Background: I’m an long-time avid cycling enthusiast recently who transitioned to triathlon with the intent of qualifying for Kona prior to leaving my current age group in four years. This is my third year of competing in triathlon. The first year was mostly about adaptation/experience, the second year was developing and following training plans, and now I’m starting to optimize my training and am taking a hard look at nutrition and it’s effects on my training.
I’ve used Huel for quite some time now to supplement my daily intake. It really seems to be as close to real-food as you can get without having actual real food. Unlike energy bars or gels it has additional micro and macro nutrients in addition to just calories. The problem with Huel vice energy gels is that the fat/protein content is higher than I would like and the carb content is very low-GI. That makes it absolutely fantastic for supplementation outside the post-exercise period, but in the 2-4 hours immediately post exercise (especially the first as I routinely do 2-3 exercise periods a day) I am trying to maintain about 80-90 grams of carbs per hour, which Huel cannot provide for two reasons:
- The low GI of the carbs in Huel slow the recovery of glycogen reserves in muscle as compared to higher GI foods
- The sheer amount of Huel required is incredible because of the low concentration of carbs.
This basically means I use a combination of Huel and other snack sources (homemade white rice or potato snacks, typically) in the 2-4 hours after exercise, but I’d rather use more Huel. I’m especially concerned that the Huel calorie intake can suppress glycogen recovery because I’m ingesting the low GI carbs in addition to the faster carbs.
There are other products that suit a similar process, but are significantly more expensive, lack the quality ingredients, and typically have mass-gaining supplements added in (creatine, etc). I’m fine (and appreciate) the BCAA content in those other products, but the other weight-lifting specific additions I’d rather stay away from.
For weight-lifting and other similar activities the amount and type of carb is less important, but for the fastest muscle-glycogen recovery to help with extreme endurance activities it seems to really help to supplement with faster carbs. Is there any thought into developing a supplementary Huel formula specific for this use?