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10 Best Energy Gels for Running Reviewed

last updated Dec 24, 2018
Why would an athlete want to include energy gels in their running routine? Well, if you are a marathoner or someone who is training for something like a course challenge, you will need something to provide you with extra carbohydrates or energy boosts while you're training as well as on race day. Energy gels provide you with both calories and glycogen, a potent energy source. But with so many options available on the market, how do you choose the right one for you? To help you with just that we've compiled a list of the best energy gels, so read on below to find out more.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research

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GU Original
93.6/100 our score
Product Purity
90
Potency
97
Use
95
Value
95
Side Effects
91
GU Original
Why is it better?

Comes in different flavors that everyone can enjoy

Low Caffeine levels

Amino acids help decrease muscle damage

Fast absorbing Ingredients

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
GU Original
Test Winner: GU Original
Researched Sources
21
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1530
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
19
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By EJ Callanan:

The Honey Stinger Ginsting and Science in Sport Double Espresso gels were added to this update based on recent increases in the quality of their reviews. They have replaced two other products that weren't performing well and no longer met our high expectations. We have also freshened up some of our content to match the most up to date nutritional science.

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1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
Product Purity
90%
Potency
97%
Use
95%
Value
95%
Side Effects
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$11.60
$29.95
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$29.95
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2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Product Purity
99%
Potency
89%
Use
88%
Value
89%
Side Effects
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$26.95
$47.95
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$54.00
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3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Product Purity
95%
Potency
90%
Use
85%
Value
85%
Side Effects
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$1.50
See Deal
$32.58
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Product Purity
90%
Potency
92%
Use
93%
Value
90%
Side Effects
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$20.39
$21.95
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$23.68
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$30.00
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5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Product Purity
81%
Potency
98%
Use
93%
Value
87%
Side Effects
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$49.95
$49.95
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$49.95
See Deal
$49.95
See Deal
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Product Purity
95%
Potency
80%
Use
80%
Value
85%
Side Effects
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$26.89
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$27.00
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$30.96
$36.00
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7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Product Purity
90%
Potency
90%
Use
76%
Value
80%
Side Effects
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$60.00
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Product Purity
95%
Potency
83%
Use
80%
Value
70%
Side Effects
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$69.64
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Product Purity
80%
Potency
90%
Use
80%
Value
80%
Side Effects
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$10.00
See Deal
$10.99
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Product Purity
100%
Potency
70%
Use
65%
Value
75%
Side Effects
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$33.60
See Deal
$35.93
In Depth Review Top 10
  • GU Original
  • Huma Chia
  • Honey Stinger Ginsting Caffeinated
  • Clif Shot
  • GU Roctane Ultra Endurance
  • Honey Stinger
  • Science in Sport Double Espresso
  • Jeunesse Reserve 30
  • Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel
  • UnTapped Maple Syrup Athletic Fuel
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Energy Gels

1. GU Original

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
GU Original
Product Purity
90
Potency
97
Use
95
Value
95
Side Effects
91
best offer for today
more shops
$11.60
$29.95
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$29.95
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Pros:

Comes in different flavors that everyone can enjoy

Low Caffeine levels

Amino acids help decrease muscle damage

Fast absorbing Ingredients

Cons:

Low caffeine levels so if you need high caffeine for those long runs, you may need to try something else

This is yet another great flavor to deliver the energy needed to come out on top of the competition. This one, unlike some of the others on this list by GU, is caffeine free.

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Different Flavors

This is an ideal quality for sports lovers because some prefer one flavor to another. The brand is flexible as it comes in up to seven different flavors that all have varying caffeine levels

Dual Energy Sources

Key ingredients include fast absorbing fructose and maltodextrin that ensure your increased workout and efficient energy during an intense workout.

Cost and Value

While some consider it expensive, others do not mind the price because of its fast absorbing ingredients which are vital to generate the needed energy levels. It is one of the highly preferred brands because of its different flavors.

2. Huma Chia

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Huma Chia
Product Purity
99
Potency
89
Use
88
Value
89
Side Effects
97
best offer for today
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$26.95
$47.95
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$54.00
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Pros:

All natural energy gel made from organic sources

100% Gluten & dairy free, reducing the occurrence of upset stomachs

Available in many natural flavors

Compact beautifully designed package

Cons:

Not all flavors contain an adequate amount of caffeine

Huma Chia Energy Gel is Nutrition Energy Gel intended for high tempo, continuous exercise such as running, cycling, triathlons, and any other activities requiring long-term endurance. They are great pre and in-race energy supplements which can also be used during rigorous training sessions, workouts or any activities that call for glucose/glycogen replacement.

Read more

Design

It is packaged in a beautiful compact, vibrant easy to open pack that is quite appealing to complement the contents which are highly nutritious and delicious

100% Organic

The product has no additional ingredients and is 100% made of natural ingredients. It is gluten-free, vegan-friendly and is guaranteed not to cause upset to your stomach.

Cost and Value

What makes this product so great is the fact that it's 100% organic. It's also made from products that make it safe for consumption while it provides you with high energy levels. For this reason, Huma Chia energy gel is a great pick for the money.

3. Honey Stinger Ginsting Caffeinated

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Honey Stinger Ginsting Caffeinated
Product Purity
95
Potency
90
Use
85
Value
85
Side Effects
97
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$32.58
$1.50
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Pros:

Natural energy source

Good taste

Extra energy from caffeine

Has extra vitamins and minerals

Side effects are rare

Cons:

May be too sweet for some

This one adds another caffeinated option for runners with serious energy requirements. Reviewers also liked the taste although be warned that it's very sweet. The best thing is that because it's made with natural honey it won't potentially cause an upset stomach like many other options.

Read more

Product Purity and Potency

Due to being made with natural honey this option is one of the most natural items on our list. Reviewers were pleased with how much energy it gave them, especially considering it isn't as likely to cause an upset stomach as many other options on the market.

Use and Value

This product is perfect for runners with sensitive stomachs who nonetheless need a little bit of an extra boost beyoned what the typical gel provides. Price wise, it comes in at about average for products of this type and is widely available sold individually as well as in value packs.

Side Effects

Because of the use of natural honey this option doesn't have many reports of side effects associated with its use. Everyone is different however, so we recommend consuming a small amount at first to see how your body reacts.

4. Clif Shot

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Clif Shot
Product Purity
90
Potency
92
Use
93
Value
90
Side Effects
94
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$20.39
$21.95
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$23.68
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$30.00
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Pros:

Mocha flavored for the chocolate lovers

Kosher

90% organic ingredients

Quite affordable

Cons:

High in caffeine content, so could cause stomach issues

This is a popular one. The Clif “Shot” energy gel is intended to be consumed during a race or other endurance competition. Made of 90% organic ingredients, this Kosher energy gel also delivers a quick 50mg of caffeine to boost you up during your run.

Read more

Organic Ingredients

This means that it is purely made with natural ingredients and no additives that would be harmful to limit your maximum performance. This is important to those who may have allergies and most consumers prefer organic compounds.

Key-Ingredients

The combination of the three ingredients: Chocolate, Caffeine, and coffee make it one of the best energy gels and would guarantee maximum performance during your workout routine.

Cost and Value

An adequate amount of caffeine and coffee and purely organic with no additives. This one is a little more expensive than other options but most users felt it was worth it.

5. GU Roctane Ultra Endurance

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
GU Roctane Ultra Endurance
Product Purity
81
Potency
98
Use
93
Value
87
Side Effects
85
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$49.95
$49.95
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$49.95
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Pros:

Large flavor variety

Efficient absorption for lasting energy

High in sodium to help those who sweat a replace sodium

Comes in different flavors

Cons:

Some may find the consistency a bit thick

Similar to a lot of the other energy gels, this one also contains 100 calories and all the essential electrolytes, as well as 1425mg of amino acids to help to prevent or decrease muscle damage and mental fatigue. It's suitable for high-intensity racing as well as rigorous training sessions.

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Amino Acids

The product contains 1425 milligrams of amino acids which is a substantial amount needed for tissue repair and muscle recovery. This also increases performance by reducing mental fatigue to help you during intense training.

Different Flavor

You are spoiled for choice in this section as it improves your selection. Additionally, the caffeine level in each version varies in order to boost brand choice and offer some versatility for different customers.

Cost and Value

When priced per unit, the GU Roctane Ultra Endurance energy gel is fairly inexpensive. However, they come in large bulk packages when ordering online which can result in the need for customers to pay more than they may otherwise have been comfortable. Because of this, it's a good idea to try and find a sample at a local sports nutrition store before investing in a large order.

6. Honey Stinger

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Honey Stinger
Product Purity
95
Potency
80
Use
80
Value
85
Side Effects
89
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$30.96
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$27.00
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Pros:

A honey-based alternative to other gels

Easier on the stomach than a lot of other options

Goes down easy

Gluten-free

Cons:

No caffeine, so may not have the boost that others will

Made with USDA certified organic and natural ingredients, Honey Stinger products typically have fewer side effects than other options. This honey-based gel is perfect for those athletes that strive to push on to the finish line ahead of the others. With flavors like acai & pomegranate Honey Stinger energy gel is sure not to disappoint.

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Energy Source

The product is composed of organic honey that is infused with tapioca syrup and provides a good source of energy and fiber. The product is high in protein with high levels of electrolytes.

Other Product Compatibility

It can be used to make other high energy products like energy bars, organic snacks, protein bars, and other kid-friendly snacks. It acts as a healthy sweetener that is loved by a majority of athletes,

Cost and Value

With honey and organic products as ingredients, it is not only high in nutrients and energy needed but can be used to make other products. The sweet tasting gel is highly valuable and offers good value for money.

7. Science in Sport Double Espresso

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Science in Sport Double Espresso
Product Purity
90
Potency
90
Use
76
Value
80
Side Effects
87
best offer for today
$60.00
Pros:

Very effective

Good taste

Easy to use

Naturally sourced caffeine

Cons:

People with caffeine sensitivities shouldn't use

This product gives the user an extra shot of caffeine for extra energy above and beyond what the typical energy gel offers. What especially cool is that the caffeine comes from the kola nut which is easier on the stomach than the synthetic caffeine most caffeinated products of this type use.

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Product Purity and Potency

The caffeine in this product is naturally sourced from the kola nut, and in addition to the benefits of caffeine it helps aid digestion, increase circulation, and have antibacterial properties as well. Each serving has 150 mg of caffeine, which is equal to about one and a half cups of coffee, and because of this users rated it as being very potent and giving them a lot of extra energy beyond what most gels supply.

Use and Value

This one is best for runners who regularly run long distances and know that they're not overly sensitive to caffeine. The price per serving is in line with most other high-quality products of this type.

Side Effects

Some, but not most, users said that it gave them symptoms typically associated with caffeine sensitivity such as shaky hands and slight nausea.

8. Jeunesse Reserve 30

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Jeunesse Reserve 30
Product Purity
95
Potency
83
Use
80
Value
70
Side Effects
90
best offer for today
$69.64
Pros:

High in antioxidants which helps prevent premature aging

Also helps boost the immune system

Helps maintain a healthy metabolism

Comes in 5 different flavors

Contains natural herbs, aloe vera, and green tea

Cons:

It is a bit expensive compared to other gels

Containing the essential fatty acids which help in the function of the digestive tract. Also, this gel is packed with antioxidants to resist oxidative stress and helps with maintaining a healthy metabolism.

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Antioxidants

The product is high in antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress and help to keep you fit. This also helps boost energy cells and improve muscle growth.

Different Flavors

Comes in five different tasty flavors which is a beneficial factor in marketing and allow you a choice in selecting any brand you may prefer for your energy gel brand.

Cost and Value

One of the leading brands of energy gels with increased antioxidant rate and organic compounds. It comes with a combination mixed with natural herbs, aloe vera, seed extract and this improves its value to give you an increased experience of an energy gel.

9. Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel
Product Purity
80
Potency
90
Use
80
Value
80
Side Effects
80
best offer for today
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$10.99
$10.00
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Pros:

Water not needed upon consumption to be effective

Provides a great energy boost

Tastes good

Well priced when bought in bulk

Reliable, easy open package

Cons:

Some found the consistency off-putting

Packaging a little bulky

The Science of Sports Go Isotonic Energy Gel is a solid choice for a runner looking for something to help them get across that marathon finish line. SIS claims that their gel is designed to be effective even if you don’t have water on hand, which is helpful in the event that you need to be a bit more conservative with your supply.

Read more

Optimal Performance

The gel acts fast and reduces the chances of bloating because it is designed to be used with water. the fast acting soluble ingredients also improve performance to help you improve on your workout routine.

Informed Sport Evolved Certification

The product has been tested vigorously in anti-doping labs. These are also considered safe to use for professional athletes as it is made of natural ingredients.

Cost and Value

The highly soluble formula that went into this energy gel is great for reducing bloating and that alone should signify its value to a majority of potential customers. What's even better is that this product is certified and given the seal of approval to be used by professional athletes.

10. UnTapped Maple Syrup Athletic Fuel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
UnTapped Maple Syrup Athletic Fuel
Product Purity
100
Potency
70
Use
65
Value
75
Side Effects
90
best offer for today
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$35.93
$33.60
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Pros:

Keeps well in colder temperatures

Less likely to cause swallowing or digestion issues

Provides a good boost

Palatable texture

All natural

Cons:

Is strictly maple syrup, so may be less appealing to some.

Moderately high priced

Untapped is a rather interesting option when it comes to energy gels. Even with runners that may be acquainted with gels made of high carb yield sugars, such as honey, Untapped can still come across as a rather unorthodox option. The trade is with syrup, you are eating something both familiar and palatable that is less likely to cause stomach problems. Also as a surprising benefit, the syrup keeps better in the cold than more traditional energy gels.

Read more

100% Organic

The brand is made of maple syrup and no additives making it a leading natural product to help you gain the energy needed during your training routine.

Low Glycemic

This product is low in sugar and with only natural ingredients, it guarantees maximum output in energy generation. The energy is stored in your cells rather than a quick boost and is advisable for high-performance athletes who need sustained energy levels.

Cost and Value

With no additives and just maple syrup, this product is one of the best energy gels that guarantees value for money. It is also an important brand that helps you store energy rather than a quick boost for a one-time workout

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Product Purity

It is very important to look at the ingredients before making any purchase. Should you be consuming these? Are they helpful or harmful to your body? A clear look at the energy contents of energy gels you will notice that they tend to have different types of sugars that vary in quantity. In order to replace the loss of bodily fluids from sweating and prevent the development of running cramps, some gels contain high concentrations of electrolytes. Others contain small to moderate amounts of caffeine in order to provide an additional energy boost.

It's essential to understand that at the end of the day the most optimal energy gel is the one that works best for you. Make sure the ingredients used are able to get you what you are looking for during your workout session. The ingredients used not only serve the nutritional purpose, but they also determine the taste and flavors of the energy gels. Pick your favorite flavor and with the best taste for you.

Potency

Next, we did a comparison of the number of electrolytes in each brand. Whether you are going to need more or fewer electrolytes will depend on the time of your run and what your body needs. We advise athletes to experiment and see what works for them best in terms of electrolytes and water intake, while always taking different environments into account. This is important because the loss of electrolytes during workouts is different in the summer heat and in the winter cold. As heat and humidity cause greater amounts of electrolytes to be lost, the need for proper care and supplementation only increases during hot weather.

Use

Taste is important. After all, if a certain gel isn’t to your fancy, then you aren’t going to use it. However, it shouldn’t be the main reason why you choose a gel. The content is more important. It’s also worth mentioning that different people have different taste preferences, so what tickles our taste buds might turn yours off.

Besides taste, there are a few things that are super important to think about. One is your own tolerance. How well do you handle caffeine, as well as other energy producing ingredients? For many people, headaches and stomachaches tend to be a common side effect that might go along with consuming energy gels.

If you don't consume much caffeine, or aren't a regular coffee drinker perhaps, then the effect might be different for you. Likewise, if you tend to have a weaker stomach, you might think about consuming a smaller than suggested amount to see how your body takes it.

Value

Whilst sports nutrition is expensive, we will factor in convenience and assess the value of the product compared to other products on the market. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra dollar to get what will best serve your work out goals. At the same time, however, supplements alone will not make you a good runner; training and dedication will. For that reason, you shouldn't assume that every product with an expensive price tag will provide the benefits you need to take your running to a new level: only you have that ability.

Side Effects

When choosing an energy gel, you may also want to consider ingredients like sodium and electrolytes for replenishing salt and other important minerals lost through sweat, and caffeine for an extra boost of energy. Many gels and chews also contain glucose, sucrose, and fructose (simple sugars). These carbohydrate sources are sometimes included in ingredients like cane syrup, tapioca syrup or even from fruit sources like dates. If you consume all of your carbohydrates in gel form, top up with plain water rather than carbohydrate drink (which would supply surplus carbohydrate). Consuming too many carbohydrate and they won't even be absorbed and could even upset your stomach.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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How do you react to potent doses of caffeine?

These are a little different from slowly sipping on a cup of coffee. There are many who get that boost, but also accompanied by a headache, stomachache, or both.

It's wise to have a good idea of how you react to caffeine and other energy producing ingredients before consuming a whole serving. Perhaps try a partial serving for the first go.

Seriously, only use as suggested

We wouldn't recommend downing one of these gels every time you have a sweettooth or feel just a little tired.

For starters, your body may develop more of a tolerance, which means they don't quite work as well with a normal dose. Second, caffeine is addictive, so there's also that.

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

Energy gels are one of the most popular sports snacks. Loved by hikers, cyclists, paddlers, and runners for on-the-go (during-workout), energy gels are syrupy, semi-liquid products—usually high concentrations of carbohydrates. Their main benefit, to a runner, is that they are able to deliver a very fast energy boost that is easy to digest and are considered to be the quickest energy input of any performance food for any given sporting activity. Energy gels come in small packets that are light, mostly 1 or 2 oz. They can be easily stashed somewhere close by, as you work out. Some are sweetened by non-sugar products such as honey, agave or stevia. Some gel-makers create specialized gels by adding varying doses of caffeine (a potent fatigue-fighter) or sodium (for people sweating excessively due to high temperatures or humid conditions). Caffeine-enhanced products are usually clearly marked. If you prefer to avoid caffeine, take note when selecting gels. There is, however, a huge number of different products on the market, with more flavors and varieties becoming available on a regular basis.

With the market full of many energy gels, we recommend for you only the best energy gels for runners. Below are some of the factors we considered when picking out these energy gels as the best ones for runners.

Nutritional Content & Ingredients

It is very important to look at the ingredients before making any purchase.
Should you be consuming these? Are they helpful or harmful to your body? A clear look at the energy contents of energy gels you will notice that they tend to have different types of sugars that vary in quantity. Gels can also contain electrolytes to replace those lost through sweat and prevent cramps. Some gels also contain caffeine. The most important thing to remember when choosing an energy gel is that ultimately, the most optimal fuel is the one that works best for you.  Make sure the ingredients used are able to get you what you are looking for during your workout session. The ingredients used not only serve the nutritional purpose, they also determine the taste and flavors of the energy gels. Pick your favorite flavor and with the best taste for you. What constitutes “the best” is different for every individual. You will likely have to test a few different fuel sources before you find one that you like (in terms of flavor) and that also helps provide the best performance enhancement without upsetting your stomach.

If you look at the package of the energy gel you will notice some of the ingredients used, like cane sugar, water, chocolate and green tea extract, but what about the other ingredients that you can’t even pronounce their names. Maltodextrin, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, malic acid and fumaric acid are some of the most common.

Below is a summary of these ingredients.

Maltodextrin

This food additive is a polysaccharide (a long carbohydrate molecule). Maltodextrin is the most popular ingredient used in gel and chews supplements. It is a complex carbohydrate made from a chain of simple sugars. Despite being a complex carbohydrate it’s widely used because the sugars are broken down and digested easily as glucose.  In the United States, Maltodextrin is most commonly made from corn, although it can be made from any available starch. Don't worry if you come across maltodextrin that is made from wheat- it goes through so much processing that there is nearly no protein left to cause an allergic reaction.

It is an important ingredient to note since its easily digestible and absorbed, maltodextrin is useful for long distance workouts. Its major disadvantages include weight gain, high amounts of processing, and it is a potential allergen.

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium Benzoate is added to food to preserve it, specifically to keep gels from growing bacteria or fungus. It is also used in other non-gel foods, as well as cosmetics and fireworks.

Potassium Sorbate (aka Scrobic Acid)

This food additive prevents mold and yeast from growing and also lengthens the shelf life of food products. Beware- it can irritate your eyes, skin, and respiratory system.

Malic Acid

This food additive has rare approval from the US, EU, Australia, and New Zealand, and is naturally made by all living things. It is responsible for sour tastes (like in fruit) and is very safe.

Fumaric Acid

This additive helps to control acidity and has a fruity taste. With that in mind, it is most frequently used to improve the tastes of energy gels. Other uses for fumaric acid include polyester resin production,  Fumaric acid is also used in the production of polyester resins, a component of dyes, and in making polyhydric alcohols.

When choosing an energy gel, you may also want to consider ingredients like sodium and electrolytes for replenishing salt and other important minerals lost through sweat, and caffeine for an extra boost of energy. Many gels and chews also contain glucose, sucrose, and fructose (simple sugars). These carbohydrate sources are sometimes included in ingredients like cane syrup, tapioca syrup or even from fruit sources like dates. If you consume all of your carbohydrates in gel form, top up with plain water rather than carbohydrate drink (which would supply surplus carbohydrate). Consume too much carbohydrate and it won’t be absorbed – indeed, it could even upset your stomach.

Taste

Taste is extremely important. After all, if a certain gel isn’t to your fancy, then you aren’t going to use it. However, it shouldn’t be the main reason why you choose a gel. The content is more important. It’s also worth mentioning that everyone’s taste is different. So what tickles one person's taste buds might turn yours off.

Safety Hazards

The most important thing to consider when choosing an energy gel to support your athletic performance is its ingredients. Beware, first and foremost, of any potential allergens, and also think about whether the ingredients are actually good for your body. If they are, they will enhance your performance, but if they aren’t, they have the potential to stifle it. After the ingredients, the next step is trial and error. Pick up a few gels, give them a try, and stick with the one that helps you perform and tastes great. Pregnant women should check with a doctor before using these gels.

Brand

Some brands of energy gels have caffeine components in them that are very addictive. But you have the option of picking whether you want an energy gel that has caffeine or not.

Each runner uses a different supplement in terms of energy gels. This is not only motivated by taste and preferences but also by the level and intensity of running. Others use it for light running while others will need the energy boost for a marathon. That’s why it’s very important to consider the type of running you do before you make a purchase of these energy boosters and to ensure that their brand supplies fuel for that very purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is an energy gel and what should I expect from it?
a:

Energy gels are most commonly based on maltodextrin, an easily digestible carbohydrate that quickly and directly provides your body with energy. They always need to be taken with water because they are something like condensed energy drinks. The gel reduces mental fatigue, increases muscle recovery rate and gives you an immediate boost of energy.

q: How do you consume these?
a:

It couldn't be simpler: rip open the top of the sachet and squeeze it into your mouth. It's important that you should consume all of it at once, without saving some to have later. And this is also very important: be sure to drink water when consuming an energy gel. Water not only helps to activate the gel's ingredients in your stomach, but it can also help to prevent you from getting an upset stomach while taking this type of product.

q: When should you take them?
a:

Start by having half a gel every 15 minutes until you find out how much your body can take. Don't forget to always have a sip of plain water after the gel, but don't drink any sports drink right away, because those have a lot of carbs as well.

q: How do you use GU products? They're really popular, so what's the big deal?
a:

Try taking one gel or tablet every 45 minutes or so if you are someone with a slower metabolism. Athletes with a faster metabolism should try having one GU gel every 30 minutes and see if it works alright with them.

GU has become a leader in the sports nutrition industry because their products work really well. For some people their formulations seem to cause more stomach issues than other brands, but most people don't seem to have a problem so long as the instructions are followed and water is taken with the gel.

q: How much water do I need to consume?
a:

If your energy boosts come only from gel supplements, remember to drink plenty of water and maybe even a bit more than you think you need. Gels are best absorbed when you are drinking water and are well hydrated.
If you drink a product like Gatorade or other electrolyte or carb-based drink, beware that the carbs in your gel may not all be absorbed, defeating the purpose of taking the gel in the first place. Plus, you could end up with an upset stomach.

q: How many gels should I take?
a:

Check the ingredients and carbohydrate content of your gels. For the most part, the maximum carb intake for the typical athlete is around 60g per hour. Work out how many packs an hour provides this amount (for example, 3 x 20g, 4 x 15g) and aim for this as a maximum amount.

q: Why have energy gels become so popular suddenly?
a:

As nutrition science and understanding has increased, so have the options available to runners to fuel them during extended exercise. The main benefit of an energy gel is the energy and clarity it can provide to you on an extended run. This is because as we run, we need glycogen to keep us functioning fully. Energy gels provide you with both calories and glycogen. But they won't necessarily help with keeping your legs and other extremities feeling up to par all the way through the run. So, of course, like with anything else, you need to consult with a trusted nutritionist to help you find the exact supplements needed for hard training.

Sources

  1. Katie Rosenbrock , The Active Times, Sporting Website,
  2. Kylene Guerra, RD, Cleveland Clinic, Medical Website,
  3. Bryon Powell , I Run Far, Running Website,
  4. Andrew Hamilton, 220Triathlon.com, Sporting Website,
  5. Fitday Editor, Fitday.com, Fitness Website,
  6. Andrew Hamilton , 220Triathlon.com, Fitness Website,
  7. Henry Robertshaw, Cycling Weekly, Cycling Website,