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Gatorade G Series Pro 01 Prime Pre-Game Fuel Energy Drink

Gatorade G Series Pro 01 Prime Pre-Game Fuel Energy Drink

Gatorade G Series Pro 01 Prime Pre-Game Fuel Energy Drink

Endurance athletes, like distance cyclists, need to start their exercise routine with a full fuel tank, i.e., a good shot of carbohydrates. Gatorade G Series Pro 01 Prime Pre-Game Fuel is a mixture of both simple and complex carbohydrates, along with a shot of three B vitamins, that can help you get off on the right foot. The folks at Gatorade suggest you drink this product 15 minutes before you begin exercising.

The Gatorade G Series Pro 01 Prime Pre-Game Fuel comes in a 4-ounce flexible package and is only available in two flavors—lime and berry. Each package has 120 calories, 110mg of sodium, and 30g of carbohydrates. It also has 20% of the amount of three B vitamins you need each day (niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid). This product does not contain either caffeine or protein.

I have tried both flavors of this energy drink and prefer the lime flavor. It tastes a lot like regular Gatorade (what a shock), but it is both thicker and sweeter. Each 4-ounce serving of this drink will cost you around $2.29 at your local store, which is the same price that you will find on Amazon.com.

While I have nothing against Gatorade G Series Pro 01 Prime Pre-Game Fuel, I do believe there are better alternatives that are just as effective and certainly a lot cheaper. I would suggest you try an 8-ounce glass of Welch’s Grape Juice instead of the Gatorade. Eight ounces of Welch’s Grape Juice provides 140 calories, 38g of carbohydrates, 15mg of sodium, 120mg of potassium, and 1g of protein. It also gives you 120% of the DV of Vitamin C and a boatload of antioxidants. Given the choice between a small dose of B vitamins or a major serving of antioxidants, I’ll choose the antioxidants every time.

In my area a 64-ounce bottle of Welch’s Grape Juice retails for around $4 a bottle, which comes out to just .50¢ a serving. Not only is a glass of Welch’s Grape Juice a much more economical choice, but I think it tastes better too!

 

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Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Cycling Shorts

When I started cycling I bought several horrible pairs of cycling shorts merely because they were only ones available at the stores in my area. Eventually I started buying my cycling clothes at a Performance Bicycle store and was content with the Performance brand of cycling shorts. Last year Performance stopped selling the shorts I was used to and I couldn’t find a suitable replacement in their store. Fortunately, after several futile efforts, I was able to find a fantastic replacement, the Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Cycling Shorts.

Pearl iZUMi Men's Elite Cycling Shorts

Pearl Izumi Men's Elite Cycling Shorts

The Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Cycling Shorts are the most comfortable pair of shorts I ever owned. These shorts have a four-way stretch fabric that moves moisture to the outer surface for fast evaporation. Even when the heat index is over 110 degrees these shorts remain dry and comfortable. The 3D Elite chamois on these shorts is made with a variable density microfiber that wicks moisture away and has active carbon yarns to help reduce odors. These shorts are a bit longer than the other brands I’ve used in the past and have silicone dots on the hems to help hold the shorts in place. The shorts are mode of 69% nylon, 16% polyester, and 15% spandex.

I now own four pair of these shorts and have ridden over 4,500 miles in them over the past year. While the 3D Elite chamois is very comfortable, I would always suggest that you use a chamois cream regardless of what brand of cycling shorts you wear (I prefer the Blue Steel Sports Anti-Chafe Chamois Creme). I routinely use these shorts on 50 to 70 mile rides without any discomfort whatsoever. My quads are rather large (my best friend says they look like tree trunks) and I’ve never had the hem creep up my leg, even though the hem is not as tight as I would like. The waist on these shorts has a drawstring, but I’ve never found a reason to use it.

One added benefit of these shorts is that it uses the same 3D Elite chamois as the Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Thermal Cycling Tights and the Pearl Izumi Men’s AmFIB Tights. Once you get used to the 3D Elite chamois you can ride in it all year round (I ride in the AmFIB tights in temperatures all the way down to zero).

The Pearl Izumi Men’s Cycling Shorts are not cheap, but it is hard to put a price on a comfortable ride. These shorts have a retail price of $100, but you can find them on Amazon.com for around $75.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Bicycle Clothing, Product Reviews

 

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Gatorade G Series Fit 01 Prime Pre-Workout Fuel Energy Bites

If you began cycling more than just a few weeks ago you have already figured out that you need to “top off the tank” or “fuel up” before you ride. If you go out for a long ride on an empty stomach you are going to use up all of your energy reserves before you hit the 20th mile. One of the many commercially prepared products to help you get a good start is the Gatorade G Series Fit 01 Prime Pre-Workout Fuel Energy Bites. These energy bites are available in three flavors: Banana Nut Chocolate, Cranberry-Pistachio, and Raisin-Cinnamon Flax.

Gatorade G Series Fit 01 Prime Pre-Workout Fuel Energy Bites

Gatorade G Series Fit 01 Prime Pre-Workout Fuel Energy Bites

I recently bought a package of the Banana Nut Chocolate flavored energy bites and this review is based upon this flavor alone. Inside the package are four small bites, each wrapped in a separate sealed tub. The recommended serving size is four bites (the entire package) and one serving has 230 calories. The ingredient list is not too bad: almonds, peanuts, invert syrup, freeze dried bananas, oat flour, whey protein isolate, glycerin, semisweet chocolate chips, water potato starch, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, natural flavor, citric acid, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, natural mixed tocopherols, and palm oil.

The good news is that these energy bites contain 31 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, 65mg of sodium and 220mg of potassium per serving. The bad news is they taste like sawdust. Our family used to go camping and I always took a package of fire starter blocks to start a camp fire. The Gatorade Energy Bites look a lot like those fire starter blocks, but the Gatorade bites are drier and have less flavor. These energy bites are horrible! If you eat these bites before a race you might not win the Ironman competition, but you will get the “Iron Stomach” award. The Gatorade Energy Bites have an expiration date and the package I tried still had two months to go before expiration. After I took the first bite I checked the expiration date again just to make sure I had the correct year.

The Gatorade Energy Bites sell for around $3 a package, which about $2.80 more than they are worth.

 

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HomeGOO Flexible Reusable GOO Flask

Distance cycling and other endurance sports burn large amounts of carbohydrates, and for most of us that means ingesting a lot of carbohydrate gels or blocks. Prepackaged carbohydrate gels are manufactured by several companies and I actually enjoy several different brands (like Clif and Honey Stinger), but most gels contain a lot of chemicals that I try to avoid. Until recently I had never considered making my own carbohydrate gel, but when Brian Dinkins, president of HomeGOO, sent me a couple of goo flasks I decided to give it a shot.

HomeGOO Flexible Reusable GOO Flask

HomeGOO Flexible Reusable GOO Flasks

HomeGOO sells two different reusable flasks. The five-ounce Goo Flask is a 5.5 inch tall BPA free plastic container with a leak proof, push-pull valve. The flexible six-ounce Goo Flask is made from ultra-lightweight BPA free plastic and collapses as you consume the gel. It also has a push/pull drink spout with removable cap, though the cap really isn’t necessary. These bottles are easy to wash by hand and are dishwasher safe.

A small tag on each bottle has a great recipe for making your own carbohydrate gel. The recipe calls for four ounces of raw honey, one tablespoon organic blackstrap molasses, 1/8 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, and one or two tablespoons of water. Honey is a perfect source of carbohydrates for cyclists since it has both fructose and sucrose and provides a “slow and steady” release of energy. In case you are unaware, raw honey is not the same thing as the filtered and pasteurized honey that comes in a plastic bear-shaped container at the grocery store (for more information see “What Is Raw Honey?”). Blackstrap molasses not only adds flavor to this recipe, but is a good source of potassium as well. I have found that using warm water when making this recipe helps the ingredients mix smoothly.

In my area of the country raw honey sells for around fifty cents an ounce, which is about half the price of prepackaged gels. In addition, raw honey has nearly twice as many calories per ounce as prepackaged gels, so you will not need as much of it to get the same effect. As an added benefit, homemade gels are all organic and contain no artificial ingredients. Because homemade gels are made of honey and molasses they never have to be refrigerated and they won’t go bad while sitting on the shelf. Whatever you don’t use on one ride can be saved for the next without any problem.

Now let’s go back to the HomeGOO flasks. I’ve used prepackaged carbohydrate gels for about 10 years and wasn’t sure how using a flask would work out. On the first ride I realized these flasks are fantastic! You can pop open the valve with your thumb and get a quick shot of the gel faster than with the prepackaged variety, then close the valve with your thumb and put it back in your jersey pocket. Among my many known weaknesses is the fact that I normally slow down a bit when I consume gels on my bike, but with the HomeGOO flask my cadence didn’t change a bit and I was able to keep one hand on the handlebar (and I didn’t have to use my teeth to open the flask!).

HomeGOO sells the five ounce flask for $3, which means that if you only used in one time you still saved money over the cost of buying prepackaged gels. The six-ounce flask sells for $9 and should last a very long time. If you are into endurance sports you owe it to yourself to try these flasks!

 

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Performance Clear Rain Jacket

The Performance Clear Rain Jacket is the cheapest rain jacket I own—it is also the jacket that has seen the most use. This jacket was never intended to be a high-end rain jacket for touring. It is designed for you to stuff in your back jersey pocket on cloudy days and pull out when the rain starts.

Performance Clear Rain Jacket

Performance Clear Rain Jacket

I have owned this jacket for four years and take it with me on 20 to 30 rides a year, and end up using it on about half of those rides. The jacket rolls up easily and I use a Livestrong armband to keep it wrapped up in my jersey pocket when I am not wearing it.

This jacket is made of vinyl and is both windproof and waterproof. Due to a full-length mesh strip that goes from the cuffs up to the armpit and back down to the waist, the jacket is fairly breathable. Instead of a zipper, this jacket closes with a strip of Velcro that makes it very easy to adjust. Unfortunately, the Velcro strip is not well attached to the jacket, so be careful when opening the jacket. If you spray a bit of Elmer’s Fast Tack Spray Adhesive on the back of the Velcro strip it should stay in place for a long time.

This jacket is available in both clear and yellow. The clear jacket allows people to see your jersey, but the yellow one makes a lot more sense for use on rainy days. Both jackets also have a reflective strip on the back for added visibility.

The Performance Clear Rain Jacket has a retail price of $20 and is available at Performance Bicycle stores and on their Website.

 

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Performance Ultra Rain Jacket

I used to hate riding in the rain. Several years ago I wouldn’t even go out for a ride if there was rain in the forecast. However, now that I am better equipped for inclement weather, rain doesn’t bother me near as much. A few months ago I purchased the Performance Ultra Rain Jacket and today was the first time I had a chance to try it out.

Performance Ultra Rain Jacket

Performance Ultra Rain Jacket

As far as usefulness is concerned, this jacket is in the middle of the pack. It is far better than the lightweight rain jacket I sometimes stuff in my jersey pocket when it looks like it might rain and the Showers Pass Touring Jacket I wear when it is really pouring. Since the jacket is made of a ripstop nylon laminate it does a great job of stopping both wind and rain.

The downside is that this jacket is not very breathable. With the large pit-zips wide open I still found the jacket a bit to warm even when the temperature was is the high 50’s. After two hours in the rain I don’t think any rainwater got through this jacket. However, the inside of the sleeves were really damp from the poor ventilation. As with any rain jacket, you will find it much more comfortable to ride with a very light long-sleeved jersey—it will keep your arms from sticking to the sleeves.

This jacket has elastic wrist cuffs with a Velcro closure. I left my cuffs open so the sleeves would cover part of my gloves and increase air-flow as well. The entire jacket can be folded down into the one large rear pocket, and then worn around the waist with the attached stretchable (but not adjustable) belt.

Performance Bicycle offers this jacket in both blue and yellow. Personally, I think you must have a death wish to ride in the rain in a blue jacket. The yellow jacket shows up well in the rain, but it lacks any reflective piping (except for the Performance logo). The lack of reflective material on this jacket is unforgivable, especially since Performance sells a cheap $20 jacket that has a fairly generous amount of reflective striping.

This jacket is available from the Performance Bicycle Website and at their retail outlets. The retail price for this jacket is $100, but I’ve noticed that Performance Bicycle often has it on sale for under $70. I think this jacket is still overpriced at $70.

 

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Performance Zone—Sports Endurance And Recovery

I am truly embarrassed by how little I knew about sports nutrition when I started cycling. I mean the “cover your face and hide” type of embarrassment. I started cycling to lose weight, so I thought the best way to do it would be to starve myself on a ride and drink only water. Bad idea—in fact it was just stupid. After an hour ride I was worn out—then it took me two days to recover, but I took solace in the fact I had given myself a good workout (what a fool).

The Performance Zone

Sports Nutrition And Recovery

After a few months on the bike my friends were telling me I was “bonking” or “hitting the wall.” I didn’t know what either of these phrases meant at the time, but they told me I just needed to eat a lot of carbs on the ride and everything would be fine. Without any guidelines to go by I began ingesting too many carbs and started gaining weight again—in spite of increasing my workout time! After reading The Performance Zone: Your Nutrition Action Plan for Greater Endurance & Sports Performance, by John Ivy and Robert Portman, my cycling life changed forever! This book is a primer on how your muscles grow, work, get fuel and recover. It explains how to calculate your hydration, carbohydrate and protein needs for your particular sport.

I would call The Performance Zone a “must read” for anyone participating in endurance sports, such as cycling, hockey, swimming, football, etc. In my situation, based upon cycling speed, weight and a few other factors, I was able to plot out a suitable course of action. I followed the instructions and started consuming 30 grams of carbohydrates every 30 minutes and my performance vastly improved (I am a Clydesdale, so your needs will vary). Not only did my speed and distance improve, but so did my recovery time. I quickly went from getting exhausted after an hour ride to riding for three or four hours before work and then doing it again the next morning.

This book is available from Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle editions for under $10.00.

 

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