Running with Power Gels

Running with Power Gels

I sweat a lot during my runs, ew yah, but I sweat even MORE during my races and training runs in the spring and summer seasons.   So during my training runs, I run with my running belt and fill the bottles with gatorade which is great for replenishing the body with electrolytes.  But problem is, what kinds of food can you bring to refuel your body during your run if you’re going for 2, 3 or 4+ hours?

I saw a runner carry little sugar candies like jelly beans, gummy bears or some nuts in their running pouches, so I tried it too.  One time I almost choked on these almonds I ate and rest of whatever I brought just ended up all over the road.  Another time, no matter how well I packed it, it was all drenched in sweat.  That was really gross.  I quit doing that and ended up running with no food.  As a long distance runner, I ran for hours on my training runs.  My body was running on empty and I felt it get more tired by the second.  So I decided to spy/check out what other runners used.

I saw these runners eat workout gels.  The benefits of taking power gels are many.  Energy gels are small, slide down your throat, can squeeze into any running pouch, well packaged and easy to open.   They are great for long runs to replenish your body with electrolytes that are lost through sweating.  They also contain carbohydrate sources that will give your body an extra boost and enhance your endurance performance.  Power gels are also great for the runner who feels their energy resource is depleted and needs an energy boost whatever their training mileage may be.  There are many brands of energy gels, the more popular ones are Clif Shots, Powerbar Power Gels, GU, and Carb Boom!. I’ve tried a couple and personally I like Powerbar Power Gel in Chocolate, Clif Shots in Vanilla flavour and Carb Boom! in Vanilla Orange.

There are some disadvantages of eating workout gels.  They make you really thirsty.  I have to take several sips of water after gels.  Power gels are hard to store while you’re running too.  They are designed to be finished all in one serving, but it’s too much for me.  I like to eat half of it and save the rest for later.  It becomes a sticky mess if I put it in any running pouch so I end up holding it in my hand.  Some power gels are really sweet, so I just stick to the normal flavours like vanilla or chocolate.   Powerbar Power gels are also pricey.   They are about $3 each which becomes costly if you run a lot.  You can also buy them in boxes of 24 which makes it more affordable.  Anyone have any favourites I should try?

If you run marathons or races that exceed 18 miles they typically set up power gel stations at the Mile 18 marker.  I never used to take them because I didn’t like the sweet dry after taste, but I tried one and now I grab a couple everytime I pass the marker.  Overall, Powerbar Power gels give me all the same benefits from drinking gatorade and more.  If you are a long distance runner or just need an energy booster, I definitely recommend running with power gels to achieve maximum running performance and to keep your body alert and your finish strong.

Related Running Tips:

  1. What to eat during a race
  2. Running Faster
  3. Speed training tips: Sprint Runs
  4. What to eat for post race recovery



One Response to “Running with Power Gels”

  1. Josh says:

    CarbBoom! is the far superior gel out there – has no caffeine. I go everywhere with them – run bike hike. Chocolate-Cherry is my favourite.

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