Energy Gels: Who, When and Why?
Most people are not fans of energy gels at first… they can be sticky, thick and hard to get down. Why would anyone use an energy gel? Why not just stick to energy bars and sports drinks? All good questions… read on:
What is an Energy Gel
The best way to think of an energy gel is like a good sports drink with most of the water sucked out of it (although that’s not how they are made). If you’re using a good gel, then everything you need during your workout or competition is right in the gel – everything except the water that is!
Why No Water?
You need water, and lots of it during an kind of endurance activity (running, cycling, triathlon, soccer, hockey, football, etc.). The recommendation by the American College of Sports Medicine is actually 16-32 ounces per hour. But that doesn’t mean you have to carry it around with you. Water is bulky and heavy.
Who Should Use Energy Gels?
All endurance athletes can benefit from energy gels, but the most obvious uses are for those that have to carry and transport their nutrition. Runners in particular are the biggest users of energy gels. During a half of full marathon for example, you need carbohydrates, electrolytes and water. There’s plenty of water along the course, but the nutrition offered is usually super high in sugar and not what you want to be using. So just carry your energy gel, take the course water and you’re all set! Gels are also a great choice for triathletes, cyclists, hikers, climbers, etc. Athletes that play court sports and field sports can use gels, or they can use a good sports drink – for them it becomes more a choice of personal preference.
How Do You Use Them?
With Water! The biggest mistake that athletes make with energy gels is that they take them with a sports drink or other food. Bad idea. One of the advantages of an energy gel is that it is absorbed through osmosis with no digestive requirements. But for that to all happen the way it’s supposed to you have to drink water. Taking other drinks and food can slow the absorption and cause stomach distress, not what you want while you’re working out. So just take your energy and water, it’s that easy.
What Energy Gel Should You Use?
Excellent question! All energy gels are not the same. The problem with most gels is that they are either high in sugar (watch this video to see why that’s a bad thing), or they don’t have the electrolytes you need. Electrolytes are critical to help maintain hydration and avoid muscle cramps and injuries. Only e-Gel Electrolyte Energy Gel gives you everything you need right in the gel!
Energy Gel Comparisons
e-Gel Customer Testimonials
Real Stories from Real Customers …
"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!" ... continue reading
Houston, TexasSport: Running
"Figuring out how to stay hydrated, not get upset stomach 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." ... continue reading
Maricopa, ArizonaSport: Running
"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" ... continue reading
Oklahoma City, OklahomaSport: Running, Triathlon
"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." ... continue reading
Houma, LouisianaSport: Running and Triathlon
"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." ... continue reading
Big Bear City, CaliforniaSport: Triathlon
"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. " ... continue reading
Waynesboro, VirginiaSport: Triathlon
"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." ... continue reading
Springfield, IllinoisSport: Running
"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!" ... continue reading
Marietta, GeorgiaSport: Ultra Running
"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!" ... continue reading
Battle Creek, MichiganSport: Running
"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." ... continue reading
Cleveland, OhioSport: Hockey
"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." ... continue reading
Livermore, CaliforniaSport: Ultra Running
"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!" ... continue reading
Lakewood, CaliforniaSport: Running