I am not a nutritionist, so let me preface some of this post by saying that none of this information is backed by scientific research or any form of qualification, and that following any of the advice / recipe below could be considered dangerous.
Staying fed on a bike and keeping your energy levels up can be an expensive affair. You need to stay hydrated, and you need to keep feeding yourself sugary rubbish to keep your energy high and there’s a vast array of product out there that is designed specifically to keep you in the pocket of performance. However it does tend to be on the expensive side, and I’m never sure if an energy gel does anything that a nice chunk of battenburg doesn’t. Since I’m no elite athlete, I honestly couldn’t say I notice a difference in my performance whether I’m cake fuelled or gel fuelled. Equally, with hydration, I’m told by those who know much more than I do that, a bidon of water is not as effective at rehydrating as a bidon filled with your sports drink of choice…
Recently my younger brother, who is a certified genius, pointed out to me that the hydration powders that you buy in the chemist when you have a case of the trots, are a good chunk cheaper than the ‘sports drinks’ you can buy, and do the same job. So I took his advice and got some. I haven’t yet died from dehydration on a ride, so I’m going to assume that there was some truth in his words. Staying with the poop theme, I decided that spending £1.50 a sachet on energy gels, when I can be consuming 6 or more on a long ride, is just daft, so I acquired several packs of dried fruits and whizzed them up in a blender. The resultant mush looked worrying like actual crap,
and with the strategic addition of some nuts or sweet corn, could well be the stuff of a hilarious Jonny Knoxville style practical joke. The dogturd bites, as I like to call them, recipe follows. I calculated that they’re about 65-75 calories for a 25g bite. About 1kg of dried fruit, some nuts and some coconut oil was less than a tenner and makes about 40-50 ‘turds’. And there’s around 60 energy gels worth of energy in that lot. I reckon I’ve saved over £50.
They taste ok too, and they’re definitely no worse on the guts than a normal gel, despite being made from dried fruit.
Toasted sesame seeds or desiccated coconut – a handful
Dried apricots – 100g
Dried Cranberries – 50g
Dates – 50g
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Nuts (any) – a handful.
Dump everything except the sesame seeds or desiccated coconut in a blender and whizz until they reach the desired consistency. Divide into portions (I reckon 25g is about a portion) then roll by hand and coat in the sesame seeds or desiccated coconut. Wrap in foil or film or something like that and chill.