Energy Gel Roundup

By Skip

As I start to research a little bit on nutrition and energy for these longer races, the item that kept popping up over and over again were “energy gels.”  What they heck are they??  I did a little research and found the following website and article… enjoy!

Energy Gel Roundup
WEB LINK
Energy bars and fluid replacement drinks have their place – and will surely be the subject of future reviews – but there is nothing quite like the immediate lift an energy gel can provide.

By Dominic Lazzaretto

I started using energy gels five years ago while training for the Los Angeles Marathon and have come to rely on them for any physical activity that lasts more than an hour. [Add your own Tantric jokes here] Energy gels are much easier to carry and digest than energy bars and they provide a better energy boost than fluid replacement drinks.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Energy bars and fluid replacement drinks have their place – and will surely be the subject of future reviews – but there is nothing quite like the immediate lift an energy gel can provide.

Gels look like simple creatures, but they need to do several very important things. First, they need to provide a quick burst of energy. You’ve been working out for nearly an hour, your mind is starting to wander, and your muscles are hungry. You need help. Enter your good friend, the simple sugar. Just ask any parent how quickly sugar reacts in the body and you’ll know why a good gel has a supply of simple sugars.

But that’s not all. As an endurance athlete, you need to keep going for the long haul. Simple sugars aren’t going to get that done – if they did, we’d be reviewing gummy bears and Pixie Stix. For that reason, gels are packed with complex carbohydrates and additional ingredients to fight the effects of fatigue. A good gel will have a long, slow burn to get you to the finish line in great shape.

Don’t ask me how, but the best gels somehow also provide clarity of thought. You go from feeling like you can’t go another Gel prices are generally around $1.25 each, with discounts offered for buying full boxes.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a gel has to be enjoyable. A nice tasting gel will take your mind away from the pain of your workout, which is probably why many of the flavors are reminiscent of childhood. Part of taste is consistency and – to borrow a line from Goldilocks – things have to be just right. A gel that’s too thick can be hard to swallow and a gel that’s too thin can be messy.

View the full article, including a review of some of the most common energy gels at the following web link: Energy Gel Roundup.

Filed in: Biking, Diet / Nutrition, Triathlon • Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
 

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The start of 2009 was big for me as I came to the realization that I had put on too much weight over the past 10 years (read more...)