When to Use Energy Gels and Hydration Drinks
and Can They Be Used Together?
All athletes need three things: hydration, energy and electrolyte replacement. To perform at your best you want to get the proper amounts of each in perfect balance. The good news is that we make it easy to do using either e-Gel or e-Fuel.
When to Use e-Gel
e-Gel provides the perfect balance of energy and electrolytes along with amino acids and antioxidants to maximize your athletic output. The only thing missing is the water. One of the benefits of energy gels is that they are light and compact so you can easily carry your energy and electrolytes during training or competition. This is particularly beneficial to runners that don’t want to carry heavy water bottles or sports drinks – they just eat their gels and get water along the way on the course. If you play a court sport or a field sport where your nutrition is on the sidelines and weight isn’t a concern then you can still use gels, but you can use a drink instead – it becomes a question of personal preference. Many of these athletes still prefer gels because they are so convenient.
When to Use e-Fuel
e-Fuel provides the perfect balance of energy, electrolytes AND hydration, all in one product. If you are using e-Fuel then there is no need to use other products – just drink 16 to 32 ounces of e-Fuel per hour depending on intensity, heat and humidity. e-Fuel is commonly used by cyclists, court and field sport athletes and just about any other athlete that isn’t concerned with the weight of a sports drink. Note: if you are competing in ultra events that last 24 hours or longer then you will likely need to incorporate protein based products into your nutrition plan as well.
Using e-Gel and e-Fuel Together
One of the most common questions we receive is if you can use e-Gel and e-Fuel together. The answer is that you CAN, but you will also want to incorporate some plain water into your nutrition plan.
e-Gel (and all energy gels) are designed to be rapidly absorbed through osmosis. In order for the osmosis process to occur the fluids in your gut (the gel and what ever else you have consumed) have to be diluted down to an equal or lower concentration than your body fluids. e-Fuel and other good sports drinks are already the concentration of your body fluids (isotonic) so you need water to properly dilute the gel.
When each pack of e-Gel is absorbed it will carry about 14 ounces of water along with it into your cellular system. If you are using e-Gel and e-Fuel (or any energy gel with any sports energy drink) and no water then you may end up with a solution in your gut that is too concentrated which will slow the absorption rate, delay the benefits of the product and possibly start to cause sloshing in your stomach and/or gastrointestinal discomfort.
So if you want to use both products together we recommend that you plan on consuming a sports bottle of plain water for every two gel packs. Obviously you don’t have to drink the entire bottle at once, what’s important is to maintain the proper ratio of gel to water over time. You can then use gels and water early then switch to e-Fuel, or the other way around. Or you can alternate between e-Fuel and e-Gel/water. Either way you will want to intake 16 to 32 ounces of fluids per hour depending on intensity, heat and humidity.
e-Gel makes it easy…
Now that you understand proper energy gel usage it should be more obvious why e-Gel is a superior product to all of our energy gel competitors. Since all the electrolytes you need are already in e-Gel then you just eat your e-Gel and drink water and you are all set. If you use GU, Clif SHOT, Hammer Gel or any of our other competitors then you will also need to incorporate some type of electrolyte supplement product into your plan. This is one more thing to purchase and carry and figure out how and how often to consume. It doesn’t have to that complicated and with e-Gel and e-Fuel it’s super simple … just use e-Gel and water or e-Fuel.
We provide the nutrition, you provide the work!