Best energy gels

Alternative to Torq

1 to 20 of 22 messages
20/05/2011 at 11:53

Ive used the Torq gels in the past and have seemed to get on OK with them, but havent used any other makes to compare them against.

RW mag did a short review on gels (May 2011) and gave the Torq gel the lowest rating out of the 4 on test, albeit the negative comment was about the taste and cost rather than performance.

Forgetting the taste/cost thing, for off road, hilly, runs of up to 50 miles in the UK, are there better gels out there ? If so, what and more importantly why ?

Cheers

cougie    pirate
20/05/2011 at 11:59
I cant see how you can accurately assess their performance ?

And what one person loves - another one hates ? I've used High5 for years and am very happy with them, but everyones different - I think you need to try them for yourself.
20/05/2011 at 13:12

Ive looked at the whole fructose / glucose / maltodextrin / isotronic / electrolyte thing, but being honest, didnt really understand it all.

I guess my question should have said "Do certain gels use ingredients which make them better suited to long/slower runs (ie a slower/more sustained release) than others, which may be suited more to a quick/intense burst of energy.

20/05/2011 at 13:43

If you've used Torq and get on with them, presumably including the flavour, why change because someone marks them down because of the flavour?

I find Torq's flavours a bit strong and therefore prefer SIS.

20/05/2011 at 20:09
I'm a big fan of Hammer gel espresso, because I find the coffee taste really adds psychologically to the caffeine hit. I also like the Go gels, as they don't have the artificial taste. But I think it's all about what you like and what you can stomach, most of the science is probably bull hockey.
23/05/2011 at 23:13

SIS all the way. 

Even the reps for their competitors privately admit that they are the most effective. 

25/05/2011 at 12:44
Best gel is the one you have for the 1st time. Worst is the one you just can't face after 75miles
25/05/2011 at 13:07
Captain Beaky wrote (see)

I guess my question should have said "Do certain gels use ingredients which make them better suited to long/slower runs (ie a slower/more sustained release) than others, which may be suited more to a quick/intense burst of energy.


All the gels I've tried use "sugars" (for want of a better word) as their carbohydrate source.  Fructose can be absorbed/digested at the same time as glucose/maltodextrin which is why some manufacturers use it.  It can cause some people stomach upsets. 

The isotonic thing aids digestion- theoretically the isotonic gloop is at the optimum concentration level to be most rapidly absorbed through the gut.  A more concentrated solution will be digested, just more slowly (if I understood the arguments correctly).

Electrolytes=salts, trying to replace those which you may lose through sweat.  May prevent cramping, although I have read articles that say cramping is independant of electrolyte levels.

25/05/2011 at 15:02
The whole point of a gel is a quick boost to energy levels. If you want slow release, eat a real food like a flapjack. I can tolerate the GU gels and the expresso gives a good buzz as well but I wouldn't expect the effect to last more than 20 mins and for the ultras, especially on a hot day, I switch to real food once the gels become inedible. Get electrolytes from the drinks which all gels require - GU gel plus Nuun drink at same time works well.
26/05/2011 at 18:05

Thats interesting (Hillheader). Ive walked 50 milers on which Ive taken "real" food, but Ive never run this kind of distance.

Im training for a 50 mile run later in the year, but so far havent run more than 26.  I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that Id just take gels with me as it would be hard to digest "real" food on such a long run.

What food would you suggest taking as well as the gels ?

PS - thanks FerrousFerrett for the breakdown of the scientific stuff - makes sense.

26/05/2011 at 18:09
I so far swear by Power Bar Gel, helps me get me through my 20 Mile+ weekend runs.  Don't know what anyone else thinks on these, but yeah I like them.
26/05/2011 at 21:00

I've run 2 ultras and 2 marathons this year and previously races up to 100 miles. On a supported ultra I get custard, fresh fruit, tinned pears, rice pudding, cold pizza, and soup along with the usual bars and gels + jaffa cakes! However I've noticed that there is a huge variety of different tastes out there and I've seen plenty of weird stuff - weetabix, fried sausages, marmite sandwiches etc. What works at 20 miles doesn't necessarily work at 50. If you are supported go for variety and take lots of different things. You never know what you might feel like and the weather makes a huge difference. To drink I like fruit juice, nuun tablets, skimmed milk and the occassional energy drink (never the same one in a row!). If you have drop bags on a hot day, it can be very tough. Jaffa cakes don't work for a start!

Eat early, eat a little at a time and eat often.

best of luck!

08/06/2011 at 22:30
I am also a solid food fan - Jaffa cakes, fig rolls, marzipan, coconut mushrooms, bananas and 9 bars all go down well

Because all the gels are slightly diff in ingredients it might be best to have a few diff ones so you get the best of all but also sometimes too many can cause probs so if u have a few varieties hopefully u won't be od- ing too much on an ingredient which upsets your stomach

For electrolytes I use elite electrolyte, you can either take tablets or put drops in water, it tastes of nothing. Never have prob with cramps

If I do have gels then I tend to go for high 5 as they are cheap ! Aceel do some with protein in which is meant to extend endurance. Have bought a couple but not tried them

09/06/2011 at 21:01
As above the Accelerade gels have a 4:1 protein content which is an interresting concept a gel (short term, high intensity fix generally) which is geared towards endurance, we have tested them and do believe they give a slower, steadier release whether they are better than solid food is a debate worth having.
12/06/2011 at 22:06
Theynmay not be better than solid food but they are prob better than normal gels and are more convenient than carrying solid food
13/06/2011 at 17:36
maxim gels, water with nuun or zero.  might throw in a powerbar bar and protein bar to fill the stomach later.
21/10/2012 at 20:27
Hiya, I'm 15 I've tried sis gels but they seem to have no affect on me I'm doing the end to end cycle next year, any tips
GKD
21/10/2012 at 21:17
Join a cycling forum?





GKD
22/10/2012 at 11:20

Captain Beaky wrote (see)

Im training for a 50 mile run later in the year, but so far havent run more than 26.  I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that Id just take gels with me as it would be hard to digest "real" food on such a long run.

What food would you suggest taking as well as the gels ?

Yeah, that's what you'd think, but in practice it doesn't really work like that. The longer you run, the slower you'll be going overall, therefore you're more able to digest 'real' foods on-the-go, and will get more benefit from eating some fat and some protein as well as just carbs in goopy syrup form.

I've marshaled at quite a few ultras now and love checking out what people put in their drop bags. Jam sandwiches, salty crisps, pots of rice pudding, jelly babies, peanuts, flapjacks and flat coke seem to be the most common things but I've also seen scotch eggs, sausage rolls, pork pies, cold pizza and big slices of cheesecake.

The fastest runners do tend to use gels and pre-mixed drinks more than real food, probably cause even on a 100 mile run they're still going fast enough that digesting solid food would be a problem. But if you're going more at an amble than a dash, you should be okay with all sorts of nibbles. You just have to train your stomach to digest food while running, and use your long runs to figure out just what you can and can't handle, as it varies wildly from person to person. Some people take years to get their ultra nutrition sorted out, some people have tougher stomachs and get the hang of it quite easily.

Just whatever you do don't wait till race day to try out anything new as if you do, it'll almost certainly come shooting straight back out of one end or another a lot faster than you were expecting it to!

22/10/2012 at 15:24

They are not my favorite flavour-wise but they serve a purpose  (good cal:weight ratio, and cheap) and I can stomach any gel - maxim 100g

I do like the taste of the zipvits though, partic cherry coke and banana.  They are also quite concentrated with a decent ratio

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