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Hi all, first time poster here.

I do most of my riding on our group's short, bi-weekly ride. This is usually a 24 mile ride at a 22-23 mph pace. I really like these rides with my current group so I tried to do a weekend ride with them. This was a vastly different experience. We did a 70 mile out and back up the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's. Honestly, I was not prepared, nutritionally, for this long ride with that much climbing. I was only carrying water and 2 small Gu gel packs. I definitely needed something more. I was almost completely cramped up for the final 10 miles of the ride. I talked to many members of our group and got their opinons, but I also wanted to get some other opinions. What is the best thing to drink on long climbing rides to keep from cramping? Seems like a lot of people like the hammer nutrition line of products. What do people eat at rest breaks? I really like the Gu's. I probably need at least 3 times as many as I brought though and I imagine they would get old eventually. Seems like a lot of guys in our group like powerbars. What do you guys think of that? Bottom line, I didn't feel "winded" at the end of the ride, I was just cramping up way too much. Thanks for all the help! :thumbsup:
 

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Gu type stuff (gels) are ok for shorter rides and to top you off occasionally, but not a good source in and of themselves for fueling you on a longer ride. I would be eating some real food too like maybe a sandwich, banana, apple, or whatever else works for you. The pre ride meal is important as well. If you just had a bagle and a cup of coffee, you're not going to be feeling too good on a long ride with some big climbs.

As for hydration, I just use water. I do add Endurolytes for rides that are long and/or during hot weather to replace lost electrolytes through sweating.

Your cramping could have been caused by any number of circumstances including electrolyte depletion, not enough, or the wrong kind of food, lack of fitness, or a combination of reasons. If I were to guess, I'd say that nutrition was the main factor that caused your cramping since you ride on a regular basis, your fitness should be pretty good.
 

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I personally like one bottle of water and one of Accelerade. I take an extra two scoops of Accelerade in a snack size ziplock baggy for a refill. On a ride of about that length, I would fill my flask with 4.5 servings of Hammer Gel (there always seems to be about 1/2 a serving that is near impossible to get out of that thing) and I would also eat 1 to 2 Power Bars (really like the Berry Smoothie) and at least 1 or 2 Cliff Shot Blocks.

But like Hop said, that's after I had fueled up well pre-ride.
 

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Avoid the banana. Trust me.

That said, I like to figure some sort of nutritional for every thirty minutes I'll be out, plus a decent margin for emergencies. A Clif bar is good for an hour. As for hydration, some thing. Figure out how long you'll be out, and bring enough water. If you're going to be sweating, you'll need to replace electrolytes as well.

While there's no harm in asking on the internet, this is one time when your LBS, no matter how good or bad, may be the best resource. If they have nutritional products, chances are that the guys there (or girls) have tried them all, and can tell you what works, what doesn't, and what tastes good or bad. I like to test them either on short rides, or even while working on my yard on a hot weekend, rather than having some gastric upset in the middle of nowhere.
 

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Hopefully that's not what GU had in mind when they named their company.
Ya hope. I like The Jelly Belly beans with caffeine. Not for riding though. I get a ton of them at Interbike each year, and eat them during the drive home. :D

Since I have blood sugar issues, I always have to carry some sort of snack with me.
 

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Slowin it up.
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Wait this is new to me. I have Caffeinated gum, soap, drinks and foods, but now they have jelly beans? What an age we live in. You got a link for that Industry? I am 100% serous in my need for this product.
 

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Slowin it up.
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They are the perfect balance of sweet/tart/crack-like caffeine rush.
I can't wait. When looking for energy products they ought to have Crack like rush right on the bottle. I would buy it instantly. Crack heads get a lot accomplished considering there crack heads.
 

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forget the power bars and cliff bars, go with fig bars, if you are economically challenged. Three fig bars are about equal to one power / cliff bar as far as carbs go.
 

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Drink plenty of water!!!
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I also like a few dried figs in the back pocket... cheaper, more natural and no wrappers to confuse and disturb you while riding and end up in the ditch (you and/or the wrapper). Sport drink mixtures, there are a million to choose from, to restore electrolytes. On a 40 miler in average warm weather I have a 750ml bottle with pure water and a 500ml with jazzed up sport drink, a little extra fructose and vitamins in it.
 
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