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JackandBarb - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

Entry 29 of 210
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Jack and Barb
City: Encinitas
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Feb 10th, 2011
Start: Encinitas
End: Encinitas
Daily Distance: 0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 2,958
Journal Visits: 388,559
Guestbook Views: 167,250
Guestbook Entrys: 482

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50 lbs. of Malto

Homemade Energy Drink

Jack: I can't believe I did this

Barb: What now.

Jack: I purchased 50 pounds of sugar.

Barb: You did what???

Jack: I purchased 50 pounds of Maltodextrin. Yep, just went online to this company and 3 days later, here it is, a 50 pound bag of sugar sitting by our front door. Never in my life would I even imagine buying 50 pounds of sugar!

Barb: So what's the plan for the sweets, Mr. Wizard? You planning on making maltodextrin beer, hard candies or opening up a bakery?

Jack: No, it will be the basic ingredient in our NEW sports drink.

Barb: And you are going to experiment with it on whom?

Jack: Uh, us? Ok readers (and Barb), here's the deal. If you are an endurance athlete (like a century bike rider or marathon runner) you are familiar with energy gels and sports drinks. You will find these energy sport drinks in the bike shops and even at REI. One that is very popular is called Hammer Heed.

The big issue with HEED is that it is also very expensive (like a buck or more per 29 gram / 1 oz serving). But if you look at the ingredients (and do some searching online) you can pretty much copy the Heed recipe for much less.

Here's the (revised 3/30/11) recipe (actually almost the equivalent to three heed servings)

Add to about 1 liter or 1 quart of water

1/2 cup+ of Maltodextrine (that's about 2.8 oz or 80 grams, wt.)
1/8 teaspoon Salt Balance (supplies 220 mgSodium and 100 mg Potassium)
1/8 teaspoon Calcium / Magnesium Complex powder
(supplies 197 mg Ca, and 120 mg Magnesium)


Small amount of flavoring to suit (Kool Aid, Propel, Country Time Lemonade, or Crystal Light) - test amounts for your preference in advance

Notes: Mix your electrolytes first in bulk then load each bag by weight with the correct ratio of electrolyte to malto. Easiest way to load is to place a 4"X6" ziplock in an empty drinking glass on your scale and add ingredients until you hit the specific weights. You may or may not want to pre add your flavors. You might be sick of a particular flavor after 100 servings. Mix it up, suprise yourself! You can get Balance Salt at Walmart. You can find the Ca/Mg complex here and here. You want the ratio of Ca to Mg to be about 2:1 - the product from the second supplier listed ratio is 1.6 to 1. You decide. Roll your loaded ziplocks tight, remove as much air as possible and tape shut. You don't want malto all over your stuff! Edited note: We discovered it to be much easier to load the bags by volume, not weight. See this page for more details.

Considering the 50 pounds of Maltodextrine cost 57 dollars delivered, and I figure there is about 285 - 80 gram servings in the bag then each of the packets above will cost about 0.20 each. Add the electrolytes and flavoring and it might be more like 30 cents.

When I purchased this stuff, I had no idea how many servings we could make with 50 pounds. I had visions of hawking the leftover to the manager of VG's donut shop, but it looks like we will easily use it all up. With 285 packets, we can each have one per day. If we each have two per day, we will need to purchase another 50 lbs of malto!

Maltodextrin has practically no taste. Without any flavoring, you will almost think you are drinking unaltered water. It dissolves pretty quickly in cold water (couple of sugar globs that go away in a few minutes) but, get it on your fingers and you will have a sticky mess on your hands, like eating cotton candy at the fair.

A quick run to Home Depot yesterday for three 5 gal buckets and our Malto is ready to repackage. We lined the buckets with plastic bags so we could squeeze the air out before sealing the lid.


Product Testing

Perfect timing. I had a colonoscopy scheduled for today. The malto arrived on Tuesday. So I mixed up three batches and basically lived off the stuff for about 30 hours - You know, the one day when you can't eat anything (clear liquids only). Figure I consumed about 600 - 800 calories. Even went for a run and did some laps on the beach stairs. Felt great (well, untill I had to take the dreaded "cleansing agent"!), no hunger, no abdominal distress (I'll hold the comments on the cleansing agent ...La, La, La, La, TMI) Bottom line (no pun intended), the faux HEED passed the test.

So, we will test it one more time on a 10 mile plus hike and most likely start loading ziplocks!

BTW: My first colonoscopy (at age 64. I know, shouldn't have waited so long. No issues, no polyps. If you are over 50, get one (it was free with the new health directives).

Entry 29 of 210
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Jack And Barb Take On The PCT

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