This is a quick, inexpensive alternative to commercial energy gels. If you run, bike, hike or otherwise play hard for over an hour, use this recipe for a shot of rapid energy.
Step 1: Tools + Ingredients
What you'll need:
A small pot for the stove, or a microwave-safe bowl and microwave
Measuring spoons: Tablespoon and teaspoon
Measuring cups: 1 cup glass (Pyrex) for liquid, and 1 cup dry cup
Strainer (optional, for citrus and berry flavors)
A container for the gel. I used a GoToob (available at REI) in the 1.25 oz. size.
Maltodextrin (I found it at the nutrition store, but check your Co-op)
Potassium salt (KCl) "Nu-Salt" pictured
Sodium salt (NaCl) Table salt pictured
Optional protein additives:
Whey protein powder
Soy protein powder
Optional Flavor ingredients:
Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
Citrus fruit (orange, lemon, lime etc.)
Citric acid (gives a "tart" taste to the fruity flavors, available at cheese-making supply shops, or in bulk in some stores)
Instant coffee granules
Step 2: Recipe
Add to pot and whisk thoroughly over low heat:
1 cup maltodextrin
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup honey
--If using mint to flavor, add and crush slightly while heating, remove after 10 minutes.--
Add protein additives if using:
1-2 Tbs whey protein powder
1-2 Tbs soy protein powder
Add electrolytes, if using:
1/2 teaspoon potassium salt
1/2 teaspoon sodium (table) salt
Add flavorings if using:
For berries, in a separate pan, heat 1/4 cup berries till they become watery, then press through sieve to remove seeds/skins. Add the sieved to gel. d 1/2 teaspoon citric acid if desired for tartness.
For citrus fruit, juice 1 fruit using the strainer to catch seeds/large pulp. Add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid if desired for tartness.
For coffee flavor, add 1 Tbs. granules.
For vanilla, add 1 Tbs vanilla.
***I've attached a gazillion pics of these steps, for any of you intimidated by the whole "cooking" thing. It's really easy, folks. ;) ***
Step 3: Voila!
There you have it! Pour into a container of your choice. I like the GoToob - it has rave reviews, and it's made from food-safe silicone. It squirts out with a very gentle squeeze.
This recipe made 1 2/3 cups, or 480 grams. Packaged up in the 1.25 oz tube, the contents weighed 32 grams - comparable to commercial energy gels. (There is space for a gram or two more.)
I took it on my run today. It fit well inside the zippered pouch of my water-bottle carrier, along with my keys. It worked great.