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Which energy gels have a mild, neutral flavor?
How to Fuel

New Year, New Neutrals

While many athletes love a wild-flavored gel and enjoy the variety of flavors out there, an equal amount view fueling as a task more than a treat. It’s common to see athletes struggle to get in the fuel they need as they fight down flavors that just don’t sit well. Neutrals are on the rise in 2024 and are proving to be a reliable way to manage fueling needs.

As nutrition research has evolved over the past decade, so have sports nutrition products. We used to only see gels with 20 grams of carbs and athletes taking a couple here and there…but now we have drink mixes that contain 80 grams of carbs, gels that have 40 grams of carbs, and chews with 45 grams of carbs per serving.

This is because we know the body can utilize more than we thought and the pros are spearheading that notion. The “new standard” is up to 90 grams of carbs per hour!

Often, flavor fatigue or unnecessary additives can dampen your ability to fuel effectively. We have a variety of unique neutral options providing something for everyone. Take a quick dive into the neutral gels you’ll want to get ahold of in 2024.

Maurten:

Maurten has secured a seat at the top of the ranks for being one of the most innovative and trusted brands for elite athletes. It has gained popularity among athletes for its hydrogel technology. The key feature of Maurten's gels is their use of this tech to encapsulate carbohydrates in a matrix of alginate and pectin, forming a hydrogel when they come into contact with the acidity of the stomach. This hydrogel allows for a steady release of carbohydrates into the small intestine - improving the absorption and reducing the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) distress.

Maurten's gels are known for their neutral taste and unique texture, which can feel more like a quick slurp than having to work a whole gel out of the pack. They offer two versions in the 25g format, a Gel 100 and Gel 100 Caf 100. Then. a bigger 40g (Gel 160) carb option!

SIS:

Science In Sport’s Beta Fuel Gel is a game-changing gel made with a 1:0.8 Maltodextrin:Fructose ratio, providing a full 40g of carbohydrates with a reduced risk for any GI issues. They created this gel to be a neutral pH, isotonic solution that allows the intestines to absorb the gel contents at an appropriate rate without drawing water into the intestines (a common source of GI issues).

You get 40g of carbs in one hit with an easy-to-take gel that makes fueling easier to palate.

UCAN:

These mild-tasting, sugar-free energy gels from UCAN deliver hours of steady-release energy to power your big efforts. They’re a unique product compared to other gels because of a specific formula designed to provide steady, lasting energy: LIVSTEADY. This slow-burning, sugar-free formula is derived from non-gmo corn and makes for an ultra low-glycemic carbohydrate fuel.

UCAN’s Edge delivers steadily over time, eliminating the spike and crash some see in glucose levels caused by fast/simple sugars. Maintaining stable blood glucose is key for consistent energy, endurance, and hunger control…and with a mild neutral taste, you won’t get sick of it.

Victus:

Victus built their brand around simplifying the fueling process. They created a 01 Before, 02 During, and 03 After. The 02 During Gel is an exciting sidekick to their Drink Mix...in fact, it's essentially interchangeable. It has a nice neutral-with-a-hint-of-lemon flavor.

02 During Gel is a response to the current call for an increase in carbs per hour by top athletes. They hit the nail on the head with 45g of carbohydrates and 343 mg of sodium from one gel, it's the perfect choice for those looking to optimize their carbohydrate intake and train with high-quality products. It has a balanced mix of carbs from multiple sources with a ratio of 2:1:1.5 that limits any GI distress. The simplicity of needing only 2 units per hour to get in 90 grams of carbs per hour is so seamless.

Carbs Fuel:

Carbs Fuel is one of the newest members to The Feed and they’re on a mission to help more athletes effectively fuel their sport. Their Gel was born out of the belief that fueling should be easier, simpler, and cheaper than it is. They were able to produce one of the best carb-per-dollar gels out there, allowing you to carry less and get more.

Carbs Fuel has 50 grams of carbs and 200 calories for a marginal $2.

Carbs Fuel wanted to make their product as simple as possible so that you can consume the fuel you need with the least amount of complexity. They use no flavoring or preservatives and yet it has a bright, semi-sweet, refreshing taste.


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The Feed. / Wednesday, January 10, 2024