September 8th, 2017 1:11pm
We know that food is a very personal choice. What tastes good to one might not taste good to another. And, what works with my metabolism may not work for yours.
But when we find an energy / food source that works we feel obligated to share it since many riders have not yet found their caloric nirvana. We do like to note that we get to try pretty much everything out there so our reference point in not just provider. With that disclaimer out of the way let us introduce you to GLUKOS. A relatively new company we found during Interbike last year. Sure we ate samples while hoofing it around the show floor, but that really isn’t a test.
This season we started ramping up our miles to get in some sort of race shape and do some longer rides on both the mountain and the road. And longer rides require food and drinks both on-bike and post-ride. We will leave the pre-ride nutrition discussion for another time.
What was tested:
Our request for some samples was fulfilled with
GEL Packs (different from traditional "gels")- Fruit Punch, Orange
Chewable Tablets - Fruit Punch, Lemon, Orange
Gummies - lemon, orange
Whey Recovery - Chocolate, Vanilla
Whey Protein bars - Chocolate-Peanut Butter, Cookies n Cream
The basis for Glukos is simple. In order for your body to use the foods that you ingest, it first has to turn that food into glucose. A process that takes the body some time to actually accomplish. The thinking behind Glukos is that by creating foods that are already in a glucose state, the body can and will easily absorb the nutrition better and faster than other forms because it skips the major step of digestion. In fact, Glukos claims that absorbtion already begins almost instantly because it passes through the cell walls of your mouth and straight into the bloodstream; the minute their product goes in, the power switch gets turned on. Glukos claims up to twice as fast the competitors.
Glukos also maintains that another huge benefit of their food is that it stabablizes your blood sugar levels which get depleted during hard efforts. This is key because taking in foods in this form allows for an even absorbtion of glucose and therefore reducing or eliminating spikes or crashes (aka -"bonk") in your blood sugar levels.
According to the company, "GLUKOS is made with glucose—the form of energy used by all life on earth, and the only energy your body can really use. The more strenuous the activity, the more glucose your body requires. GLUKOS gives your body the fuel it needs to perform at its best."
The Products are light but still very tastey with enough flavor to quench that food craving that occurs deep into a ride. I had a preference for the Tropical Fruit flavor in most instances and Orange being my second choice. The flavor selection is a bit limited, but finding one or two flavors you like will not be an issue as they have all the more popular ones.
After riding and racing for years, fine tuning what works and doesnt, I am hesitant to change a winning formula.
But what we found was the combination of the science, flavor and absorbtion of the Glukos Gel Packs has proven itself to be superior to anything we have found on the market to-date in the food/energy category. We especially liked how you don’t need to drink water immediately after consuming the Gel pack to wash it out of your mouth. The consistency of the product is so smooth and water like that it simply isn’t required. This also helps with the quick absorbtion - which actually does keep your blood sugar levels nice and balanced. Also, without all the high fructose corn syrup, caffeine etc to give you a "boost", Glukos products are very easy on the stomach. A critical element when you are out for a long effort.
I found the same results with their chewable tablets. I would even ride with a tablet or two rolling around in my mouth as a sort of a treat before chewing them. Another bonus of the chewable tablets is that they don’t make your fingers sticky and their packaging lets you access them with only one hand and reseal it to keep them fresh. Super clean. While the tablets look like the type you drop into water to dissolve they are not. These are chewable.
The Gummies have the same consistency of most other gummies on the market. These were better at not getting stuck in your teeth. If you are one of those cross country racers that likes to stick your gummy chews on your top tube for easy reach, these probably won’t work because the don’t have that nasty fructose in them to make them as sticky. If you prefer the texture of gummies then these will work great for you.
Our final test for these products came during a long 64 mile MTB ride event. Staying consistent with my intake of liquids and Glukos product not only prevented me from cramping, but I noticed a huge difference in consistent power and post ride recovery. The day after the event I felt almost normal with very little soreness. That means I didn’t deplete my body entirely of the fuel it needs to run nor did I fuel it with refined sugars.
Protein Bars and Recovery Drink
The Protein bar market is a tough one to crack with soo many competitors. I found the bars to taste good and be a nice between meal snack. Nothing super special about them, but I do like the science behind them and would recommend them based on that alone. Again the less refined sugars and ingredients the better.
The recovery drink is also solid. Again, nothing fancy, but a nice Whey blend that helps your muscles recover without the spike in sugar levels and the same fast absorbtion characteristics of all their products. I prefered to mix it in Alond milk for taste and shake-like density after a ride, but it worked well in water also.
We didnt get to try any of the other gels or on-bike drinks. Given the quality and performance of the other products, I would not hesitate to give them a try or recommend them also.
If you want to try some for yourself the Glukos on-line store has a sample pack and of course individual product offerings. The web store also gives you 25% off your first order if you look on page for the link. You do need to sign up for their newsletter to get it. You can use their "Product Locator" link to find a local bike store near you that carries the product. Note: not all stores that carry the product carry the full range, so call ahead if youre making a special trip.
Glukos Web: www.glukosenergy.com