As a runner, it's essential to keep your body fuelled and hydrated during a long run or race. One way to do this is by taking energy gels, which can help boost energy to keep you going. But with so many options on the market, it can take time to know which is the best for you. So we've put together this guide to the best running gels for mid-run fuel.
What are Energy Gels, and How Do They Work?
Energy gels are concentrated packets of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and other nutrients that can help provide a quick source of energy during exercise. Runners typically consume them during a race or long run to keep their energy levels up and prevent fatigue.
When you take an energy gel, it's absorbed into your bloodstream, boosting energy. The combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes also helps replenish lost fluids and electrolytes, which can help improve hydration and prevent dehydration.
What to Look for in a Running Gel
When choosing a running gel, there are several things you should consider:
- Carbohydrate content: Look for gels with a high concentration of carbohydrates, as they are the primary energy source.
- Electrolyte content: Electrolytes are essential for hydration, so look for gels that contain a good balance of electrolytes like sodium and potassium.
- Consistency and texture: Some gels can be thick, sticky, and difficult to swallow. Look for gels that have a smooth consistency and are easy to swallow.
- Flavour: You'll want to choose a flavour you enjoy, as you'll take it during your run.
The Top Running Gels for Mid-Run Fuel
- GU Energy Gel: GU Energy Gel is famous among runners thanks to its high carbohydrate content and electrolyte balance. It's also available in various flavours, making it an excellent option for runners with a sweet tooth.
- Torq Energy Gel: The Torq Gel is designed specifically for endurance athletes and provides a balanced blend of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and amino acids. Each sachet contains 33 grams of carbs, making it an excellent option for those looking to maintain their energy levels during prolonged activities. The electrolytes (sodium and potassium) help maintain hydration, while amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) aid muscle recovery.
- SIS Beta Fuel: Part of an entire world-leading fuelling solution range that includes drinks and chews, the Beta Fuel Dual Source Energy Gel is optimised with a brand new 1:0.8 ratio of 40g carbohydrate to enhance your power output, increasing your body's carbohydrate usage efficiency, and limit gastrointestinal discomfort to deliver a scientifically superior fuel.
- Precision Fuel PF30 Energy Gel: The most efficient way to get 30g of carbohydrates into your system fast. Their gels have a very mild, neutral taste reducing flavour fatigue during longer efforts. The texture is designed to reduce stickiness in the mouth and minimise the need to wash them down with fluid immediately.
Whether you're a seasoned runner or just starting, energy gels can be a great way to keep your energy levels up and prevent fatigue during a long run or race. By choosing a gel with a high carbohydrate content, a good balance of electrolytes, and a flavour you enjoy, you can ensure that you're fuelling your body in the best way possible.