If you like the ease and effectiveness of gels, but desire to consume mostly “real,” natural foods on your ride, this post is for you. It’s short and it’s sweet. In fact, it’s just the right amount of sweet.
Recipe of the week: Honey in a Flask – Easy Homemade Gel
- 1.5 Tbsp. honey
- 1/12 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. water
- 1/2-1 tsp. organic coconut oil (optional – adds an energy source and helps honey “slide” out of flask easier)
Mix all ingredients very well. Pour into gel flask and test for ease in squeezing out.
1 Serving. Nutrition Information: 120 calories, 23 gram carbs, 200 mg sodium.
My love of honey (organic, raw) for training fuel is well-documented throughout my posts. It is just so pure and simple, and has so much to offer. It is a great source of quickly metabolized carbs that provide lasting energy similar to maltodextrin. It’s made up of almost equal parts glucose and fructose, so works well as a stand alone or alongside a dextrose-based drink if going for a 2:1 glucose:fructose ratio. And, as long as it’s organic or raw, honey will provide enzymes that aid in digestion and antioxidants that promote cellular health.
But, we can still do better. Once you have the honey, you still need bit more to make this a well rounded gel. First, you need sodium. Most cyclists need 400-700 mg sodium per hour when training, and our honey gel will provide 200 of those mg with every serving.
Then, there’s a superfood ingredient. Although it’s not readily used in most commercial products, a small amount of organic coconut oil can go along way as an energy source. It is actually a quick-acting fat that provides an energy source and nutrients used directly by the mitochondria of cells (energy powerhouses of cells).
Next, there’s the all-important logistics. We’ve added water simply to thin the gel and help you get it out. Honey and water aren’t friends, though, and the water may cause crystallization in the long run. So, you’ll need to use your honey gel within a few days of making it.
Bonus Ingredient: Lastly, if you’re daring, you may want to throw in some mustard (as in honey-mustard). Just a teaspoon of mustard per hour can keep cramps at bay, and can stop them almost immediately if they start (learn all about it here). However, if you don’t like the taste of honey mustard enough to suck down a full serving per hour, don’t waste your gel. Instead, if you want to try mustard as an anti-cramp agent, carry a flask of honey gel and a few packets of mustard separately.
It might be my shortest post ever! Maybe sweetest as well. This week, you can keep it real-food, effective, and efficient. Honey in a flask. Doesn’t get much easier than that.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.