Fuelstrip: The Litmus Paper for your Sports Nutrition Refueling Needs

Fule StirpsAiming to remove the guessing game from refueling, Fuelstrip has created a product that detects the metabolites in your sweat and then tells you exactly how much refueling is needed.  That refueling comes in the form of their Fuelstrip branded chews that are specifically formulated to match up with the results from the test strip.  An orange result means you eat one chew, yellow equals two chews, green means three, and if you hit blue (meaning you are burning muscle at this point) you better consume four chews to keep going.  The idea here is to keep you in the fat burning zone, and to keep you properly fueled for the best results from your workout.

Their starter pack includes two vials of test strips and three bags of chews.  It is estimated to last you two to three hours of physical activity and costs $12.

Comments

Dr. Badtouch - 12/07/13 - 8:24pm

Interesting concept… but $4/hr? Uhm, nope.

Speedy - 12/07/13 - 9:10pm

@Dr. Badtouch – agreed! Also, looking at the Fuelstrips FAQs says you should test ever 1/4 of your workout. So riding for 2 hours means I have to stop every 30 minutes, pull out a strip, swab my forhead, wait 30 second, each X number of chews, then hit the road again. That sounds a bit much for me. This product feels like a scam. Maybe it works, and works well, but it just feels engineered to take all of your money.

wheelz - 12/07/13 - 10:35pm

Our bodies are amazingly good at telling us what we need if we listen to them. No need for a product like this.

rico - 12/07/13 - 11:18pm

So weird, I feel like we are in the Robocop era. Soon we’ll see people riding around with google glass and stopping to test with these things. I suppose it could be a reminder for some people. I mean, I am guilty of bonking for sure.

It would be better if it was like a sticker on your wrist or something, and was available as just the strips, to be used with any food, drink, etc.

nocigar - 12/08/13 - 5:48am

A co-worker and me have tried this product after a 4 hour ride and the strips didnt change color. Either we are in an out of this world shape or this is pure bollocks.

Dr Bo - 12/08/13 - 9:10am

I wanted to clarify some of your comments about the fuelstrips. It’s actually extremely useful to help riders become in tune with their body”s fuel needs. As a disclaimer I am an emergency physician that developed fuelstrip.
Many riders build a fuel plan based on their ” best guess”. Some riders use formulas based on their caloric needs and attempt to replace them based on this number. In reality your body’s “fuel” (i.e. carbs) needs are far more complicatedd. Riders that are better fat burners or ride at a tempo that burns primarily fat don’t need to replace most of their calories. Even skinny riders have tons off energy stores in their fat. The calories that have to be replaced are only the ones that came from their small glycogen reserves and muscle stores. Ideally if the fueling is done properly no muscle is burned at all. Other riders ride at intensities that don’t allow them to burn fat well and they rely on their small glycogen reserve. If that becomes depleted muscle is then used for fuel with significant decline in performance. These risers need much more carbs when they ride. The fuelstrips are extremely useful for riders to know where they fall in this spectrum. Clearly everyone is different and has different fueling needs. The strips take the guessing out of it. Imagine driving your car without a fuel gauge. How many times would you run out of gas?
The strips are sold individually as well, with a vial of 6 retailing at $2.50. Depending on the length of the ride the strips would set you back $1-$2. Some riders will spend in excess of 5k for a “better” bike that might help their performance. Proper nutrition will easily be a better investment for improved performance.
The strips are meant to be used while riding. It’s not intrnded for race day, but rather for training when you are trying to develop the correct fuel plan for your group rides or races. You have to slow down to grab your drink or fuel anyway, at the same time you can pause a few more second to get a read on what your body is doing. We will soon have a dispenser that attaches to the bike or your wrist to make it easier for riders to test themselves.
Many risers who test themselves for the first times are often amazed at the results they obtain from testing and gain significant insight into adjusting their fuel needs.
Hope this helps and I would appreciate any questions you might have that may stimulate further discussion. Happy and safe riding to all.

wife is a dietitian - 12/08/13 - 11:49am

Dr. Bo,
I do not see any registered dieticians on your staff. I can understand your concern as an emergency physician, but you should know that electrolytes and glycogen can’t totally be replenished in a short amount of time. Also they’re not going to be burned up unless you are riding/running at a high tempo for a decent amount of time(think Marathon).
And remember “dietician is to dentist as nutritionist is to toothieologist” Dara o’briain

david french - 12/08/13 - 1:13pm

I think this is a great idea. Like Dr Bo says, you wouldn’t need it on race day because if you’ve been using it for a while you’d have worked out how much fuel you need to take on while riding.

Rico - 12/08/13 - 10:55pm

Much appreciate the feedback from the product designer Dr Bo. Stick with it and good luck. It’s an interesting idea and this is a very tough sounding board.

J - 12/09/13 - 3:16pm

@ wife is a dietitian- Dr. Bo is a medical doctor, which means he not only took nutrition in MEDICAL SCHOOL, but biomedical classes ( you know, the one where you learn such topics as glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, oxidative phosphorylation, TCA, etc…. you get the gist). No offense to your wife, but I’ll take his professional opinion over yours and your wife’s.

Dr. Bo, as an aspiring future medical doctor, I hope to work in a similar field as you and congratulate you on your work.

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