Second Chance

Tidbits of My Life


July 2009

Homemade Energy Gel Recipe

This seems to be the easiest one I found so far. I’m gonna try this one first

3 tablespoons jelly (I used grape, $1 for quart jar at the Dollar Store
1/2 cup maltodextrin ($2 for a pound in the liquor store’s “moonshining” section)
About a teaspoon of vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt (270mg sodium)
1 tablespoon liquid — water, juice, Gatorade, whatever

Found this one too

However, I realized that feeding my GU addiction would be expensive… so I set out to make my own.


The basic ingredients for the maltodextrin-based refined stuff:
Malto-dextrin – available at brew stores. This is the bulk of GU, so make sure you get it cheap. I found it for as little as $1.65/LB, and as much as $4/LB. Usually comes in 8oz packages, or 5LB bags. Maltodextrin is a refined complex carbohydrate, made from corn, that doesn’t taste like much. It comes as a white powder, and turns very gummy when mixed with water (hence GU).
Water – comes from your tap.
Fructose – A kind of refined sugar. Not that easy to find, but I think most grocery stores have it, as it is used by diabetics. You can use other types of sugar too. But fructose has a very low glycemic index, so it doesn’t cause spikes in your blood sugar. Regular table sugar has a high glycemic index. Maltodextrin has an extremely high glycemic index, so fructose helps balance it. I’ve seen fructose in little packets (annoying), and in half pound bags, put out by the same company that makes all those specialty flours in little bags. If you can’t find it, use table sugar, but beware the sugar high! I’ve used other more natural sweeteners like maple syrup, but those impart a flavour to the GU, and will overwhelm any flavouring you add.
Ok, and then you’ll need salt, pectin (available in jam-making section of grocery store), and citric acid (brew store). I’m not sure how important all these ingredients are – they probably don’t make a big difference, but they are in GU. Finally, you’ll need some sort of flavouring, and possibly some booze. Yes, really, some booze!
Quantities and Procedure

The basic ratio of complex to simple carbs in GU is about 4:1. So mix together 4 parts maltodextrin with 1 part fructose. Then, add about 2 parts water and stir this all together over low heat on the stove. Actual GU only has about one part water, but to get this to work (i.e. for the maltodextrin to dissolve), you need more than that. I think some of the water evaporates as you’re heating it anyway.
At some point, add the other stuff (salt, pectin, citric acid to taste, and flavour). Use a “pinch” of these. And if you want to totally simulate GU, add some anti-oxidants (vitamin C and E), and some amino acids (GU has valine and leucine). Hard to find this stuff in easy to dish out format though. These promote muscle recovery or something.

And finally, potentially the most important ingredient is a little booze. Let me explain. My first batches of “GU” came out tasting pretty good. I used orange and almond extracts, which were alcohol-based. Later on, using other non-alcohol extracts, my GU came out tasting like crap. Good at first, but then with a weird, bad aftertaste that some described as metallic. What was it? It’s the maltodextrin, which starts tasting kind of weird after you heat this mixture (actually, I don’t think it matters if you heat it – but you can’t detect this taste if you just eat the stuff dry). I became pretty sensitive to this “off” flavour, and began to find it pretty revolting.

Then I made another almond batch, and it didn’t have this taste. Hmm… could it be the alcohol, I thought? So I made a grapefruit-flavoured batch (where the flavour didn’t have any alcohol), and I added a little gin (just a bit) to it. The bad taste was absolutely gone! I don’t know what’s going on here chemically, but it seems to work. I don’t know what GU uses to get rid of this taste, because there’s no alcohol in their stuff.

Keep stirring. Maltodextrin is hard to dissolve. There will be little white chunks left. Keep stirring, but you probably won’t be able to get all of them. Finally, pour into a food squeeze tube (available at your favourite outdoor store). Sealing these tubes (at least the Coghlan’s brand) it a pain in the ass, but it gets easier the more you use them.


Getting the right consistency is hard. And the stuff seems to “de-stabilize” after a while, and turn harder (more chewy, instead of gooey :-). Perhaps there is some missing ingredient that keeps stuff together. More pectin? One of the preservatives in GU? Who knows. Putting it in the fridge seems to accelerate destabilization.
The “product” should turn out pretty transparent once your pour it in to the tube. And then it may get even more clear. But by the next morning, it will be an opaque white again. At least that’s what I have found.


You can of course get orange, vanilla, and almond extracts at any grocery store (mint too, but it doesn’t go well in GU). And a bunch of artificial ones too. But go to Nature’ and you’re in flavour heaven! They’ve got hundreds of “flavours”, all of which are apparently natural (however… they aren’t necessarily from the fruit in question… for example, I don’t think pear flavour is necessarily pear extract… it’s a bunch of stuff that kind of tastes like pear). The flavours are extremely concentrated, and don’t seem to be based on alcohol. It’s just… flavour. Kind of weird. But the price is right. 4oz bottles are about 5$, and that’ll probably be enough for several hundred GU-packet-equivalents. The stuff is concentrated.
I also think these flavours would be a good alternative to artifically-flavoured sugar drinks like gatorade. Just take some in a little plastic bottle, and mix some in your waterbottle with some sugar, and voila, all natural fruity drink.

Other carbohydrate gels

I’ve also used brown rice syrup, which is what ClifShot’s are made from. This is like, the organic, natural version of GU. Probably better for you. Brown rice syrup is about 60:40 complex carbs to simple carbs. Available at your favourite organic health food type store. Not too expensive, but not as cheap as maltodextrin.
The problem with this is the only brown rice syrup I’ve used, has imparted too much of a flavour to the GU. Perhaps that’s why ClifShots have strong flavours like chocolate, coffee or peanut, instead of the fruity flavours that you can get with GU or PowerGel (both based on maltodextrin). They need it to overcome the “whole wheaty” flavour of the syrup. Anyways, using brown rice syrup is much less of an experiment in chemistry than maltodextrin. Just mix your flavour with it. Done. The stuff is kind of messy though.


Lil Run

Felt good 🙂

It’s knowing the little things..that inspire me to keep going

Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.

I know they may sound funny. But I am a 180 mentally & physically than I was 2 years ago. I would’ve NEVER thought of running A marathon let alone training to run another just 6 months later. So no matter how funny haha the below results may sound they have hit the way I see my life right on the head.

Even Facebook gives me hope with their little quizzes. Results from a few I took 😉

My Ideal Man
You are well suited for a man who is in touch with nature. An adventurer, an athlete, a man who spends his weekends camping, fishing, rock climbing and kayaking. He makes you do things that you may not do without him, like bungee jump, or sky dive. You would do well with a man who competes with you in triathalons, adventure races, and marathons. This man fears nothing, and tends to work hard so he can play harder. You like it when a man can start a fire from scratch, can find his way in the wilderness, and who is willing to fend off a bear! He eats healthy, stays active and for you, he is a breath of fresh air.

Classic Guns~n~Roses Song
November Rain (I love this song)

You never fully achieved what you wanted out of life and you are still working towards attainment. Your emotions sometimes play out like a roller coaster with it’s ups and downs which is a good thing because it allows you to fully expess yourself and allow you to be who you want to be. You are not one to keep emotions inside and you have no problem letting others know how you feel about them.

My Best Trait
Whatever storm life brings you, you aren’t afraid to deal with it head on. You know you can get through anything, and your strength draws in other people that want protection and a sense of security. You are a great leader, and people admire your stability and confidence. Instead of letting your emotions get out of control, you think logically and find solutions to any problems you face. You don’t let people’s opinions affect you, and you take criticism with a grain of salt. You stand up for what’s right, and you don’t give in to what you know will bring you down.


Darla’s real age is 27 years old.
The True Age Test: This test will determine the age of your body based on social, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

I love it!! 😛


Standing for what you believe in, regardless of the odds against you, and the pressure that tears at your resistance,
…means courage
Keeping a smile on your face, When inside you feel like dying, for the sake of supporting others,
…means strength

Stopping at nothing, and doing what’s in your heart, you know is right,
…means determination

Doing more than is expected, to make another’s life a little more bearable, without uttering a single complaint,
…means compassion

Helping a friend in need, no matter the time or effort, to the best of your ability,
…means loyalty

Giving more than you have, and expecting nothing but nothing in return,
…means selflessness

Holding your head high, and being the best you know you can be when life seems to fall apart at your feet, facing each difficulty with the confidence that time will bring you better tomorrows, and never giving up,
…means confidence.
Author unknown

Long run

To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. When God takes SOMETHING from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive SOMETHING BETTER. Concentrate on this sentence..The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you. Something good will happen to you today, something that you’ve been waiting to hear.

Heated 10 miler scheduled for Sunday

Well I call it heated even if it is at the beach. If it’s 78 with a real free of 85?!! Then I call it a heat run whether there’s a slight breeze or not 😉

Vegas is paid for and reservations made!

That was a Christmas present from my Mom

For ‘ME’ this was a hot run

Ya ya the run was done at the bay and yes there was some breeze but it doesn’t mean that is was difficult.

Left calf was still giving me some problems along the run but I just kept focusing on my foot plant. I bought this new stuff called Endurox R4. It’s meant to be taken right after a workout lasting longer than an hour. It’s for faster muscle recovery. I drank two servings yesterday and one after today workout. We’ll see how I feel the next couple of days.

Lulu made a training plan for me for Vegas and even with the calf issues I’ right on schedule. Thus week I’m gonna shoot for two 4 milers and then I’m scheduled for a 10 miler before I start increasing the long runs every other week and halving in between.

I’m looking forward to it. So far my rubs are averaging a 10:10 pace which means a little under a 4:30 Vegas time. That would be sweet! But there is plenty of time for training 😉

Lil run

Today was 2 years smoke-free. Ya me! 😉

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