Even if you’re not a triathlete or a competitive cyclist, you may learn a thing or two from endurance athletes when it comes to mid-effort nourishment.
In the middle of a long race or training session, all endurance athletes know that they are burning a lot of calories and glycogen stores in their muscles. These gels contain carbohydrates and fructose, which can help replenish lost calories and avoid the dreaded “wall” of exhaustion.
Hiking or mountain biking for a lengthy period of time will have the same effect on your body. And once you’ve exhausted your body’s glycogen and calorie reserves, you’re out of the game.
You’ll be drained, drained to the point of exhaustion, and possibly trembling. When you’re three hours into a three-mile hike at 3,000 feet of elevation, it’s easy to get discouraged.
Be like the endurance athletes and bring one of these handy energy gels with you on your next outdoor excursion. They’ll keep you going without weighting you or your pack down, thanks to their easy absorption composition. The following are a few of our personal favorites.
Table of Contents
1. Clif Shot Energy Gel
Clif Shot Energy Gel is known for its many energy bar varieties, but with the Clif Shot line, they have invested extensively in the performance-based-nutrition side of the business as well. We love the Clif Shot energy gel not only because it tastes great, but also because it comes in a pocket-sized pouch instead of the usual gel foil.
When athletes use their teeth to pull off the top of the package mid-race, the top of the gel stays linked to the main body and does not end up on the trail side of the Clif Shot’s proprietary Litter Leash. It’s a minor detail, yet it’s a major factor in our decision to go with these.
Even without the 50 milligrams of green-tea-based caffeine found in the Mocha flavor, it’s clear to see why Clif Shot is on our recommended list of beverages.
- Both have a delicious flavor and a silky texture.
- It’s a piece of cake to get down there.
- Swallowing is made easier with a few swigs of water.
- The Cherry Chocolate 100mg caffeinated version delivers an immediate kick 5 minutes after consumption and lasts for about an hour thanks to a continuous dose of carbohydrate maltodextrin.
- Boston Cream Pie would have been even better if there were a few more flavor options to choose from.
Where to purchase Clif Shot Energy Gel?
You can purchase Clif Shot Energy Gel here on Amazon
2. Honey Stingers
Honey has long been used as a sweetener and mood enhancer. A solid foundation is laid with Honey Stinger’s Energy Gels. The 1.2-ounce foil packs contain 80 percent honey, but they also contain vitamins and electrolytes that are necessary for good health.
At the end of a long hike, spread it over a sandwich and squirt some out of the top when you’re feeling weak. One of our favorites is the Acai & Pomegranate Organic flavor, while the Ginsting Classic has 32 mg of caffeine from kola nuts, making it an excellent option for caffeine junkies.
Honey Stinger sells them for $32.40 for a box of 24 online, but they may also be purchased in single portions at most sporting goods stores.
- Super yummy
- Natural ingredients
- Honey-derived sugar enhance
- Highly sugary
- Cane juice is an ingredient.
- It is challenging to eat while running (crumbly).
Where to purchase Honey Stingers?
You can purchase Honey Stingers here on Amazon
3. Gu Energy Gel
There are 32 grams of gel packed with 100 calories of nutrition that may be accessed in only minutes thanks to the unique combination of maltodextrin, fructose, and a particular amino acid mixture in this tear-off-top shiny packaging.
A total of 12 flavors are available in both non-caffeinated and caffeinated varieties, so practically everyone can find a Gu Energy Gel they enjoy. With 20 milligrams of caffeine and extra electrolytes for hot days, Salted Caramel, Espresso Love, and Strawberry Banana are our top picks for those days when we just need a little pick-me-up.
Salted Watermelon is the newest flavor to hit the shelves. They can be purchased online for around $1.30 per, which works out to roughly $31.50 for a package of 24.
- Great-tasting flavors will help you endure longer and enjoy the trip more.
- Muscle recovery will be accelerated with this BCAA supplementation.
- Fast-absorbing carbohydrates from complex and simple carbohydrates help you function at your best.
- Even though GU Gel only freezes at temperatures well below zero, the cold does cause it to thicken.
Where to purchase Gu Energy Gel?
You can purchase Gu Energy Gel here on Amazon
4. Boom Nutrition – Carb Boom Energy Gel
If you’re constantly on the go and work out a lot, you know how critical it is to maintain a healthy level of energy. When you’re perspiring profusely, it’s normal to feel depleted. Fortunately, there are products like the Carb Boom Energy Gel available to provide you with the boost you require when working out.
This product is packed with electrolytes that are essential for staying hydrated. Aside from that, the complex carbs in this food provide an energy boost without the need for a heavy meal before working out. This product is available in caffeinated and caffeine-free varieties. Because of this, you’ll be able to pick and choose what works best for you. As these gels don’t cause a sugar crash at the end of the day, they’re popular with customers.
Since the Carb Boom Energy Gel has a reasonable price, you won’t have to worry about overpaying. In order to get the most for your money, you should eat one or more of these on a regular basis. For those who only consume them when racing or training, the price is reasonable.
- Tastes delicious
- Superior consistency
- It contains complex carbohydrates.
- It is moderately priced.
- Packaging isn’t the best.
- Unsuitable for a keto diet
Where to purchase Boom Nutrition – Carb Boom Energy Gel?
You can purchase Boom Nutrition – Carb Boom Energy Gel here on Amazon
5. Vega Sport Endurance Gel
Vegetarians and vegans alike can enjoy the all-natural plant-based blend of dates, grape juice, rice, and coconut oils in Vega Sport Endurance Gel. Vega Sport gels weigh 46 grams, which is a tad more than Gu’s, but they still contain 100 calories worth of quick-acting carbohydrates.
If you’re used to simply squeezing and swallowing other gels, you may be surprised by the texture of the Orange Zest flavor. On Vega, a single gel costs $1.99; a 12-pack costs $21.99; you can also find them at Whole Foods and other natural food stores.
- It is a component of the plant-based diet.
- Instant energy from slow-burning whole food fuel will keep you going for a long time.
- With minimally processed carbohydrate nutrition for exercises lasting more than 45 minutes, it’s easy to digest.
- Maltodextrin, artificial flavors and colors, gluten, and soy are present.
Where to purchase Vega Sport Endurance Gel?
You can purchase Vega Sport Endurance Gel here on Amazon
6. Clif Bar BLOKS
CLIF BLOKS Energy Chews are gel capsules packed with carbohydrates and electrolytes to give you a quick energy boost so you can perform at your best.
They can help you find that last bit of motivation, whether you’re out for a run or just about to cross the finish line. Choose from a variety of energizing flavors, each with a different amount of sodium and caffeine, to meet your specific energy needs. Moreover, they are easy to open and eat while on the go, providing you with the energy you need.
During endurance activities, CLIF BLOKS provide a concentrated and easily digested carbohydrate source, supplying working muscles with constant energy. Since Clif Bar BLOKS contain organic tapioca syrup and other plant-based ingredients, they’re easy to eat while working out or doing other activities that require a lot of energy on the go.
- The energy chews offer rapid, digestible energy for training and competition
- Six delectable flavors to satisfy a variety of taste preferences
- Comes in packaging that is simple to open, making it convenient to consume
- Some flavors maybe a little more overpowering than others
Where to purchase Clif Bar BLOKS?
You can purchase Clif Bar BLOKS here on Amazon
7. Science In Sport Isotonic Energy Gels
SiS gels are available in a variety of forms. The regular, rapidly absorbed carbohydrate Isotonic Energy gel provides 22 grams per gel (maltodextrin, specifically). Each gel has 90 calories, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 10 milligrams of salt.
SiS Go Energy Plus Caffeine provides 75 mg of caffeine in addition to the same nutritional information as the basic SiS Go Energy gel.
It also contains 22 grams of carbohydrates, as well as salt (118 mg), potassium (9.5 mg), and magnesium (1.5 mg) per gel. It is important to note that the electrolyte version is not isotonic because the addition of electrolytes raises the concentration of the beverage.
All of SiS GO’s energy gels are vegan, have only natural flavorings, and do not contain any aspartame.
- Easy to swallow
- Good value for money when it comes to the energy gel
- SiS Isotonic energy gels have a flavor that is more than just pleasant
- Lacking essential sodium and potassium over longer distances
Where to purchase Science In Sport Isotonic Energy Gels?
You can purchase Science In Sport Isotonic Energy Gels here on Amazon
8. Spring Energy Gel
Spring Energy Gel seems to have a sudden surge in popularity. Runners all around the world began endorsing the nutrition company at the same time. There are times when a 100-calorie natural gel feels more like the air inside of a potato chip bag than a source of true sustenance during a long run.
Rice is the primary or secondary component in most Spring Energy products. We were a little skeptical at first, but decided to give it a whirl anyway to see what all the excitement was about.
One’s stomach may take a while to adjust to the gel. These minutes were spent burping and feeling fairly low during a recent race with other gels, till it digested a bit. Spring Gels have a zero-day turn-around time. Because of how easily digestible everything in their products is, eating them is a breeze.
- Simple to consume
- Remarkably rapid energy turnaround
- No gastrointestinal problems.
- It is not generally available at physical stores.
- It is more costlier than alternative gels.
Where to purchase Spring Energy Gel?
You can purchase Spring Energy Gel here on Amazon
Are Energy Gels Good For Hiking?
As a convenient on-the-go source of energy, gel packs are popular among hikers, cyclists, kayakers, and runners. It is a syrupy, semi-liquid solution that normally contains high concentrations of carbohydrates to quickly give energy and certain electrolytes to replenish those lost during exercise.
Because gel packets are small and light (1 or 2 oz.), they can be easily stowed away in a purse or pocket. Gels can give enough energy for short-term activities lasting less than three hours. Bars and/or drinks with some protein and fat could be necessary on longer trips.
It is important that energy gels be easily digested and absorbed into your system. In order to maintain a steady supply of energy, a gradual rise in energy is needed before a gradual fall.
The ease with which chews, gels, and beverages can be consumed makes them widely popular. Many endurance athletes will also eat bars and/or drink sports beverages containing calories and protein when they are engaged in an exercise lasting more than a few hours.
I am Jordan James, I am a writer and researcher over here at Outside Origin. I love spending time in nature and just being outside. I have hiked many trails such as the Appalachian Trail, Pennine Way, Half Dome to name a few.