Some people swear by energy gel packs to get going on a long ride. It can be difficult for some people to muster up the energy needed for any adventure, but quality energy gel packs work quickly and efficiently.
What are the best options out there for people to try out? If energy gels seem like the best way to consume energy on the go, these are five options worth checking out.
1. Science in Sport Energy Gel
With endorsements from many different professional athletes and Olympians, Science in Sport (Amazon) is a very trusted name in the industry. They have put together different gels that work for individuals in a variety of sports, and they do exceptionally well with cycling.
One of the biggest reasons why they are so well respected in cycling is that they are one of the only gels that are completely waterless.
It might not seem like that big of a deal, but waterless gels are a little bit easier for the gastrointestinal tract. It is a little bit lighter and easier to go down when on the go, which some riders enjoy as well.
It is also just a little less sticky, so it feels a bit more natural going down. Packed with 22 grams of carbs, there are caffeinated and non-caffeinated options from science and support.
They have branched out and started offering many different flavors as well, so people can find what they enjoy most. It never feels like a chore to get energy while on the go.
2. Power Bar Power Gel
As their brand name implies, this is a company that started with offering Power Bars (Amazon) as a way to get energy in the body.
They have since branched out and offered many different options, including a well-respected gel that many cyclists depend on. This is a brand that has been around for a long time, and there are plenty of people who are loyal to what they provide.
The gel is packed with a lot of the same essentials as their energy bars. They use their own unique C2 Max dual-source mix, which has the likes of glucose, fructose, and electrolytes in it.
There are 200 milligrams of sodium in each pack of gel as well. The combination is said to provide close to 50% more energy to the muscles.
Since the brand is so large, they also offer plenty of different flavor options for people who want to find something that they enjoy consuming.
Whether a person is looking for a fruity taste or something a bit easier to put down, it is effortless to start using this gel as an alternative to their bars.
3. GU Energy Labs Gel
The first two companies might be well known for a variety of products, but GU Energy Labs (Amazon) really built a name for itself with their gels.
They have some of the most unique flavors out there, and they almost taste like a snack more than something that provides energy.
Despite the tasty options, these do serve a purpose. There are 23 carbohydrates in each pack, along with 450 milligrams of amino acids and 55 milligrams of sodium.
They also offer caffeinated and non-caffeinated choices, and they are readily available online and in stores.
While other companies have offered some pretty similar options as far as benefits are concerned, no one has been able to nail the overall taste that GU Energy Labs provides.
It is an excellent start for someone who might not be that crazy about gels at first, as they want to have something that tastes a little bit better to them.
4. Honey Stinger Classic Energy Gel
Energy gels are loaded with different ingredients, and that can get in the way of people who are allergic to things like soy, nuts, and dairy products.
For someone who still needs energy, Honey Stinger (Amazon) is about as simple of an energy gel out there. It is also very useful, as it sticks to the basics and provides people with electrolytes, vitamins, and other nutrients.
The gel itself is made of 95% honey, and that helps to provide B vitamins, plenty of carbohydrates, and a good amount of sodium.
The flavor choices are not as plentiful as some of the other options out there, but Honey Stinger is about as good as it gets for anyone who does not want to deal with any allergy issues.
5. Clif Shot Energy Gels
Clif as a company not only focuses on performance and helping people with energy, but they are very conscientious about the environment as well.
They want to make sure that everything from how they manufacture the gel to the packaging is as environmentally friendly as possible. For those who share that same mindset, this might be enough reason to try their energy gels (Amaz0n) in the first place.
Something as simple as a redesigned top on the gel pack makes sure that there is no littered top like some of the other options out there. It might seem simple to some, but it is a welcome to change in the industry.
As for the gel itself, it also lives up to the expectations one might have surrounding anything from Clif. They have 24 grams of protein in each serving, and there are enough flavors to give people exactly what they are wanting.
Energy Gel Tips For Cycling and Running
Before jumping in and buying any energy gel option out there, it is important to look at the basics. There will always be some people who want to sample as many options as possible, and that certainly allows people to make their own decisions.
There is also the ability to make some comparisons online and read reviews to see what others are saying. These tips are all solid options worth considering.
Buy the right flavor
Energy gels might not be very long-lasting on the lips, but it is a flavor that might linger while a person is riding. No one wants to have a subpar type of flavor hanging around for hours at a time.
It is easier to consume energy gels and enjoy them with a good flavor that also has the right texture to it. Every little bit matters when consuming something on the go.
Some people love the texture of gels, but the flavor is what will make people lock into a certain flavor and go from there. Try out a few flavors that sound great at first, and eventually, people will settle on a few trusty options.
Use energy gels at the right time
Energy gels are used to replace carbohydrates quickly when doing any sort of workout. While cycling, many people take energy gels right before going on a ride, or even during a longer ride.
This is to ensure that the body is getting enough energy so that it does not break down. If the body does not have enough energy, the muscles can start to cramp up, and it can cause a lot of performance issues.
There are other ways to get energy before starting a ride, but gels are very convenient and easy to pack. It also does not take much time at all to consume just a little bit of gel, which means people never have to stop in the first place to consume. (Source)
Is There a Limit On Consuming Energy Gels?
Some may think that there is no such thing as too much energy and carbohydrates, but the body can overload at times. If a person has too many carbohydrates in the body, it can cause an upset stomach.
Some gels are easier to consume than others, but a person should still try to limit their body to no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates per hour.
This means that for the most part, consuming energy gel packs is sufficient enough. If a person needs more energy, they can space things out A bit, especially on longer rides.
After a little bit of time, people start to realize how their body reacts, and when they should take a new energy gel option. (Source)
Is Caffeine Necessary In Energy Gels?
One will notice that just about all of the top energy gels come in caffeinated and non-caffeinated options. This might not seem like that big of a deal to some, but there is a difference that makes some people very reliant on one over the other.
It is true that a gel with caffeine in it will provide a boost at some point during the ride. People used to caffeine might need a little bit more of a kick to feel something, but it is going to provide a little bit of value.
Be careful about consuming too much caffeine at once, because people might feel sick or even have the jitters on a bike. No one wants to feel uneasy when they are on a long ride, so maintaining a proper amount of caffeine is crucial.
Non-caffeine options are a little healthier overall in the eyes of most people, and they are not going to cause any problems if people are riding late at night and they want to go to bed soon after.
It is another option for people to explore if they do not want to have caffeine as part of their energy. (Source)
Are Energy Gels Worth It?
Some people confuse energy drinks and energy gels as the same thing. For the most part, energy drinks are loaded with caffeine and not really that beneficial in the long term.
For energy gel packs, as well as other options geared towards athletes, it is about replenishing carbohydrates and keeping the body in great shape.
If a person does not want to use energy gels, they will need to get carbohydrates from another source. Going on a long ride without replenishing anything is just asking for trouble.
The last thing a person wants to do is have any type of body breakdown while they are on a course and trying to ride for a long time