Does It Work: CarboPro

>> Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rachel tweeted me yesterday with a request: “@steveinaspeedo a post request: maybe you and pharmie could give your two cents about why you use carbo pro instead of heed or other stuff?” GREAT idea! Here it is.

Pharmie heard about Carbo-Pro as she was training for her first Ironman back in 2006. Therefore, I started using it when we trained for IM together in 2007. Carbo-Pro is a flavorless powder that you add to any beverage to add calories for long workouts. And that’s exactly why we like it. We usually make it with a little diluted Gatorade so it has a little flavor, but it’s not overwhelming.

Here are 2 photos from our first 100-mile bike ride in early August, 2006. We made some Carbo-Pro so strong that we used a blender to help get it thoroughly mixed. FYI: besides this time, we’ve NEVER had to use a blender. But being we were hoping to get about 1200 calories / water bottle, we grabbed a blender to help get everything mixed well:

1200 calories of Carbo-Pro waiting to be blended

Pharmie holding 2400 calories for our ride

Last April, Carbo-Pro made another appearance on my blog in my Ironman New Orleans 70.3 race report. The first image in that post is Pharmie getting some Carbo-Pro ready for the race and then shaking it in her bottle to mix it:

Nutrition is a VERY personal choice, and Carbo-Pro has worked for me for years.

I’ve tried Accelerade: can you say “cottonmouth?”
I’ve tried Heed: not enough calories for long distance training.
I’ve tried Perpetuem: it made my stomach upset 70 miles into a ride.

(For the record, I don’t really know if it was Perpetuem’s fault that my stomach was upset. But you all know that if you try a new product and that hampers your ride, you’ll most likely never use that product again. So I haven’t touched Perpetuem in nearly 3 years.)

Those photos above of 1200 calories in a water bottle are a little extreme. Usually, if I’m just going out for a 40+ miler, I’ll just throw in a few scoops to add a few hundred calories. Here’s a photo from IM WI 2007, and the water bottle on my seat tube (partially behind my foot) contained my Carbo-Pro mix:

Carbo-Pro: Grade of A / A+. It’s flavorless. It dissolves easily. It’s not syrupy (unless you’re making 16 oz of liquid into over 1000 calories, then it does start to get a little syrupy). It just adds calories to whatever you mix it with. How can you go wrong?

Click here to learn more about Carbo-Pro. That link is to a Canaidan site, so you can order through them if you live in Canada. Otherwise just Google it, and you’ll see you can order it from a number of different online retailers. There’s only 1 store in the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area (that we’ve found) that carries Carbo-Pro.

(Click on the “Does It Work” tag to see all posts in this mini-series. I did a number of posts like this back in February.)


Kim 8:46 AM, June 29, 2010  

steve - question for you - are you drinking a crapload of plain water during your rides along with your carbo-pro? I would imagine that you would get severely dehydrated if you were only drinking only 24 ounces of liquid during a 56 mile ride.

Steve Stenzel 8:49 AM, June 29, 2010  

Oh yeah, I AM drinking lots of other water!! I forgot to mention that. I have a bottle or 2 of water or Gatorade, and then another bottle of Carbo-Pro. I just have to make sure I don't get the bottles mixed up, otherwise I'll unintentionally be taking a "quick sip" of a few hundred calories!....

Regina 8:50 AM, June 29, 2010  

Thanks for this. I could use some more calories in my sport drink for the long hauls.

John McDevitt 9:23 AM, June 29, 2010  

And the metro location is?

Steve Stenzel 9:26 AM, June 29, 2010  

Oh, sorry John. It's Gear West Bike and Tri out in Long Lake. That's a hike from St. Paul... ;)

Anonymous,  9:55 AM, June 29, 2010  

An added problem with Heed - it tastes like CRAP. Since you know the Gear West guys many of whom come down and support the Pigman triathlons in Iowa, please tell them that NO ONE LIKES HEED.

RW 10:02 AM, June 29, 2010  

Thanks, Steve!

I'm definitely going to give this a try. Had my second "long" bric today and once again totally bonked on the run...clearly need more calories on the ride.

On a long ride (over 2 hours, say) how do you replenish your water bottles? I've been a little shy about going into gas stations/dunkin donuts and asking for water. Do you usually bring cash and buy bottled?

GoBigGreen 2:07 PM, June 29, 2010  

Sadly I agree with Anonymous. Heed is well...not too palatable.
Thanks Steve , most my freinds doing IM use Carbo-Pro or Infnit. You can dial in your own brew from Inifinit ( that is what I use) and its fun to get the taste just as you like it. Have you tried it?

Maggs 2:41 PM, June 29, 2010  

Hmm.... I like perpetuem, but never thought about mixing it with a blender (I too make 1 bottle for my long rides/races).

Steve Stenzel 4:44 PM, June 29, 2010  

Rachel - I don't like to stop at gas stations if I can avoid it. So I've gotten good at knowing where there are parks with drinking fountains to refill bottles on LONG rides.

GoBigGreen - I've THOUGHT about trying that, but it's a little spendy, so I haven't...

Anonymous,  6:56 PM, June 29, 2010  

We (hubby and I) used Carbo-Pro for 3 1/2 Ironmans and IM WI 2007 and it worked great. We would flavor the Carbo-Pro with Nuun's (electrolyte wafer you drop into the water like an alka-seltzer tab). We found that on very hot and humid days - Carbo-Pro became to sweet for both of us. That is when we tried Infinit. It is a tad pricey, but so worth every penny.

If I had to buy/use any other product than Infinit, it would be Carbo-Pro. But I am an Infinit lover now and won't go back to using anything else. Being gluten-free, Infinit works with my belly as well. Like GoBigGreen said, you can customize your own Infinit blend with what your body needs i.e., more carbs, less protein, no protein, weak flavor or strong flavor, are you a heavy sweater than add in more sodium, etc...


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