Some athlete’s love them, some athletes hate them, but most endurance folk will agree energy gels are a necessary evil. Portable and (hopefully!) tasty, these little calorie bombs allow for quick energy on the go during training. Every year various sports-fuel businesses release new products, often with the promise of solid performance, good taste, and easy-to-pack for prolonged effort. These gels, when used correctly, can provide the right energy to avoid the dreaded bonk. Certain endurance athletes swear by specific gels, others grab whatever is for sale at their nearest cycling shop. Some of us at In Situ Travel tried out what’s hot right now for – here are our (unsolicited, unpromoted) endurance gel reviews.
Can a gel be hotly anticipated? GU released a limited amount of Salted Caramel Gels mid -2013 to overwhelming success. One sample of the gel will tell you why. It tastes like those Salted Caramels Grandma used to make at Christmas every year. Better yet, the consistency is smooth and the GU product is solid, all their gels provide a blend of carbohydrates and sugar for performance. Try not to eat more than one at a time (it’s a dare).
The newest PowerGel in a long line of gels from Powerbar is their tangerine number. The gel is tasty (albeit a little sugary) and very high in sodium. For those of you whose salt intake is an issue, this could be your miracle gel. Also good to note these gels are high in caffeine, giving this tester a little extra jolt of energy.
The objective of this gel was to provide an alternative to the more sweet-tasting/ sugary gels on the market. Slightly stark in nature, but with a light twinge of sweetness, safe to say this goal has been accomplished. The little chia seeds in the gel (yes, there are actual chia seeds in there) give the gel a slightly lumpy texture. Imagine normal gel consistency with a little grit, almost requiring a bit of a chew before swallowing. Easy on the GI tract, lots of cyclists are giving this gel a thumbs up. These gels are the most expensive of what we reviewed, and it’s good to note that the carbs in the gel are lower (11g of carbohydrate) than most gels (usually between 20-50g).
Sensitive stomachs and Vegans rejoice- this product is designed especially for you. Consistency of the gel is slightly different compared to most brands, but the taste, energy and overall gel experience is aces in our books. This product is free of maltodextrin (common allergen) and high fructose corn syrup, and is the only gel on the market that has coconut oil on the ingredient list.
Grab a few and head out for a ride- let us know which ones were your favourite.
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