e-Gel has half the sugars of GU and other leading energy gels and it’s the only Electrolyte Energy Gel with 4 times the sodium and double the potassium. When taken with water you can now get balanced hydration, energy and electrolyte replacement in one product. And, with 150 carbohydrate calories, e-Gel packs 50% more energy than most competing gels. With e-Gel you get more energy, no sugar BONKS and complete electrolyte replacement to avoid cramping and injuries!
Why is this important?
Because your body can uptake more energy when you use complex carbs instead of simple sugars. If you’re doing any kind of endurance sport, then the more energy you can get from your nutrition the better you’ll perform. Period.
LONG ANSWER (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 (read about sugar below). 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.
230 mg Sodium
85 mg Potassium
This is about 4 times the electrolytes that you get with most other gels.
Why is this important?
Electrolytes are critical to maintain hydration and avoid cramping and injuries
Energy gels have to be taken with water in order to be properly and rapidly absorbed (via osmosis). If you try to use a sports drink with your gel in order to get your electrolytes, it’s a recipe for disaster. The combined solution of the sports drink and the gel in your gut will be too concentrated (hypertonic), thus not allowing it to be rapidly absorbed. The result can be stomach discomfort, gas or worse. With other gels, the way to get your electrolytes is with some sort of electrolyte supplement. But this is one more thing to buy and one more thing to figure out how and how often to use. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Since energy gels are absorbed via osmosis, water is the transport vehicle that carries the gel into your cellular system. And we know how much water travels with the gel. Taking this into account, we have designed e-Gel to provide 500 mg of sodium and 200 mg of potassium per liter of absorbed fluid, which meets the recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine for electrolyte replacement.
e-Gel has been doing this since 2001, and this is where the name e-Gel came from – it has all of the electrolytes and the energy you need, right in the gel. Just use e-Gel and water, it’s that easy.
As we explained above, if you want to provide maximum energy to your working muscles it can’t be done with simple sugars. You need to rely on complex carbs.
Additionally, sugars can cause massive swings in your blood sugar – the sugar high followed by the inevitable crash. Even worse, when this happens your body slows down insulin production. Insulin is like a gatekeeper that allows glucose into your muscles. When your insulin production drops, less energy is provided to the working muscles and your performance suffers. As an athlete, you want sustained energy delivery from your gel, without the sugar highs and lows. That’s exactly what you get with the complex carbs and low sugar found in e-Gel.
You may be asking why we use any sugar at all in e-Gel.
Good question . . .
Fructose is a sugar, and if you use too much of it during your training or competition it can cause stomach discomfort. But if you use a little fructose you can actually get more energy than if you used just complex carbs. Read on for an explanation.
Your body has two different types of energy transporters. One transporter just processes fructose and nothing else. The other transporters handle all other carbohydrates (both simple sugars and complex carbs), but not fructose. So, if you’re not using some fructose then the fructose transporters are sitting around doing nothing – you’re missing out on energy that could be delivered to the working muscles. The problem is that if you use too much fructose then you overload the transporters and you can get stomach discomfort as a side effect. The trick is to use enough fructose to take advantage of the transporters, but not so much that you overload them.
With e-Gel that’s exactly what we’ve done. You get a little bit of fructose and the rest complex carbohydrate for maximum energy delivery.
Energy Gels by themselves are extremely hypertonic (more concentrated than your body fluids), which means that you have to consume water to ensure that they are rapidly absorbed. This is the case for all gels (GU, Clif Shot and others). Water dilutes the gel and lowers the concentration (osmolality), thus increasing the absorption rate. When you consume just the right amount of water, the combined solution will become isotonic (the same concentration as your body fluids) which allows for rapid absorption, hydration and maximum energy delivery.
If you try to get your electrolytes by drinking a sports drink (instead of water) it will not properly dilute the gel, thus slowing the absorption rate. This can also lead to stomach irritation and a dehydrating effect as your cellular fluids are drawn upon to dilute the gel. (read more: when to use energy gels vs. hydration drinks and can they be used together)
So, if you drink water with your energy gel like you have to, then how do you replace your electrolytes? Other energy gels contain electrolytes, but they do not contain nearly enough (see comparisons) to provide adequate electrolyte replacement (even GU says so). e-Gel on the other hand is the first Electrolyte Energy Gel and is designed to provide complete and balanced energy, hydration and electrolyte replacement. In fact, e-Gel has more than 5 times the sodium and twice as much potassium as competing gels. e-Gel and water… that’s all you need in most cases!
When we spike the level of our blood sugar we have lots of energy … for a little while, and then we come crashing down. This doesn’t work so well for “endurance” athletes. Simple sugars can do just that, a little bit is okay but too much will quickly raise your blood sugar. If it could stay elevated life would be great, but unfortunately it can’t, and when it comes back down it drops (crashes) well below where it started.
If this happens during athletic activity it is a dual edged sword. Your performance will drop as the blood sugar drops because your body is depending on that energy, and your body will no longer be able to as efficiently convert your muscle glycogen into usable energy. Here comes the BONK!!! The goal is to maintain a consistent blood sugar level without the spikes and crashes, and this is achieved by relying primarily on complex carbohydrates and low sugar levels, and that’s exactly what you get with e-Gel Electrolyte Energy Gel!
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