Homemade Gel for training gut CHO aborption

I am trying to get my ability to absorb carbs during my 3 hour races up. As discussed many times on the podcast, this requires training of the gut. Unfortunately, the idea of all those Torq gels (they are the ones I race with) makes my wallet hide.

I see the discussion on homemade drinks and other foods (money-saving hacks) but I am not having any luck figuring out how to make gels. Just drinks of various kinds.

Specifically, I want to make the 1:1 ratio (glucose : fructose) to maximize uptake. What recipes have you used?

I found the one below:

Homebrew Power Goop

7 and 1/3 tablespoons of honey
3/4 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses
1/10 teaspoons (just shy of 1/8 tsp) of table salt

he lists the content as having 25g carbs – but I have not yet worked out the ratio. (I will work on this and report back).

I struggle to understand how many other recipes using Chia seeds, dates, and sweet potatoes are doing to be absorbed as fast without guy issues.

Does the TR community have a homemade gel recipe?

perhaps another thread should be “How to train your gut for higher CHO absorption?”

Ted king endorses maple syrup gel company I think called tapped. I do a cup of maple syrup, 3 tablespoons of agave, 2 tablespoons of molasses and about a teaspoon of salt in a reusable gel bottle or runners water bottle. Works great for a 2.5 to 3 hour race. My homemade gel has more nutrients than any of those pre packaged maple syrup gels at a fraction of the cost.


I’m also making my one gels.
I just take water and then ad maltodextrin and fructose in a 2:1 ratio untile a consistency I like.
I also ad a little bit of salt. To dissolve everything I heat up the water but not boiling. In the end, I fill it in a small water bottle.
I have no clue if this is a good gel or not, but it works for me.

I seriously doubt there is any magic to the expensive gels. It is just really thick sugar water. Or watery sugary jello. If you thicken up sugar water to the consistency you want, I’m sure you’ve essentially got the same thing as a gel.

As mentioned above, adjust glucose/fructose ratio as well if need be.

You want a 2:1 glucose fructose ratio. There is some anecdotal evidence that more fructose can be absorbed but I have my doubts and you’d be in for possible gut issues. 90g of 2:1. Does it need to be a gel or can you just mix it concentrated in one of your bottles?

What do you use for these? Straight that you bought?

I would like it to be a gel so I can separate the food from the hydration.

Untapped is Ted King’s company.

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I use fructose from the supermarket, I think it’s for cooking, and maltodextrin from a sports nutrition brand.

I’m from Switzerland and the brand is a swiss brand, I don’t know if they ship internationally.

You can use xantam gum to thicken up the concentrated solution

I’ve used a concentrated solution made from my carb drink powder (High5). It has the 2:1 sugar ratio, and using a pre-mix makes calculating the carbs really easy. Just use very little water, add the powder scoop by scoop, shaking it until its dissolved every time. Warm water helps. It gets a bit thickish, but not like proper gel (more like the High5 gels), but I don’t like that anyway.

If you put it into a separate bottle, you’re not mixing it up with hydration, no matter the consistency.

The supermarkets around me don’t have it. I have a couple of specialty shops I will call.

Great idea!

@Splash - I am experimenting right now. Not sure if I will race with purchased or homemade. 1 bike holds 1 bottle; the other holds 2. Thanks for the idea.

I’m about to make up some of the gels you linked to. I have bought blackstrap molasses, honey and some washable/reusable 100ml food pouches. I am planning on using sodium citrate for sodium though. I will report back my success once I get hold of the sodium

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Well, I am almost back to step 1. None of the surviving specialty stores around me have either. I don’t go to the other side of town (1 hour each way) anymore or I could hit the brewing supply shop for maltodextrin. Fructose is striking out.

My focus was getting the ratios really close so I could maximize the test effectiveness. Shipping stuff in kills the cost savings.

Will look seriously at the blackstrap molasses and honey mix again. Ratio is likely to be a guess. Sigh.

An update on this. Could not stand the blackstrap mollasses mix.

Am now mixing 30g each of Maltodextrin and Fructose for 90 min rides. Add just enough water to make it a pretty clear liquid. Just use a spoon to eat part of it at different times during a ride. I should have taken pictures when making today’s mix – looks like a TON. And people can learn to absorb 2x that!

Right now, the intent of this is to try and train the body to absorb more CHOs. How are others doing with this?

I intend to try something similar! 20g maltodextrin, 10g fructose, 1.7g trisodium citrate, 0.3g citric acid, 15g water. Put it all in a little heat sealed pack. This isn’t enough water to dissolve the mix at room temperature, but if I heat it up in water…hopefully this should dissolve and stay as a gel when cooled.

I may prototype in a squeezy silicone bottle to get the water content correct. The dry ingredients are my regular bottle mix anyway :slight_smile:

I tried the gel route with maple syrup + sea salt. It works OK.
I tried adding maltodextrin powder to it but found it needed water to mix so i tried putting it all in a pot and simmering the water out. Way too much work, which is why i have just gone to bottles now instead.