We got the home-made athletic gel project completed. The stuff is amazingly easy to make. More, you can create nearly any flavor you want. Here is a recipe to make about 2 cups of homegoo (the generic version of commercial athletic gels that’ll save you big bucks in cost, and give you any flavor you want. )
Start with a small drinking glass or ceramic bowl you can put in your microwave. Add one cup brown rice syrup and one cup malt syrup (barley malt). Plop in about a teaspoon of honey. Add a couple table spoons of flavoring to taste; use something that includes a bit of fat and protein (we feel that’s better for longish winter treks), such as peanut butter, cashew butter, or Nutella (our chocoholic favorite). Add a couple of table spoons of water (or fruit juice if you want fruit flavoring and more fructose sugar), then microwave till warm and easy to mix. Stir the warmed mixture with a spoon, and add about 1 package of Emergen-C vitamin supplement, this adds a nice tart edge to the taste, as well as essential workout vitamins and minerals for backcountry skiing. If you want goo that is less sensitive to getting hard in the cold, add a small amount of canola oil.
While warm transfer to a field container such as an Amphipod or Hammer Flask. Let cool and test the consistency for ease of consumption. If it’s too stiff add more water, re-heat and mix again.
This recipe will solidify when chilled, so keep it warm with body heat if you’re out in the cold. Freeze resistant versions are tougher to make — we’re still experimenting with that.
You can get all the ingredients in nearly any health food store. Experiment with flavors — you can put anything in this stuff. If you like caffeine, dissolve some instant coffee in a bit of water to make a paste, then add for coffee flavored homegoo. If you’re scientific about athletic food consumption, the potassium and sodium content of homegoo is easy to play with. To do so, read the contents labels on the ingredients so you know what you’re eating, add whatever you need to get the levels where you want them. For less sodium, use more malt syrup and less rice syrup.
Warning: As with all carbo concoctions, drink water every time you consume this or you risk health problems. Also, homegoo must be refrigerated when not in use, keep your field container in the fridge and give it a quick microwave shot before you head out (microwave with top open so you don’t explode it — yuck!)
Make less trash, spend less money, get the flavor you want. Homebrew homegoo!
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.