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Which energy gels and bars are the best for fueling?
How to Fuel

How to Choose The Right Gel for You

As we head into the heat of the summer many of our race calendars are beginning to fill and we're getting ready to put all those long hours of training to the test. I don’t know about you, but just the thought of gearing up for a big ride or a fast race gets me excited, and nervous, and brings a smile to my face!

When it comes time to train and race you won’t catch me without a couple of gels on hand. Gels can be a great way to get in a change of flavor, a more concentrated source of carbohydrates, and are easy to carry. I will typically pack at least 1-2 extra gels on all my rides because you never know when you might get one too many flat tires or stuck in a storm at the top of a mountain and need to take shelter!

Okay, so enough talk - let's dive into some of our athlete's favorite gels and how to pick the best one for your next event!

When you are planning for a training session or event, it is best to plan your fueling based on time rather than distance. Below is how I like to set up my training when leaning on gels to keep me fueled, making sure to take one every 20-30 minutes!

1 hour of racing

1 x PF 30 Caf Gel

2 hours of racing

3 hours of racing

4 hours of racing

Budget Friendly Gels

Now that we have taken a look at some of the ways you can implement gels into your rides, let's talk about how we can eat this many gels without breaking the bank! We all know that using sports nutrition products day after day can start to add up. Below I will show you how I like to breakdown my gels based on their price per gram of carbohydrate. 🤓

Tasty with lots of flavor options

Thin consistency that is easy to consume

Best budget friendly high carb option

Natural Gels

I often hear athletes say, “Coach Joey, I like to fuel with products that are real food based but I can’t find a good option”! Well you are in luck because here at The Feed we a lot of options in this category, but to make it easier for you I will list out a few of my favorites along with our athletes favorites!

Endurance Tap: if you haven’t tried this one I recommend you grab yourself a single serve to give it a try! They are simple and tasty with the main ingredient being Maple Syrup and a small amount of ginger. The carbohydrates from the syrup will keep you fueled while the small amount of ginger can help prevent any upset stomachs! Oh, and I forgot to mention that this one makes a great addition to those pre-ride Vafels 🤤

Spring Energy: This is definitely not a new kid on the block (I am talking to all my trail runners out there🙋🏽‍♀️), but all other endurance athletes are just starting to realize how powerful these gels are! I recommend you give the Awesome Sauce flavor a try because it is simply awesome and packs a punch with 45 grams of carbs! Spring uses basmati rice as their main ingredient in most of the gels, and this is really beneficial for those who may be a bit more sensitive to blood sugar spikes.

Huma Chia Energy Gel: These gels are a bit more unique than most since they have all 9 essential amino acids from the Chia seed and use fruit puree as the main ingredient. This gives them a 2:1 ration of glucose to fructose, which is important to prevent GI distress when taking in high amounts of carbs during training and racing! Lastly, they are gluten free, dairy free, and vegan!

High Carb Gels

Many athletes these days are pushing the limits of how many carbohydrates they eat every hour, especially during longer events. Many of our high performance athletes are taking in between 100 to 160 grams of carbs per hour! 🤯 Previously, researches thought we could only take in 30 grams of carbs every hour, than it jumped to 60 grams of carbs, and now we know that we are able to utilize at least 90 grams of carbs every hour as long as we are taking in a variety of carbohydrates (i.e. glucose and fructose, maltodextrin and fructose, etc.). Let's take a look at a few of our popular high carb gel options (so of which you have seen above) that can help increase you fueling while training and racing!

SiS Beta Fuel

This is definitely one of our most popular high carbohydrate gel options. Not only is it easy to eat, but it packs a punch with 40g of carbs per gel!

PF 90 Gel

Precision Hydration has given us a gel that is not only resealable, but also contains 90g of carbs per packet! This is unbeatable when looking at all the other high carb options out there.

Spring Awesome Sauce

You guys already know this is one of my favorites, I mean who doesn’t like cinnamon apple sauce!? It is also tops the high carb charts with 45 grams of carbs per serving in a small easy transportable package, making it an easy choice for all my minimalist out there.

Unflavored v. Most flavored

The great flavor debate! There are many gels now that are full of flavor while others are more flavor neutral and they all have their time and place for athletes. I personally love to use a combination of both, especially during those long gravel rides. After hours of eating really sweet products it is nice to balance out your fueling with a more neutral flavor, and this helps keep you on top of your fueling!

Flavor neutral

Most flavorful

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The Feed. / Sunday, June 11, 2023