Sports Energy Gels: ‘Energy on the move’

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Energy gels are the best way for runners and cyclists to take on board nutrition whilst they are training or competing in endurance activities. The gels are usually in a small pouch which can be opened at the top so they can easily be handled and consumed whilst in motion. They are convenient to use, are more comfortably carried as they are small and lightweight and are digested more efficiently than energy bars.

The energy gels work by:

  • Providing carbohydrates (usually maltodextrins) and other sugars which are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and ultimately raise blood sugar levels
  • Delaying the onset of fatigue in the muscles
  • Enhancement of overall performance due to multiple combined effects


The gels are easily digested at an efficient rate as they usually don’t contain any fat, protein or fibre. Ideally energy gels should be taken 30-45 minutes into the exercise period and then every 30-45 minutes throughout prolonged exercise. It is important that each gel is consumed with water to ensure complete digestion and to make sure the body remains hydrated throughout exercise.

It is important to experiment and practice during your training runs, cycles and other endurance events. This is to ensure that when it comes to competition day, you can easily access, open and consume the gels without delay. Training with energy gels will also ensure that your body is accustomed to the specific gels and cause no adverse reactions during the races to various different products.

There are a number of different types of energy gels available on the market. Different flavours and textures exist which gives you the opportunity to experiment with the gels to find out which one you like the most and which works best for you.

Having a nutrition plan for competition can reduce feelings of fatigue at the end of a run or ride and ensure you have the energy to outkick your rivals at the end of a long race. Every athlete is different so account for the activity you are participating in, your body weight & size, metabolic rate and your fitness level.

Here is a list of products you may like to try:

  • GU gels
  • Cliff Shot energy gels
  • Science in Sport Go gel
  • Lucozade Sport gels
  • High5 energy gels
  • Maxim energy gel
  • Powerbar – Powergel


Please feel free to contact the G4 Didsbury Clinic to speak to a member of our diet & nutrition team for any questions that you may have or if you wish to arrange a consultation to discuss your diet, nutrition and lifestyle.

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