For on the go calorie replenishment and electrolyte replacement nothing beats the convenience of energy gels.
My homemade gu recipe is made of maltodextrin powder, Cytomax, and water. The commercially available equivalent most similar to this recipe is Hammer Gel. I’ve found that it’s easy and much less expensive to make my own.
Cytomax is a powder that’s mixed with water to make a sports drink similar to Gatorade. It comes in several flavors and is readily available at sporting goods and nutrition stores.
Maltodextrin powder is a powder that can be purchased in bulk online or at home-brew supply stores. It’s the main ingredient in many commercially made sports nutrition products such as energy gels or body-building drinks. It’s also used during the bottling process to add body to beer.
Maltodextrin powder is basically broken down corn starch that serves the body as ready to use carbohydrates requiring very little digestion, so it can be eaten on the go without causing an upset stomach.
To make the gu I put one scoop of Cytomax in a ½ cup measuring cup, then add maltodextrin powder to top it off. I then add this mixture to ½ cup of cold water and stir it until the powder is mostly dissolved. Finally, I pop this in the microwave for a few seconds and then stir to fully incorporate the maltodextrin. This makes exactly enough to fill one 5oz sport flask.
There are a couple options for carrying your gu. I use a Hammer Nutrition sports flask. There are several types of these available; I like the Hammer Flask the best because it has small ridges on it that make it easier to grip with gloves on. Another option is Cophlan’s squeeze tubes. Others have had good luck with these, but the idea of one of them popping open in my backpack and squirting sticky sweet syrup all over everything is too scary for me. I like a good solid plastic bottle with a screw on lid, although I still always carry them in an outside pocket of my pack just in case.
One flask of gu has about 300 calories. I usually try to consume one of these every hour for the first hour or two along with my water. After the first two hours I’ll switch to a different concoction which includes protein to prevent my muscles from digesting themselves—The 1000 calorie bottle.