Single socks and random gels
Like single socks and pound coins, I find random sachets of energy gels all over the place. I have discovered gels inside my running trainers, in the back pocket of a washed cycling jersey, in rucksack pockets, under the car seat, in the hood of a hoodie (who knows how?!) and inside the washing machine (just like those single socks!).
I have also come across packets of pre-exercise and post-exercise sports drinks mix in the bread bin, at the back of the cereal cupboard, in my knickers drawer and, also, in various pockets of my many rucksacks.
I really like this mini finds. Each time I discover a sachet in an odd place it makes me smile (and then wonder about how they might have found their way to these places. I can never recall leaving the gels in shoes, pockets and rucksacks but clearly I must have done so!).
And, on so many occasions, I make these mini finds just as I’m about to head out for a long run, bike ride or hike in the mountains.
My ‘find a gel’ thoughts playback
This is what generally crosses my mind: “Right, well, I’d better go for a run/cycle. Where did I put my trainers/cycle shoes/cycling jersey/rucksack? Ah, yes, strange that I should find it there. Hmmmm… Well… At least I can now head out. Err, but what is that squishy thing inside the shoe/pocket? Strange. Hmmmm. An energy gel? I don’t remember putting that there. Oh, well, might as well make use of it then!”
My favourite gel finds
I have tried many different types of energy gels and exercise drinks and the one that I always come back to is High5. They don’t upset my stomach and they taste pretty good. Most gels are either too sickly or too blah tasting, but High5 are just about right.
The High5 products are also free of artificial sweeteners and have only natural flavours and colours.
I really like:
High5 Energy gels (including 23g of carbohydrate and a dash of real fruit juice. In races I use the caffeine plus gels, while in training I don’t.)
So when I make a mini find of a High5 gel in my shoe/pocket/rucksack I am particularly pleased.
The gel finds that I don’t like
You know those High5 (or similar) Zero tablets? The ones that come in a lovely, sealed tube but when exposed to the air go all sticky and yucky? When I find one of those, part destroyed by the moisture in the air, and randomly stuck to the inside of something I become a little annoyed.
Those sachets of sports drink mix
But back to the nice finds. You know the type of sachets that you pick up in race goody bags or the ones that are handed out free at sports events? Well, these are the ones that end up stashed in our cereal/biscuit cupboard.
The High5 drinks mixes include:
High5 X’Treme: Similar to the Energy source drink but with a high caffeine content (300mg/l).
High5 Protein Recovery: This post-exercise drink includes whey protein isolate (a popular choice with pro athletes) and carbohydrate. It can be mixed with water or milk.
High5 4:1 EnergySource: This is a combination drink of High5 EnergySource and High5 Protein Recovery and is lactose free.
Thanks to good coincidence I usually come across a sachet or two when searching for something else pre or post-exercise or when I think I might need a biscuit but then suddenly remember that it’s better to take on a more balanced form of training nutrition just before or just after a training session. Also see High5 Nutrition Guides.
Mystery of the sock and the gel
In my sock drawer there are dozens of single socks. Sometimes I find their twin pal in another washing load but mostly I wear odd socks and give myself a break from worrying about why I have so few pairs.
However, there are a few pairs that I really do like to wear together, especially for hill walking. I prefer my feet to feel “balanced” in my walking boots. And it was during the hunt for the “other” walking sock that I came across a High5 EnergyGel Plus (in an orange flavour).
So where did I find the sock and the gel? Inside a clean pillowcase, of all places! The only explanation can be that both the sock and the gel went through a wash and found their way inside the pillowcase that was also being washed. The case was then dried and put away, with the sock and gel inside, only for me to discover them again when I was changing the bedclothes.
Is it just me, or does this kind of thing happen to other people, too?