let me know what you think!