Eurofoods Part IX: Sirop

Sunday, 13 February 2011

There are some foods that are particularly European. Maybe people think of fine wine, truffles, baguettes and ravioli. But for cyclists there are some particular foods that stand out. As part of a series about food in Europe for riding, here’s the latest: syrup.

Sirop

Product Description
This is syrup made from reduced fruit juice or more commonly these days, the combination of sugar, water and flavourings. Usually bright coloured, it’s mixed with water and the sugary concoction is especially popular with kids in France. Flavours range from orange and strawberry to mint or grenadine. Available in every supermarket and cafés.

Eurocyclist Use
I’ve finished races with my shoes dotted green. At first I thought it was strange chain lube blown onto my shoes, it wasn’t until later that I worked out the real cause: mint syrup.

The high sugar content gives a bit of extra energy to the drink and the addition of syrup and flavourings make the drink preferable to water for some. This is very common in France, from Sunday morning cyclos right up to the pros where most French teams give riders a choice of water, sirop or a more formal energy drink on a hot day.

Personally it’s all about moderation, too little and there’s no taste, too much and you could be heading for a hypoglycaemic surprise. There’s also the risk of getting sticky stuff on your bottle cages.

  • Note this subject has inspired Owen Philipson to cover the food used by cyclists in Scotland on his Drum Up blog.

This is part of a series on European foods with links to cycling or simply for fuel:
Part I: Nutella
Part II: Pâte de fruits
Part III: Stroopwafels
Part IV: Coffee
Part V: Frites
Part VI: Pasta
Part VII: French Bakeries
Part VIII: Water
Part IX: Sirop
Part X: Pharmaceuticals
Part XI: Summary
Part XII: Esta Thé
Part XIII: Grated carrots
Part XIV: Speculoos
Part XV: Belgian beer
Part XVI: Oman Coffee
Part XVI: Italian Ice-cream

Laurent February 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm

With the NUTELLA this is the product for children. But is ok for the cyclists. We need energy like the children !

bikecellar February 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I used to prepare a bidon of beer with added sugar lumps to be handed up to me for the last 20 ks. Nowadays a bit of fruit squash,water and 60gms of glucose powder in a 600ml bottle keeps me going, but I think Ishall give the sirop a go, love grenadine as mixer.

Flashing Pedals February 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm

water with a few drops of peppermint essence always works for me.
glucose for the longer rides.

The Inner Ring February 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm

One tip, they say that things taste sweeter the more you’re tired and thirsty so reduce the concentration you’d normally take to account for the end of the ride. Or as bikecellar does, save the sugar rush for the rush to the line.

bikecellar February 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Or as bikecellar does. Err used to do 35yrs ago

bikecellar February 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Ah yes peppermint essence, I remember now, a drop out of an eye dropper on each of a dozen or so sugar cubes in a poly bag in the back pocket. It’s no wonder I have false gnashers now!

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