Should You Goo? The 8 Best Energy Gels in 2022

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For runners, competitors and athletes, energy gels are a go-to fuel source. They’re a portable source of calories, glucose and fructose, all needed to continue muscle use. In the gel form, it can satiate the athlete longer without quickly filling the bladder. But the thought of squirting baby-food consistency fuel into your mouth while you’re sweating your eyebrows off is enough to deter some people from trying. Perhaps it’s something you can get used to, however, because the benefits of these gels seem to be worth it.

The body uses carbohydrates and stored fats as energy sources. But when you’re pushing yourself through a marathon or a CrossFit competition, or heck, your kid’s soccer tournament, you’ll deplete those resources quickly. You’re not going to have time to sit down and eat a meal, and you probably won’t want to down a protein shake. But your body needs fuel and fast.

Energy gels are densely packed with the foundational components of carbs: glucose. When your muscles are demanding energy, your brain will get the leftovers, leaving you with a foggy feeling. So, not only do these gels boost energy for the muscles, but awareness for the brain. Gels used to be more of a professional athlete and marathon runner thing, but it’s likely you’ll find them in any gym bag today.

How many of these do you need to eat? If you’re running a marathon, bring a few with you. You’ll need to start downing them after the first 60 to 90 minutes, approximately one each hour. Most energy gels are designed for you to eat in the couple of hours leading up to a race or workout and during the actual event. Anything afterward will be labeled as “replenish” or “post-something,” and will contain different ingredients needed for recovery.

There are more than a dozen gel brands on the market right now. Calories are important since those are what you’re burning as you use energy, but potassium is also critical since it prevents cramping.

Here Are The 8 Best Energy Gels For Runners In 2022:

1. Spring Energy Gel – Canaberry

Serving size: 1 gel pack (46 grams) | Calories: 100 | Carbohydrates: 17 grams | Sodium: 60 milligrams | Potassium: 40 milligrams | Vegan: Yes | Organic: No

Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: September 28, 2022 12:59 am

PROS:

  • Made from real food
  • Includes mix of carbs to support sustained energy
  • Vegan

CONS:

  • May not contain enough sodium for longer runs
  • Expensive
  • Only one flavor available


2. Honey Stinger Energy Gel

Serving size: 1 gel pack (31 grams) | Calories: 100 | Carbohydrates: 24 grams | Sodium: 50 milligrams | Vegan: No | Organic: Some flavors

$41.85 in stock
7 new from $17.99
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: September 28, 2022 12:59 am

PROS:

  • Simple ingredient list
  • NSF-certified gluten-free
  • Honey may provide consistent energy release

CONS:

  • Not suitable for vegans


3. GU Energy Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel

Serving size: 1 gel pack (32 grams) | Calories: 100 | Carbohydrates: 21 grams | Sodium: 50 milligrams | Potassium: 30 – 40 milligrams | Vegan: Yes | Organic: No

$35.99 $39.40 in stock
3 new from $35.99
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: September 28, 2022 12:59 am

PROS:

  • Over 25 flavors
  • Provides quick energy
  • Maltodextrin may be better for digestion

CONS:

  • Thicker consistency may be difficult to swallow for some


4. SiS GO Isotonic Energy Gel

Serving size: 1 gel pack (60 ML) | Calories: 90 | Carbohydrates: 22 grams | Sodium: 10 milligrams | Vegan: Yes

$7.99 in stock
3 new from $7.98
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: September 28, 2022 12:59 am

PROS:

  • Mild, pleasant taste
  • Can consume easily without water

CONS:

  • Thicker consistency may be difficult to swallow for some
  • May not contain enough sodium for longer runs


5. Boom Nutrition – Carb Boom Energy Gel

Serving size: 1 gel pack (41 grams) | Calories: 110 | Carbohydrates: 26 grams | Sodium: 50 milligrams | Potassium: 50 milligrams | Vegan: Yes

Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: September 28, 2022 12:59 am

PROS:

  • Low-sugar, high carb formula provides lasting energy
  • Good for people with sensitive stomachs

CONS:

  • Only one flavor made with caffeine


6. CLIF SHOT Energy Gel

Serving size: 1 gel pack (34 grams) | Calories: 100 | Carbohydrates: 24 grams | Sodium: 60 milligrams | Vegan: Yes

$22.49 $23.88 in stock
2 new from $22.49
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: September 28, 2022 12:59 am

PROS:

  • A variety of flavors
  • Come with caffeinated and non-caffeinated recipes

CONS:

  • Slightly thinner consistency


7. PowerBar PowerGel

Serving size: 1 gel pack (41 grams) | Calories: 100 | Carbohydrates: 26 grams | Sodium: 210 milligrams | Vegan: Yes

$42.99 in stock
1 new from $42.99
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: September 28, 2022 12:59 am

PROS:

  • Quick energy absorption

CONS:

  • Slightly thinner consistency


8. Huma Plus Chia Energy Gel

Serving size: 1 gel pack (44 grams) | Calories: 100 | Carbohydrates: 21 grams | Sodium: 245 milligrams | Potassium: 80 milligrams | Vegan: Yes

$32.95 in stock
1 new from $32.95
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: September 28, 2022 12:59 am

PROS:

  • All-natural ingredients
  • High in electrolytes for sweatfests

CONS:

  • Expensive


You can order them online in bulk, or find them at any specialty fitness store. Some major grocery stores are beginning to offer them as well. Pick up a pouch and give it a try!

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