When it comes to energy gels, there’s a lot of choice out there. It can be confusing to guess what kind is best for you, but we’ve done the explaining to help you make sense of the category!
We all have different preferences in sports nutrition but starting with your sport and training demands can help you understand what kind of nutrition you might prefer. HIGH5 have three different types of Energy Gel, so we’re sure to have one that works for you.
What are energy gels?
People who exercise need to take on energy during training as our muscles can only store enough for around 90 minutes of sport – and the most convenient and easiest way to do this is usually an Energy Gel.
Energy Gels are small and convenient bursts of carbohydrate energy in, unsurprisingly, a gel format! There are a range of textures on the market, but they’re certainly the most popular form of taking on energy in endurance sport. This is because they’re sometimes easier to take during movement than a bar and smaller than carrying a drink with you – although many athletes will use a combination of nutrition to top up their energy levels to the optimum amount.
What energy gel is best for running?
Thinner, lighter consistency energy gels (such as Energy Gel Aqua) are best for running, as you don’t need to take on extra fluids after taking them. This can be more convenient for runners who don’t want to carry a bottle with them, especially if you’re running shorter distances.
What energy gel is best for cycling?
Traditional energy gels are great for cycling – our Energy Gel will fit perfectly in your jersey pocket. As cyclists usually carry bottles with them on their bike, consistency isn’t as important as running where you might not have fluids with you.
When should you take an energy gel?
Energy Gels give you an instant energy boost, and when you take an energy gel is dependent on your sport or training needs. If you are doing a longer workout, then you should take energy gels regularly, up to three per hour. Less if you’re also taking other energy products, like an energy drink or bar. In general it’s best to take one around 60-90 minutes into your workout. This is because our muscles can only store enough carbohydrate energy for around 90 minutes of exercise, but depending on your body or when you last ate, this might be less. You can also benefit from taking an energy gel before a shorter training session for an added boost.
Read our nutrition guides for more information specific to your sport.
How do you take an energy gel?
Simply tear off the top of the sachet and drink the gel! If you’re new to energy gels, you don’t need to take it all at once. Sip and take it in stages if you’re getting used to taking energy gels. Some thicker energy gels might require you to take on extra fluids after, but this is personal preference. Remember to take your wrappers home with you and avoid littering – you can even wash them out and return them to us to be recycled!
Can you mix energy gels with water?
You can mix energy gels with water – however we would recommend using a powder Energy Drink if you’d prefer to take your energy on via a drink.
But which kind is best for you?
Our original Energy Gel is formulated with natural fruit juice for a light and refreshing taste, and is a smooth, light consistency – no lumps to be found here!
It packs a punch with 23g of fast-acting carbohydrate energy per 40g gel, which goes straight to your muscles during exercise. Its smaller pack size means that it’s easier to carry, whether you’re tucking it into a gel belt or a jersey pocket, and it’s easy to open and swallow on the go.
Unlike other gels in our range, Energy Gel has a slightly thicker consistency, meaning you might need to take on additional fluids at the same time. For this reason, it’s often preferred by cyclists who will be carrying a bottle on their bike.
Energy Gel Aqua
Energy Gel Aqua is formulated with natural fruit juice just like our original Energy Gel, but with added water for a thin, extremely light consistency – just like a sports drink. This makes it a great option for beginners to gels!
Because of its consistency, it’s a favourite of runners as you don’t need to take on extra fluids afterwards.
It offers the same 23g of fast-acting carbohydrate energy as Energy Gel, but in a bigger, 66g pack. It’s still easy to carry or slip into a jersey pocket but is slightly heavier and bulkier due to the added water content!
Energy Gel with Slow Release Carbs
From our Slow Release Energy Range, Energy Gel with Slow Release Carbs is perfect to help you sustain energy levels during exercise. It’s formulated with a multi-carbohydrate source – both fast-release carbohydrates and slow-release isomaltulose – meaning it supplies a longer-lasting energy boost.
Energy Gel with Slow Release Carbs is the same consistency and size as Energy Gel Aqua, making it perfect for those who don’t want to carry extra fluids with them.
Our Slow Release Energy Range also contains our most advanced electrolyte complex – Ocean Minerals. This provides you with an invigorating hit of magnesium and over 70 minerals and trace elements, to balance your electrolytes during sport.
The slowly digested carbohydrates used in the range make it perfect for use at the beginning of a training session or race, when the intensity is lower. This helps you avoid ‘hitting the wall’ from using fast release energy products before the more intense part of the race later.
Want to know more? Read about slow release vs fast release energy here.
If you need an extra boost, both our Energy Gel and Energy Gel Aqua come in caffeine variants. Caffeine helps improve endurance performance, so if you’re looking for an added edge, we have options from 30mg to 100mg.
When taking part in tough sports events, caffeine contributes to an increase in endurance performance and capacity. That means you can go further than before! It also helps to increase concentration and reaction time.