Beetroot and Carrot Rice Salad

Baby Spinach Leaves
1 Organic Beetroot
2 Organic Carrots
1 Cup Basmati Rice (cooked, cold)
1 Tbsp Organic Flaxseed Oil
Verjuice (drizzle to taste)
Biodynamic Australian Lake Salt (pinch to taste)
Poached Turkey Breast Fillets (strips, optional)

Organic Energy Gel

The formula I make is a mix of both complex and simple carbohydrates. It consists of glucose for immediate release energy, maltose for gradual release energy and fructose as inulin for sustained energy.

The ingredients I use are as follows; Rice malt syrup, agave nectar, molasses and water.

These can all be sourced from Coles in the health foods aisle. Unfortunately, Woolworths do not stock these items. The brands I use are as follows:-

Pure Harvest Organic Rice Malt Syrup 500g
NatureFirst Organic Dark Agave Nectar 500ml
Blue Label Black Strap Molasses 550g
Noble’s Pureau Water

See photos (above). The rice malt syrup and molasses can be found near each other. The agave nectar can typically be found near the organic vinegars and oil and can sometimes be difficult to find.

Each item costs between $4-$6 which is far less expensive than $3-$4 for a single 32g sachet of GU!

All these types of sugars provide carbohydrates in the form of monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. It is important you get the mix of these sugars right for optimum performance.

For more information on sugars, the Powerbar website has a good article on the subject.

I consistently mix this up in the ratio of 4:2:1:1.

The best product to mix up and store this gel in is a gel flask. I use a Fuel Belt Gel Flash and highly recommend this. See photo (above).

The new Rebel Performance Sport store in the MidCity centre sell these but you might be able to find them elsewhere?

I keep the flask in my back jersey pocket. The only thing that lets the flask design down (being US made) is all measurements are in ounces. Fortunately, all the ingredients are viscous enough just to pour directly into the flask.

Using the ratio above I typically mix up 4 oz. (120 ml) at a time:-

2 oz rice malt syrup
1 oz agave nectar
½ oz molasses
½ oz water

The molasses helps reduce the overall sweetness of the mix and provides a source of electrolytes, namely magnesium and potassium. The water reduces the viscosity allowing you to shake / mix the gel. Shake well.

You should also find that you can wash the gel down with your favourite sports / electrolytes drink and it won’t upset your stomach like GU, Powerbar, Carb-BOOM etc.

The energy breakdown of each ingredient are as follows;

Rice malt syrup: 1333 kJ / 100 * 57g = 756 kJ
Agave nectar: 1302 kJ / 100 * 28g = 369 kJ
Molasses: 1170 kJ / 100 * 14g = 166 kJ

4 oz or 120 ml = 1291 kJ (308,556 Cal)
1 oz or 30 ml = 322 kJ (77 Cal)

The gel is to provide you with the carbohydrates you need ‘right now’. This will reduce the rate at which your glycogen stores become depleted. Consume 1 oz every 45 mins.

Your body is only able to digest roughly 350 calories per hour during exercise. Anymore and your body will need to divert blood from your muscles to digest the excess.

I do not solely rely on my energy gel during long rides (100>180km). I always prepare a ration pack that typically consists of:-

1 x Cadel’s Mountain Mix Bar
1 x Artisse Organic Cranberry Crunch
1 x Artisse Organic All About Nuts
1 x Clyne Foods Organic Sultanas
Handful of Natural Confectionary Co. Jelly Babies

During intense training and race you will most definitely run into an energy deficit. How much of a deficit will depend greatly on how much glycogen (stored carbohydrates) are available to you. You should aim to fully replenish your glycogen stores atleast 36 hours before competition.

The Australian Institute of Sport has a good fact sheet on cycling nutrition, it covers energy requirements and sources.

I have also reviewed some of the nutrition I use during training.

As for commercial gels and consuming electrolyte drinks, they tend not to mix well and will often unsettle your stomach and / or leave you feeling bloated.

I have found this not to be a problem with my own energy gel and electrolyte drinks. I often use in conjunction with my own organic sports drink or Gatorade Bolt (no artificial colours).