Energy Gel for Running

Energy gel can be used for running or any other endurance activity. A detailed discussion on how to use energy gels, how to carry them, ingredients and types follows.

What is energy gel?

Energy gel is a gel with a very thick consistency and it provides carbohydrates to the body. Energy gel is also referred to as endurance gel, sports gel, nutritional gel and carbohydrate gel.

Energy for runners

Running is a high intensity activity. The body uses a combination of protiens, carbohydrates and fats to burn energy. However, carbohydrates are the most efficient form of fuel available to burn. Carbohydrates are nothing but sugar and they store and transport energy. If the body runs low on carbohydrates, runners commonly experience hitting the wall and hence perform carbohydrate loading.

How are energy gels available?

Energy gels are available in gel packets. Each packet has a strip with a small notch at the top. The packet is approximately 4.5 inches long and narrow at the top. The packet can be peeled off at the notch to reveal an opening of approximately 1 inch.

How to use energy gels

Step by step use of energy gels

The recommended use of an energy gel is 15 minutes before starting a run and 30-45 minutes after starting the run(or any endurance sports).

However, if you have a high carbohydrate meal before starting a run, the first gel for 15 minutes before the run may be skipped.

Energy gels are then to be used every 30-45 minutes during the run. The packet has can be peeled off at the notch and an intake of energy gel has to be followed with a drink of water.

The exact intake of the gel varies for every athelete depending on their metabolism, body weight and fitness level.

How to carry energy gels

Energy gels can be carried in the pouch of the fuel belt. They can also be carried in pockets of shorts or t-shirts.

Ingredients of energy gels

Energy gels contain three major ingredients:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Carbohydrates
Different energy gels are available with and without caffeine.

Do energy gels help?

Energy gels provide carbohydrates which are necessary for efficient metabolism. Carbohydrates may also be consumed from sports drinks instead of energy gels.

Where do you buy energy gel?

Energy gel can be bought at any sports stores, running stores, REI or online.

You can also buy energy gel at our running store.

Which is the best energy gel?

This question although logical does not have an answer. Every athlete is different in terms of his or her metabolism, body type, fitness level, weight etc. So, no one energy gel is the best energy gel. The best way to find the right gel for you is to try one gel for each run and see which one you like the most and works best for you.

Energy Gel reviews of Gu and Luna Moons including some personal favorites are discussed here.

Types of energy gel

More information on Vegan energy gels can be found here.

  • Gu energy gel
  • Roctane ultra endurance energy gel
  • Powerbar energy gel
  • ClifShot energy gel
  • Hammer gel
  • Carb boom energy gel : safe for vegan vegeterians
  • e-gel energy gel
  • Cytomax gel
  • Accel gel

Also available in a different form are

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