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How to: Fuel a 14km Time Trial

July 2, 2015

Featured Product: GU Energy Gels. Recommended use: 1 gel 10-15 minutes prior to an intense 15-45 minute workout. During longer endurance workouts, supplement solid food with 1 gel per hour of exercise. Always consume with water. Benefits: Immediate boost in blood sugar with easily digestible carbohydrates for pure speed. Good source for electrolytes and amino acids during workouts. Some Gu Gel flavors include caffeine which is a convenient source if you like to supplement with caffeine. The 2015 Tour de France starts this weekend with a 13.8km individual time trial in the beautiful Dutch city of Utrecht. Every rider that rolls out the start house has a chance at winning the yellow jersey. Although the Tour is 21 stages long, the lure of the yellow jersey will have every rider giving it 100% in the opening time trial. Tomorrow's time trial won't be long in duration, the winner likely finishing in around 16 minutes, but nutrition will play a role. Here are three tips for fueling your best individual time trial:
  1. You've already put in the hard work with a season worth of training. Your nutritional focus should be making sure that you maximize the fitness level your training has built up. The night before, stick to a balanced dinner that you know works well for you. Hydrate consistently and keep your feet up! Tour de France riders use the motto: don't stand when you can sit, and don't sit when you can lay down.
  2. During an individual time trial, start times vary throughout the day. You should plan your pre-race nutrition based on when you are starting your race. Your last full meal should be 2.5 hours before your start time, and should be light at 500-600 calories.
  3. 10-15 minutes before your start, take a GU Gel to boost your blood sugar slightly. During a 16 minute all out effort like the Tours opening time trial, you wouldn't need to eat anything during, but a slight boost in blood sugar before your start is important.

Gu Energy Gel:

[product_grid id="9356"] Gu Energy Gels have been a staple of fueling for endurance sports for the past 20 years. Created for daily training and competition, GU Energy Gel packs energy-dense calories in a portable packet to help sustain energy demands of any duration or activity. The 100-calorie packet contains carbohydrates (maltodextrin and fructose) that use non-competing pathways to help maximize carbohydrate absorption while diminishing stomach distress. Sodium, the primary electrolyte lost in sweat, aids in hydration by maintaining water balance. The branched-chain amino acids (leucine, valine, isoleucine) may reduce mental fatigue and decrease muscle damage. Along with the benefit of carbohydrates that aid absorption, Gu gels bring some great flavors to the table. While traditional flavors such as Vanilla Bean or Chocolate remain our best sellers, we’ve been using flavors like Salted Watermelon, Green Apple, Caramel Macchiato and the new Maple Bacon a lot this summer. As we’ve touched on in previous blog posts about how to use sugar, Gu Gels can and should serve a purpose when building fueling strategies for endurance sports. Gu is also the official energy gel sponsor for Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling. Team Soignuer Alyssa Morihan notes that “every stage is different and we build mussettes accordingly. We have an "average amount" of calories that will be consumed by riders in any given race situation and we build mussettes based on the type of stage. Stages that are harder climbing days usually dictate more GU because they are easy to consume, provide a rapid caloric intake, and are so easy to keep in the riders' jersey pockets for the moments when they need that extra kick.” Get started and pick your favorite Gu Energy Gels today!