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Race food: bars and gel, how, when and how much

Let’s find out together what food to eat during a bicycle race.blockquote>
During the years many products developed by KeForma are in gel form: glucose only based gel because of its rapid absorption; maltodextrins to achieve diversified absorption; fructose, maltodextrin, caffeine, beta-alanine and vitamin C.


Ke Forma bars are a reliable race supplement, there are two types: Ke-Carbo with puffed cereals, almond paste based for providing glucids and also good fats useful for prolonged exertion of medium intensity (aerobic like ultra-endurance sports); the Ke-Carbo bars contain Vitargo (a maltodextrin that can be very quickly absorbed using low water concentration), glucose and fructose maximize the glycogenic system restoration when performing high intensity workouts even when prolonged to help the body replenish glucids quickly.

Energy gels

Itìs important to understand which gel or bar suits your needs according to the workout intensity, climate and length.

The best dietary supplements during hot and humid days are GELS ideal when training for less than 6 hours. The liquid gel consistency is adequate by maintaining the ideal absorption standards associated with water.

Every gel intake needs to be coupled with 200 to 300 ml of water according to the perspiration levels of the athlete, every 30-45 minutes during work out.

During hot days our metabolism increases just like when we are exposed to intense cold, the added problem connected to heat is high perspiration levels which make it hard to absorb needed macronutrients as well as carbohydrates.

For workouts that go beyond 6 hours, which are usually lower in intensity, we recommend bar supplements alternated with gels (at the discretion of the athlete), this will also provide some fat (always in minimum quantities) for workouts that become more aerobic.

Preferably during the hot season, we recommend MALTOGEL gels to achieve a rapid gastric emptying, reducing water quantities needed for absorption, interchanging them with caffeine gels (if tolerated by the athlete) to keep concentration levels high and also because caffeine has demonstrated to have interesting effects on the gastric system by quickening carbohydrate absorption.

Obviously all of this needs to be personalized by the athlete according to his needs, just as I do together with my colleagues at the Strategic Nutrition Center by analyzing through specific BIA tests, even outdoors, the intracellular hydration level after repeated workouts within one training session.

All of this is needed in order to understand if what we eat and drink is proportional to the physical workout and consequently determine the quantities, type and when to take these supplements both during training or when racing.


During the summer then, take different types of carbohydrate based gels (maltodextrin, fructose) and when the heat and humidity intensify, drink more liquids in order to increase hydration and the absorption of these substances. We recommend taking Ke Forma bars only when exceeding 6 hours training and if the athlete desires to chew on something.

During the winter, bars are excellent supplements during long rides that include stops or at the of a training session. Remember to leave at least 10 minutes to pass between one session and the other.

We should drink at least 200 to 300 ml of water (according to the heat and humidity levels) immediately after or within 10 minutes; lets emphasize, ONLY WATER, because if we combine to our iso or hypotonic drink, gels or bars the drink will become hypertonic and NOT favourable when trying to absorb energy. This slows down gastric emptying and digestion which in turn decreases energy and performance levels of the athlete.

Let’s also remember that endurance sports require at least 50-60 g of carbohydrates to be taken in portions of 25-30 g combined WITH ONLY WATER as specified above. Between one portion and the other 30-45 minutes need to pass according to the workout intensity (the higher the intensity the more we need to eat), in between supplements, regularly sip ISO and IPO tonics.

KeForma</sp gels and energy bars always contain 25-30 g per portion to help you calculate what is need during the workout.
Now what is left is train our body to improve our strength and health to the best of our abilities!

Dr. Lorenzo Bergami


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