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Many brands produce energy gels for runners and those who do intensive workouts. These gels help boost people’s energy and improve athletic performance. Energy gels come in various flavors, and some have ingredients suitable for people who follow a vegan diet.

This article looks at energy gels, health considerations, and products that a person may wish to buy.

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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Energy gels are products that are rich in carbohydrates. Most energy gels contain simple sugar, which is the body’s preferred source of fuel while a person is exercising.

Many brands offer these gels in 1- or 1.5-ounce packets that are convenient to consume during long-distance events. Also, many energy gels do not contain fat, fiber, or proteins, helping the body digest the gel quickly.

Energy gels are suitable for runners and individuals who cycle, swim, or exercise for more than 60 minutes at a time.

Learn more about energy-boosting foods here.

An older 2013 article notes that consuming carbohydrates during a prolonged moderate to high intensity physical activity can improve endurance performance.

Many energy gels contain 23–27 grams (g) of carbohydrates. According to a 2014 article, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends consuming 30–60 g of carbohydrates per hour during prolonged exercise. However, this depends on the person and the type and duration of exercise.

In addition, some individuals may consider buying energy gels that contain caffeine. According to older research, caffeine can improve attention, alertness, and reaction time, especially in those who feel tired.

Many companies also recommend that individuals take energy gels with water so as to avoid causing an upset stomach.

Runners can find various energy gels that may help them boost their energy.

How we choose products

Medical News Today chooses products that fit the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available in a wide range of budgets.
  • Features: Products come with a diverse array of features, such as flavors and ingredients.
  • Convenience: Some products come with a lightweight design and are easy to consume.

Spring Energy Gel

Best for high temperatures

This energy gel contains natural ingredients, such as chia seeds, beet, orange juice, and dry plum. These ingredients help improve performance and oxygen flow to the muscles, and they slow down exhaustion. Different flavors contain different ingredients.

The gel is suitable for people who do intense workouts, such as marathons.

Each serving size is 46 g and contains 100 calories.

The price on Amazon is around $59.99 for 20 packets.

Pros and cons

According to customer reviews, Spring Energy Gel:

  • does not cause bowel problems during running
  • acts as an energy booster
  • is suitable for training in high temperatures

However, some people note that they could not freeze the gel, as the water can separate from the other ingredients when thawed.

GU Energy Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel

Best energy gel with a sweet flavor

These GU Energy gels contain branched-chain amino acids, electrolytes, caffeine, and carbohydrates. They aim to reduce muscle damage, promote hydration, and boost concentration.

They come in different flavors, but some runners prefer the tri-berry and vanilla bean ones. All flavors are gluten free and suitable for vegans.

The manufacturer recommends taking 1 packet 5 minutes before exercising and 1 packet every 45 minutes during the activity.

One pack has 24 energy gels, and each serving contains 100 calories.

They cost around $34.80 on Amazon.

Pros and cons

Reviewers note that the product has several pros:

  • no stomach upset effect
  • beneficial for running and biking
  • rapid effect

However, some individuals who took these GU Energy gels claim they experienced severe gastrointestinal pain after their run. Others also note that the gels are very sweet and that they were unable to return them.

Honey Stinger Classic Energy Gel

Best honey-based energy gel

These energy gels are best for bikers, hikers, and marathon competitors. They contain honey, as it acts as an energy booster and keeps a person’s blood sugar levels constant during a workout.

The gels do not contain soy, nuts, or dairy.

Each container has 24 servings, and each serving contains 100 calories.

These energy gels cost around $36.00 on Amazon.

Pros and cons

A person who wants to buy these gels can consider their advantages. The gels:

  • are gluten free
  • bring immediate results
  • have a thin consistency

However, some recent reviews note that the company has probably changed the formula. Authors of these reviews experienced frequent bathroom visits and say the gels had a watery consistency.

TORQ Gel

Best for sensitive stomachs

These energy gels are light on the stomach and have a thin consistency so that they are easy to consume.

Each serving comes with 30 g of carbohydrates. The gels are available in black cherry yogurt, raspberry ripple, and rhubarb custard flavors.

A pack of 15 costs around $36.53 on Amazon.

Pros and cons

According to some customers, the energy gels do not cause nausea but may not work for everyone.

CLIF SHOT Energy Gels

Best range of caffeine levels

These energy gels are available in various flavors, but many people prefer the vanilla and espresso ones.

They also come in four different caffeine levels, ranging from 0 to 100 milligrams.

Moreover, the company offers lightweight packaging that is convenient to carry and has a streamlined litter leash so torn pieces do not fly away.

A pack of 24 gels costs around $28.42 on Amazon.

Pros and cons

There are various flavors to choose from. Also, one reviewer points out the convenient packaging design.

However, some reviewers found the taste was strong and lingered. Others note that some of the gels had leaked during shipping.

Huma Plus Chia Energy Gel

Best range of flavors

These energy gels contain ingredients such as sea salt, coconut water powder, and lemon juice.

They have 100 calories, and a person can choose to buy a pack of 12 or 24.

Moreover, the company recommends that a person use 1 packet 15 minutes before exercising and another every 30–45 minutes while working out.

Pricing starts from around $27.95 on Amazon for a pack of 12.

Pros and cons

These energy gels:

  • have true-to-taste flavors, according to some reviews
  • are dairy and gluten free
  • are suitable for vegans

Also, many reviewers note that they had no stomach problems after using these gels.

However, some individuals state that Huma Plus energy gels had a bitter taste and were hard to swallow. Others also experienced gut burn after taking them.

Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel

Best texture and consistency

Some of the ingredients present in these energy gels are water, calcium citrate, brown rice syrup, and salt.

A person can choose a pack of 12 or 21 gels. The gels come in vanilla, blackberry, mango, and apple-pear flavors.

Furthermore, they are caffeine-free and contain 80 calories and 20 g of carbohydrates.

Pricing starts from around $25.00 on Amazon for a pack of 12.

Pros and cons

Many reviewers note that the gels helped improve their energy levels during long-distance running.

However, some reviewers found the gels were messy, and they did not enjoy the flavors. Others point out that they received a broken package, and the gels were about to expire.

SiS GO Isotonic Energy Variety Pack

Best for taking without water

SiS GO energy gels have 90 calories and 22 g carbohydrates per serving, and they contain less than 1 g of sugar. The formulation also includes water, sodium chloride, and citric acid.

The gels are available in apple, lemon and lime, cherry, and lemon and mint flavors.

A person can use up to 3 sachets per 60 minutes while exercising, and they do not have to take them with water. However, the company still recommends that people stay hydrated while exercising.

A pack of six costs around $11.50 on Amazon.

Pros and cons

These energy gels are:

  • easy to digest
  • convenient to carry
  • suitable for vegans

However, many reviewers did not like the product’s taste and consistency.

TRANSCEND Glucose Gels

Best for low blood sugar

These gels have a natural strawberry flavor and a syrup-like consistency.

They contain 15 g of glucose, and so they are suitable for runners with diabetes.

A pack of 20 costs around $42.99 on Amazon.

Pros and cons

The packaging is easy to open and small, so people can easily carry them around. Many reviewers note that this product helped raise their blood sugar, particularly in relation to type 1 diabetes.

However, only one flavor is available, and some reviewers did not enjoy the taste.

Energy gels are products that runners can take before and during their workouts to help boost their energy levels and performance.

Energy gels contain carbohydrates, and some also contain caffeine, citric acid, and honey.

There are various products available online, and a person should consider reading customer reviews before making a purchase. This will ensure that the gels are appropriate for them and do not cause any side effects.

People may also wish to consult a doctor about which products would be most suitable for them.