Hydration and Proper Energy Gel Usage

Water and Proper Energy Gel Usage

The key to optimum performance with energy gels

Before building an energy gel into your training and competition program, it is critical to understand the importance of proper hydration.

Water – Don’t Gel Without It

Drinking water with energy gel is the key to proper usage, whether you are using e-Gel or one of our competitor’s products. Gels are absorbed in your small intestine, and water is the transport vehicle that allows this to occur. If you fall behind on your water intake during longer workouts, you run the risk of dehydration, delayed benefits from the gel and possible stomach irritation.

When ever you consume energy gel you should follow it with enough water to properly flush it down. Usually a few swallows is sufficient. However, it is important to understand that each pack of e-Gel will take approximately 14 ounces of water along with it when it enters your cellular system. If you are properly “pre-hydrated” before your workout you will have 20 to 30 ounces of available water in your stomach and intestinal tract. This water can be used to assimilate the gel. If you fail to replace this water over time then you will become dehydrated and your performance will suffer as a result.

Translated, in workouts where you are using multiple packs of e-Gel, we strongly recommend that you drink 14 ounces of water before you rip open your second pack (and so on). For example, if you down your gel with 4 ounces of water, you should consume an additional 10 ounces over the course of the next 30 to 60 minutes before moving on to your next gel pack.

If that seems like a lot of water, you’re not alone. The majority of endurance athletes fail to drink sufficient amounts of fluids during competition to remain properly hydrated. Nutritionists typically recommend drinking 16 to 32 ounces of water per hour. Studies have shown that even moderate dehydration can negatively impact your performance. Therefore, it is recommended that you learn to drink during long training sessions and competition – whether or not you are using an energy gel.

What about Sports Drinks?

Most leading sports drinks (including e-Fuel) are designed to provide hydration, energy and electrolyte replacement. While these products can work great alone, they can cause problems when used in conjunction with energy gels. When a gel is mixed with a typical sports drink, the combined solution is more concentrated than your body fluids (hypertonic). This can result in delayed gel absorption and potential dehydration and stomach irritation. If you want to use a sports drink and energy gels during the same workout, we strongly recommend that you also consume plain water to adequately dilute your gel. One alternative is to use gels and water during one stage of the workout and then a sports drink later in the workout.

Fluid Concentration

Depending on the concentration, an ingested fluid can be either hypotonic, isotonic or hypertonic:

Hypotonic
a solution that is less concentrated than your body fluids

Hypotonic solutions such as water do a good job of hydrating your body. Unfortunately they bring very little, if any, energy and electrolyte replacement benefits into the cellular system.

Isotonic
a solution that is approximately equal in concentration to your body fluids

Isotonic solutions can also provide rapid hydration, and they have the potential advantage of bringing significant energy and electrolyte replacement benefits into the cellular system.

Hypertonic
a solution that is more concentrated than your body fluids

Hypertonic solutions can have several times more energy than isotonic solutions depending on their concentration level. All energy gels, including e-Gel, are extremely hypertonic. Hypertonic solutions need to be diluted down at least to an isotonic concentration before they can be absorbed.

What this means if you use energy gel

If you aren’t drinking water with energy gel (or another hypotonic solution) to dilute the gel, then your body will dilute it for you. It does this by drawing upon available water in your stomach and intestinal tract. If necessary it will also draw from your cellular system (that’s bad). The result is potential dehydration, delayed benefits from the gel and possible stomach irritation.

Isotonic and hypertonic sports drinks can not by themselves dilute an energy gel down to the required isotonic state – the combined solution will remain hypertonic. Therefore, to ensure optimum performance and to avoid stomach problems, be sure you drink water with your energy gel.

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e-Gel Customer Testimonials
Real Stories from Real Customers …

Keith Castleton

"Figuring out how to stay hydrated and prevent muscle cramps during long runs and races has been one of my biggest challenges. In the past my muscles would ache and twitch and cause me a lot of pain after long runs. I came across e-Gel energy gels this summer used them during the Top Of Utah Marathon, took 17 minutes off my previous marathon PR and easily qualified for Boston." ...
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Maricopa, Arizona
Sport: Running

Jeff Rommel

"I broke the golden rule and tried e-Gel for the first time on race day. I ran the Houston Marathon and it was a great experience - no stomach issues and no muscle cramping. Water in my bottle and an e-Gel every hour got me through the race. I'm not the fastest runner, but I set a PR!" ...
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Houston, Texas
Sport: Running

Adam Lecompte

"This is by far the best energy gel product on the market, and I have been through them all. I have had nothing but positive training and racing experiences with this product. I trained on and used e-Gel in a half half marathon and busted a 1:32.44! My personal best of 5 half marathons. The sustained energy is incredible! I absolutely love this product." ...
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Houma, Louisiana
Sport: Running and Triathlon

Sam Albrecht

"40 miles into a 56 mile ride in the desert with two big hills I started cramping, and had to stop several times. The next week I did the same ride with e-Gel and had no cramping despite it being over 100 degrees. My hydration was the same, so I have little doubt the e-Gel played a big part in keeping me going that day." ...
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Big Bear City, California
Sport: Triathlon

Bruce English

"I recently completed a half-iron distance triathlon with a brutal bike course. At the end of the ride my quads started to cramp. I nursed an e-Gel over the first mile of the run and the cramps abated. I thought it may have been coincidence, but when the cramps resurfaced at mile 7 only to resolve with another e-Gel I was sold. I only drank water on the run and took e-Gel, so I feel confident that this product made the difference. " ...
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Waynesboro, Virginia
Sport: Triathlon

Mary Rogers

"I used e-Gels exclusively and exactly as directed in training for the Lakefront Marathon. This was my fourth marathon and I did not expect to PR, but just to complete it well. With the help of e-Gels taken at miles 2, 7, 13, 18, and 23, I took 10 minutes off of my marathon time and never hit the 'wall' or cramped as I had done in previous events. Some guy laughed at me at the start asking why I had so many energy gels. I told him I had a plan and I was sticking to it. I'm pretty sure I passed him somewhere around mile 22." ...
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Springfield, Illinois
Sport: Running

David Ball

"I've been using e-Gel for 2 years exclusively and will not go with anything else....I qualified for Boston with a 3:18:16 and felt great. One e-Gel 15 minutes before the race and one at miles 6, 12, 18, and 23 mile marks and then the last three miles were my fasted splits" ...
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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Sport: Running, Triathlon

Malcolm Campbell

"I looked for a gel that had less sugar and more potassium/sodium than some of the other energy gels. I came across e-Gel and used them is the US 50K Championships in Caumsett Park, New York. I finished 2nd in 3:04.22, so I guess they worked pretty good!" ...
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Marietta, Georgia
Sport: Ultra Running

Jeff Domenico

"I was running my best marathon ever in Detroit, had five miles to go and I took my e-Gel 100 yards before a water station. I got to the station and it was a bunch of guys handing out beer! GU and other energy gels are so thick that I would have needed water right away, but the e-Gel was so thin and easy to digest, I got through it just fine when I hit a water station about a mile later. Not only did I finally hit my sub-three hour dream, I hit 2:57!" ...
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Battle Creek, Michigan
Sport: Running

Dave Kumler

"I am an on-ice official in the AHL and I want to share my story about e-Gel ... My job as linesman requires me to sprint repeatedly and physically separate anyone who fights throughout the game. We get no breaks, no downtime, no relaxing...I need my energy level to remain constant. I had yet to find any product that satisfied my requirement. I tried GU, Clif Shots and other energy gels, but found that I was still needing something to get me thru the last half of the game. With e-Gel, I found it." ...
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Cleveland, Ohio
Sport: Hockey

Joseph Swenson

"I am an Ultra-Runner and a proficient sweater and I need to take in large quantities of salt to keep from shutting down during training and races. I was relying on salt caps along with other Gel's like GU to try an maintain my metabolism but it was easy to get the mixture wrong and bonk....I plan on using e-Gel as my main electrolyte / energy gel at Western States 100 mile this June, bypassing the aid station's GU which made me so nauseous by mile 80, I almost did not finish the race." ...
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Livermore, California
Sport: Ultra Running

Nadine Echeverry

"I just finished my first marathon, and I am singing the praises of your product! I have been training with Team In Training/Greater Los Angeles Chapter/Long Beach since May. .... At first, I bought them just because I LOVED the taste compared to the Clif shots I had been using. Also, I LOVED the consistency of your e-Gel, in that I didn't feel like I had to chew it!" ...
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Lakewood, California
Sport: Running

Steve Bull

"My buddy and I were riding home after a 40 mile training ride-1/2 downwind, 1/2 upwind on the way home. My friend bonked 10 miles out against a 25 mph headwind. We stopped. I administered to him my coveted e-Gel. He complained-wondered if it would make any difference. 10 minutes later he was back on his bike, riding hard, and saying, 'This stuff is incredible.' He now buys from Crank Sports. I always thought our experience was a simple but elegant testimony." ...
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Burns, Oregon
Sport: Cycling, Mountain Biking

Kevin Williams

"I wasn't sure which energy gel to purchase, as there were a ton on the market. After some research I went with e-gel because it didn't have caffeine and it was the best bang for my buck. Man was I thrilled to have it with me on Tough Mudder! We took one every hour or so on our adventure and I didn't once feel fatigued. I can definitely attribute my success on Tough Mudder Tri-State 2011 to the use of e-gel. We killed it and none of my 7 person team were exhausted thanks to the electrolytes and sodium in e-gel." ...
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Burtonsville, Maryland
Sport: Adventure Racing

Ken Brown

"Three hours into an agressive 5 hour ride, my legs were cooked, and my body needed electrolytes in a bad way. I shot another brand of energy gel and come to find out the gel had gone bad. I had no other means on me, when a training partner handed me what turned out to be the best tasting, quickest reacting energy gel I had ever used. Not only did the Tropical Blast e-Gel get me through the remainder of our ride, it made an immediate impact on my new gel of choice. I don't leave the house without a supply of my new best friends: Tropical Blast and Cherry Bomb. Thanks for finally making a gel that works AND tastes great. " ...
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Dunwoody, Georgia
Sport: Triathlon

Dan Cadriel

"I competed in my very first Ironman at Ironman Arizona after 17 years in triathlon. With horrid winds on the bike, I was nervous about my marathon. I packed my 6 Cherry Bomb e-Gels and I was off to a sub 4 hour marathon including a sub 7 minute mile at the finish line! The Ironman distance is all about nutrition and pace. I was so pleased with the experience and the endurance that the e-Gel formula gave me. I plan to continue to use Crank Sports products as I conitue to set PRs. Thank you Cherry Bomb!" ...
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Glendale, Arizona
Sport: Triathlon

Barbara Riesser

"I ran my first marathon in 2003 using Clif Shots but they really bothered my stomach. My trainer recommended the e-Gel and I have had no problems on my long runs now. I have told all my friends who are runners or starting to run about your products and have passed out sample gel packs too! You're e-Gel is awesome! No blood sugar drops either like I had with other products.Products always arrive sooner than expected! You guys (and girls) are awesome!" ...
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Columbia City, Indiana
Sport: Running

Sandra Marbut

"I learned about the value of gel products through training for marathons. So when I returned to coaching basketball at a very academic school, I decided to see if I could combine the two worlds. With a small roster, our players are on the court for long periods of time and need to sustain high intensity for a solid 90 minutes. After learning what impact fuels have on your body for endurance sports, I decided to try it with our players. It has been brilliant! ..." ...
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Pasadena , California
Sport: Basketball

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