Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel vs e-Gel Energy Gel Comparison

When Gatorade launched their Endurance Energy Gel, we expected it to be 100% sugar like many of their sports drinks. So kudos to them for making a product with complex carbs, specifically maltodextrin, which has been proven to have significant performance advantages over sugars. The good news for us here at Crank Sports is that e-Gel wins the head to head comparison hands down. e-Gel has double the complex carbs (and lower sugar) as well as the addition of fructose which allows for maximum energy uptake (explained below). e-Gel has three times the electrolyte levels to maintain hydration and avoid cramping an injuries. And e-Gel has a complete profile of amino acids and antioxidants to reduce tissue damage, soreness and lactic acid buildup and to speed recovery. None of these things are found in Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel. Read on for all the details:

calories

e-Gel

150

Gatorade
Endurance Gel

80

Each pack of e-Gel provides nearly 90% more energy than a pack of Gatorade Endurance Gel. This makes e-Gel more economical and you have fewer packs to carry and less trash to deal with, that’s a good thing!

complex carbs

e-Gel

30 g

Gatorade
Endurance Gel

14 g

e-Gel has more complex carbs than any other energy gel and this is critical because your body can uptake more energy when you use complex carbs instead of simple sugars.

How is this possible?

Read on (or watch this video)

The carbs/energy in an energy gel are transported into your cellular system through osmosis. If you recall learning about osmosis in science class, it’s the way a fluid crosses a membrane. In order for the fluid to cross, it has to be an equal or lower concentration than the fluid on the other side of the membrane. In this case you’re trying to get the gel across your cellular membrane so you can use the energy. Gels by themselves are extremely concentrated (hypertonic), that’s why you need to use water with gel so that you can lower the concentration until it becomes isotonic (the same concentration as your cellular fluids). When you do, the gel and water get absorbed – osmosis!!

What’s interesting is that the concentration of a fluid (also called the osmolality) is largely dependent on the NUMBER of particles in the fluid, and less dependent on the size of the particles. Complex carbs by definition have a larger molecular structure than simple sugars, basically they have more glucose molecules stuck together. But remember, it’s the number of particles, not the size that matters most. What that means is that at the point of absorption (isotonic), a fluid with complex carbs can transport nearly twice as much energy into the cellular system compared to one with simple sugars.

This isn’t something that we’ve invented here a Crank Sports, it’s proven science. Many energy gels (including e-Gel) use at least some maltodextrin for this reason. Maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate with an extremely large molecular structure. Where e-Gel sets itself apart from other products is that we use much more complex carb and less sugar. This allows you to get more energy when you use e-Gel compared to our competitors. Why do other companies use so much sugar? Simple, because it’s sweet and inexpensive, and sweet things sell. So if you want to sell a lot of something you make it sweet. But if you want to make the best PERFORMING product you use complex carbs.

sugar

e-Gel

18%

Gatorade
Endurance Gel

30%

By providing lower sugar and more complex carbs instead, e-Gel is able to provide significantly more total energy uptake. See our complex carb discussion for complete details.

carb sources

e-Gel

Maltodextrin
Fructose

Gatorade
Endurance Gel

Maltodextrin
Brown Rice Syrup
Sugar

Maltodextrin is the preferred complex carbohydrate for endurance athletes as discussed in the complex carbs section.

But why fructose?

Fructose is also a sugar, but it’s very different than all other forms of sugar and we use it in all of our products for a very good reason.

Fructose sometimes gets a bad rap for endurance athletes because it is thought to cause stomach and GI discomfort. Like anything else, if you take too much fructose it can be a problem. But if you use it properly it can actually significantly improve performance … without stomach issues. Here’s why:

Most of the energy that we use during endurance sports comes from consumed carbohydrates that are converted into glycogen and stored in our muscles. Glycogen can then be quickly broken down into glucose and used to fuel the muscles. The liver also stores glycogen which has been converted from fructose and serves as an additional “fuel tank” to power your muscles.

Here’s where it gets interesting …

The main route for glucose absorption from the gut is through a transporter called SGLT1 – a protein that acts like a door, helping glucose go from the gut to the bloodstream. SGLT1 has a maximum capacity and can only transport around one gram of glucose per minute (240 calories/hour). Fructose, however, is absorbed with a different transporter, called GLUT5. By using both transporters you can increase the amount of carbohydrate the body can use during exercise up to approximately 300 calories/hour.

GLUT5’s sole job in life is to transport fructose, so if you’re not consuming fructose then you’re not using the GLUT5 transporter … it’s like having an additional fuel line and not using it, why would you do that? In addition, your secondary fuel tank (your liver) will be under utilized as well.

The rapid absorption of fructose mixtures and special handling of fructose in the liver are the two main reasons that fructose can also also help to speed up recovery after exercise. A recent study found that when athletes drank sports drinks containing both fructose and complex carbohydrates after exercise, they accelerated the recovery of their liver glycogen stores. It almost doubled this rate of recovery compared with drinks that didn’t have fructose, when the same total amount of carbohydrate was consumed.

Bottom line … if you want to “be your best”, incorporate some fructose into your training and competition nutrition program.

sodium

e-Gel

230 mg

Gatorade
Endurance Gel

90 mg

e-Gel is the only energy gel to provide complete electrolyte replacement in the gel – where it should be! The most important electrolyte that you need to replenish is sodium to help you maintain hydration and to avoid cramping and injuries.

For a more detailed discussion of why it’s important to have this level of electrolytes in the gel instead of getting your electrolytes some other way:

read details

potassium

e-Gel

85 mg

Gatorade
Endurance Gel

30 mg

Potassium is the other electrolyte that is important to replace during your training and competition, along with sodium. The level of potassium in e-Gel is designed to meet the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendation for replacement during athletic activity. See the sodium discussion for additional details.

amino acids

e-Gel

Histidine, Leucine,
Valine, Isoleucine

Gatorade
Endurance Gel

no amino acids

The amino acids in e-gel help to reduce lactic acid build up, reduce soreness, maintain muscle protein and aid in quicker recovery.

Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel does not contain amino acids.

antioxidants

e-Gel

vitamin C 120%
vitamin E 120%

Gatorade
Endurance Gel

none

Antioxidant vitamins C and E help protect against tissue damage, reduce soreness and aid in the recovery process. 

Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel does not contain these antioxidants.

citrates

e-Gel

Sodium Citrate
Potassium Citrate
Citric Acid

Gatorade
Endurance Gel

Potassium Citrate
Citric Acid

Citrates assist in the carbohydrate to energy conversion process as well as slow the build up of lactic acid in your muscles.

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facebook-customer-reviews

Keith Castleton

"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." ...
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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

NOTE: All Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel nutrition values shown are for Mango flavor as of April 2021, other flavors may vary. e-Gel nutrition values are the same for all flavors, read why