When you train, you are challenging your body with a difficult task. After the workout, your body will adapt to be able to meet the new demands you have asked of it. This takes recovery! One important aspect of recovery and adaptation is having the building blocks repair tissue that were overstressed in training. To do this we must replenish glycogen stores (muscle fuel) while also building new and improved tissue. It is recommended to get 20-25g of protein and 25-35g carbohydrates back into our system within 20-30 minutes of a hard training session or race1. We use Gu Protein Recovery Drink Mix after all of our workouts and have created several amazing shake recipes with the mix. We thought we would share!

“With a busy lifestyle, I like to have my shake ingredients prepped so they will be quick to make and consume. I made this recipe up at the coffee shop I owned prior to my cycling life and simply added recovery mix to it!”

Nikki

Nikki’s OTC Shake

Ingredients

Directions

I like to prep the banana and avocado into baggies in the freezer every few days so it is always quick and easy. If you freeze them, you won’t need ice! Throw all of the ingredients in a blender and blend for 10-15 seconds. There will be a few date chunks that don’t blend…the texture is my favorite!

“When it comes to recovery I like mine to be just as firey as my workouts. Nothing is better than a chilled chocolate smoothie with a hint of cayenne to sip on the drive home!”

Jen

Jen’s Spicy Recovery Shake

Ingredients

Directions

I am all for quick and easy meals and drinks so just add all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse 4 to 5 times until everything is mixed. If you are looking for a thicker texture add chia seeds!

Emma’s Mint Chocolate Chip Recovery Shake

“The ice cream truck has been doing its rounds lately making me nostalgic for childhood treats.  I’ve always been a sucker for mint chocolate chip milkshakes and have made an adult version that is delicious after a hot and dusty training ride to enjoy as I soak my legs in the Deschutes River.”

Emma

Ingredients

  • 1 pouch GU Vanilla Roctane Ultra Endurance Protein Recovery
  • 1 c. almond milk (to make it creamier but water works too)
  • Several ice cubes
  • 2-3 kale leaves (bonus nutrition and it makes the smoothie green)
  • ¼ tsp. Peppermint extract
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • Handful of chocolate chips

Directions

In a blender mix the Gu, liquid, ice, kale and peppermint extract. Blend until smooth. Toss in the mint leaves and chocolate chips and pulse a few times to chop them up a bit, but not puree them. 

Pro Tip: Pour your recovery drink into a Hydroflask to keep it cool in your car at the trailhead so you have it right away post ride!

Do you have a blissful Gu recovery shake recipe?  We would love some inspiration. Share it with us! We will pick the tastiest recipe to win a free bag of the NEW GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Protein Recovery!


1 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6521324/

When it comes to cycling and racing, keeping up with nutrition often times gets overlooked or can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, I have a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Wyoming. While in Laramie, I was fortunate enough to work in the Human Exercise and Nutrition lab for three years researching vitamin D status in the athletic population. I love the nutrition aspect of bike racing! Being an ultra distance event, the Belgian Waffle Ride took a lot of nutrition planning; not only for the event itself but also for the days leading up as well as proper recovering after.

Pre-Race:

Hydration Station


I have been focusing on hydration starting last Sunday! It’s important to go into a long distance race properly hydrated!

Pro tip: put water in a BRIGHT water bottle like this orange Hyperthreads bottle. This will be a good reminder to drink up!

This can be challenging as a teacher because sometimes I have to go three to four hours before I can go to the bathroom. I try to strategically plan my bathroom breaks and drink water around those times. It sounds silly but if you are a teacher you get it!

In addition to water, I have also been drinking Gu Roctane mix throughout the day. It contains electrolytes so that I can keep everything balanced.

On the morning of the race I will drink my last bottle of water 2 hours before the race and then take small sips so that I do not have to go to the bathroom in the beginning. This is something I have experimented with and it works for me.

Carb Up!


Since Thursday I have been eating a lot of carbohydrates! This includes foods such as brown rice (within 24 hours of the race I will switch to white rice), quinoa, pasta, oats, sweet potatoes, etc. I will still include lean proteins and healthy fats. The variety of foods I eat will not change too much, however, the percentage that each meal contains will. There are a lot of different views on carbo loading and even though I won’t go to the extreme, I will still eat a higher percentage than normal.

Another thing to mention is that starting three days before the event I will eat less salads and raw vegetables (aka high fiber foods) to decrease my chances of getting sick or having gut issues. I haven’t decided if I will go for the waffles on race day or eat my usual: oatmeal with almond milk and some goodies.


No matter what there will be coffee from Backporch Coffee Roasters involved!

Race Time:

GU for It!

During the race I will aim for upwards of 90 grams of CHO (carbohydrates) per hour. I will want this to come from multiple transport systems, such as fructose and maltodextrin that are found in Gu products, in order to alleviate possible gut distress. I will use Gu Energy Labs gels, which contain anywhere from 20 to 24g of Carbohydrates, as well as Gu Chews.

My favorite flavors for long rides are Salted Watermelon and Birthday Cake! Because I would need to consume 4 gels in an hour in order to reach 90g, I will instead supplement with Gu Roctane drink mix (Blueberry Pomegranate), which has 17g.

Thanks to Transition Performance I started writing positive mantras on the caps of my bottles.

In fact, for the first two hours of the race I will likely only drink my CHO’s because I will be focused on making the selection and getting to the dirt in a good spot. I will carry the individual packets in my jersey so I can replenish my bottles throughout the race. Later in the race I will likely chug a Coke, too. It is the only time I drink soda and I often crave it on long rides! Sorry MMX, the tequila will have to wait until the finish when I partake in the #cincodemayonnaise celebration!

Electrolytes


Another important part of fueling for this race is electrolytes. The human body has seven electrolytes that help with regulating nerve and muscle function, hydration, balancing acidity, among other functions. When the body has an imbalance you may experience extreme fatigue, dizziness, and every person’s worst fear: cramping.

Though the weather looks like it will be cooler (OMG, YES!), electrolytes will still be important in order to avoid these unfortunate events. I have never been to a sweat lab but I do know that I am not one of those riders who finishes with salt EVERYWHERE (think Larissa Connors 2017). This means that even though I will focus on electrolytes I will not take in extreme amounts.


I will take two Salt Stick Electrolyte capsules an hour before the race and I will carry two more in my jersey just in case. These Electrolyte tablets contain sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium. Sodium and chloride are the main electrolytes lost via sweat although some research shows that it can be beneficial to replace the others as well, especially in ultra-distance events such as the BWR. In addition to the capsules, I will also have 125mg of sodium in the Gu Roctane gels. It is important to take fluids with electrolyte replacement! Speaking of fluids, I will aim to have 16-20oz of plain water per hour.

Keep it Simple

  • 2-3 hours before the race: eat breakfast (high carb, low fat)
  • 2 hours before the race: last bottle of water
  • 1 hour before the race: electrolyte capsule
  • Every hour during the race: 20oz of water, 20oz of Roctane drink mix, 3 gels or some chews, some sort of bar to get some kcals/protein/fat, carry two electrolyte tablets, Coke, maybe some random food

Race Hard, Recover Harder:

Ah, yes, I do also need to think about AFTER the race. While I will be enjoying a beer from Lost Abbey, I will start by drinking a recovery drink. My go-to recovery drink is a team favorite: plant protein milk, 1 scoop of vanilla Gu Recovery mix, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and a touch of maple syrup. Try it, it is delicious! I will have this pre-made and in an ice chest so that I can consume it within the Glycogen Window (30 minutes after finishing). I will also eat as much as I feel like and whatever I feel like. I am guessing there will be pizza in my future for dinner because that is one of my favorite foods ever! For a couple of days after BWR I will consume a lot of protein… and calories in general. Also, I will focus on drinking a lot of water in the days after.

Proof that we eat all the foods! Jen and I love Rice Krispies!

I recently had a conversation with one of my teammates about how we are fueling our hydration for training… yep, in January.

GQ Fairlee Nikki

Now I realize that this might not be the first topic that comes to mind before the trails are even rideable for many but I’m sure plenty of you are already logging miles on the trainer or starting to plan out your big goals for this year- so hear me out: This is the perfect time to think about your hydration and dialing it in now can help you make the most of your valuable training time!

There are some big misconceptions out there that we as cyclists really only need to worry about hydration when it gets hot or during a race. It can be easy to skimp on our hydration mix in the off season because we think it’s not important this time of year or we want to save money since it’s “only riding on the trainer”. The truth is that the quality of these miles matter and we can help ourselves greatly two months from now by focusing on them and doing them well.

Winter miles are often shorter if you live somewhere cold and are typically pretty structured- in part because trainers are not somewhere to spend more than an hour or two if you value your sanity! Quality work becomes really important and this can be a big challenge when daylight hours and work schedules force many of us indoors. So here’s the thing: if you are looking to maximize your winter gains, I would seriously recommend focusing some energy on your fueling and hydration for these workouts. For example, if you fall behind on your hydration at work (or drank WAAAAAYYYY too much coffee), you might want to have a bottle of hydration ready on the counter waiting for when you get home. Particularly for intensity-style workouts, you’ll want to do what you can to help your body to get the most out of the challenging training you are about to put it through.

GQ6 coffee

As exercise physiologist Stacy Simms notes in her book Roar, “…[t]he main point of hydration is to keep your body fluid levels high enough to continue functioning properly. You use the water in your body to get rid of the heat you produce and cool you down while you’re exercising…with less water in your blood, the blood is more viscous, so your heart has to work harder. Your heart rate goes up. Your power goes down. Your core temperature rises. All of that leads to fatigue, reduced performance and the dreaded power decline at the end of a hard workout.” With the time and effort that we put into our training and our equipment throughout the year, good hydration is a relatively inexpensive tool for maximizing our experience.

On the KS-Kenda team this season, I am (seriously) tickled to be working with GQ-6 Hydration and Richard Hiraga for our hydration needs. His system is amazing and simple, the way it’s supposed to be. Richard is a cyclist and had grown frustrated with the lack of “clean and simple” but functional hydration options available on the market so he partnered with athletes and experts to create his own hydration base system. With 115 kcal per 24 oz. bottle, the mix is nicely balanced with sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride to help drive water into your cells and a HUGE added bonus of the GQ-6 BCAA (branch chain amino acids) blend which helps to minimize muscle breakdown during hard efforts. Side note: this is a huge feature for women in particular as our monthly shifts in progesterone and estrogen during the second half of our cycle cause us to be much more prone to muscle breakdown, making it harder for us to build or maintain muscle mass than our male counterparts.

Below, we have created a simple chart to show how to use the GQ-6 System. As you can see, each product comes with 30 servings so it lasts for quite a while!

GQ6 display

So, how do we use the GQ-6 System?

To start off, we recommend trying out the Hydration base. You can use this before, during and after any workouts or gym training sessions. It’s gluten-free, free of additives and easy on a delicate stomach. Green Apple and Tropical Punch seem to be the team favorite with us!

Before a really intense day or as a pick-me up in the middle of a tough block, we like to add a scoop of the energy supplement to our hydration base and start sipping on it 30 minutes prior to the workout. As a general rule, you want to try to get through one bottle per hour. You can also add a scoop of the endurance supplement to your hydration base for long or high intensity days.

One of our favorite products that GQ-6 offers is their Rekuvr Nite Time tablets. Sleep is one of the most underutilized training tools available and after a hard workout it can be tough to calm down enough to sleep. With the Rekuvr, as 3 mg of melatonin takes effect, the time to fall asleep may be shortened and your total sleep time may increase. During this efficient sleep, the amino acids L-Glutamine and L-Leucine target muscle preservation, repair, and lean muscle gains. There is also calcium and magnesium help calm muscles and nerves.

When should I use GQ-6?

Pre Workout 3:2:1 Hydration Base

(30 servings)

+

Re-Ful Energy

(30 servings)

Intra Workout 3:2:1 Hydration Base

(30 servings)

+

Re-Ful Endurance

(30 servings)

Post Workout 3:2:1 Hydration Base

(30 servings)

+

Rekuvr Nite Time

(optional)

FAQ:

  1. I need the whole system? Ideally, yes, you would have the whole system as GQ-6 is formulated to work using the chart above. However, if you want to start out by trying one product, we would suggest you get the Hydration Base! In fact, several of our team member’s love the Green Apple Flavor!
  2.  What if I don’t race? Should I still use GQ-6? Anytime you are exercising for more than an hour GQ-6 is a good idea. Even if you are not training to race, you still want to feel your best before, during, and after your workout!
  3. Should I use GQ-6 for every activity? You can always throw some of the Hydration mix in your bottle but you don’t need to use the Energy and Endurance mixes for easy/recovery days. Save that for the strenuous workouts!
  4. Why are you tickled to work with Richard? Richard is rad! Besides making a wonderful product that is clean and effective, he also cares a lot about people. He is very supportive of women’s cycling and we are stoked to have him on board the KS-Kenda team!GQ6 Richard

As the season gets going, we look forward to talking more about some tips and tricks for fueling and hydrating for hot weather training and racing! GQ6 offers a full line of products that help us cope with heat, heavy training load, altitude and general hard work. What are your tricks for helping pass the miles and make the most of your basement miles?

Have more questions? Shoot us an email and we will get back to you with more information! Next week check back for the science nerd blog on how all of this actually works in your body during exercise!