Energy gels are concentrated sources of energy which are consumed before, during or after exercise, to help to replace the energy lost when training and give you the support you need to continue.
Most energy gels contain an easily absorbable form of carbohydrate energy plus caffeine.
These pre-workout gels come in a variety of different flavours and strengths, so there is something to suit everyone, no matter what your preferred sport is.
Some energy gels need to be diluted with water and some can be easily taken as they are.
Energy gels for runners
If you are training for a marathon, half marathon, or another long distance run, energy gels will help replenish energy stores which are rapidly depleted when running over an extended amount of time.
These will be essential when it comes to race day, for helping you to get over that finish line.
The additional carbohydrate boosts that running gels provide can improve performance, race times and help delay the onset of fatigue, helping you to keep going for longer before you hit that wall.
SiS energy gels come in a variety of different flavours which can be consumed without needing to dilute with water including orange, blackcurrant, pineapple and many more so there is something fruity to suit every taste.
SiS GO gels provide fast, easy to digest energy and are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. These are some of the best energy gels available for runners.
SiS Isotonic gel comes in sachets which can be easily carried in your zip pocket or your race belt so you do not need to carry bulky bottles or extra weight around with you.
These isotonic energy gels are quick and easy to digest. They can be consumed without water, which helps to prevent the bloating or that uncomfortable squelchy feeling that can come with drinking a lot of liquids whilst taking exercise.
Energy gels for cyclists
Energy gels provide an effective and efficient way of fuelling up when you are out on two wheels.
They are perfect for time trials, sportives, faster sessions and racing as well as long endurance rides, when you need a carbohydrate energy hit but don’t want to have to tuck into (or carry!) a sandwich.
Simply tuck them into your cycling jersey before you leave, so you can easily drink your energy gel on the go, without even stopping your pedals!
The High5 Cycle Kit provides an all-in-one pack of products which is perfect for cycling training and racing.
This pack of cyclists’ favourites contains High5 energy gels as well as energy bars, energy drinks and zero hydration tablets.
The cycling gels included in this pack will keep your legs pedalling while also tasting great.
A High5 Starter Kit is also available which is perfect for anyone who is new to the world of sports nutrition.
Energy gels for training and sports
It is not just runners and cyclists who can benefit from using energy gels.
If you are playing sports, you might want to consume some sports gels before you start your match.
SiS Gels offer options for footballers to take 30 minutes before kick-off, to help keep you going all the way through to the final whistle and even extra time.
This sports supplement contains beta-alanine, a non-essential amino acid
It also contains caffeine and vitamins B6 B9 and B12 which helps to support the release of energy from food stores. Win!
Vow Full Time Gel Raspberry Box is a 12 pack of energy gel sachets which should be taken after exercise, or when the final whistle goes in your sports match.
This formula contains branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine.
These BCAAs are found in protein-rich foods like meat, fish and eggs
Most energy gels, such as SIS gels, Torq gels and High5 energy gel, contain maltodextrin, a carbohydrate source usually made from wheat, potato starch, corn or rice.
Quickly digested by the body, maltodextrin does not require as much water for absorption as other carbs do, minimising your risk of dehydration.
This fast injection of carbohydrates can help to raise your energy levels, giving you the push you need to get over the finish line.
Some energy gels include handy additional ingredients such as caffeine, which can help you to feel more alert and focused, while other running gels contain key electrolytes to help replace those that can be lost when you sweat.
Energy gels are suitable for anyone taking on most forms of exercise and are particularly suitable for long distance runners, cyclists and people who are playing sports.
If your exercise session lasts under an hour, your body should not need any extra carbohydrates to keep it going - its existing stores should be enough.
However, if you are planning to exercise for longer than an hour, then it might be worth considering taking some energy gels to help you to maintain your performance throughout your training session.
Popular with sportspeople, energy gels are thick, flavoured gels, used to provide an extra burst of energy during exercise.
These convenient little sachets allow you to quickly take in a shot of energy, making them ideal for using on-the-go, during a race or while you are training.
The sporty among us are spoiled for choice these days when it comes to energy sources, so how do you choose between a bar, drink and sport gel? The answer may be in your choice of sport.
Sports gels are especially popular with runners and cyclists for their convenience. When covering marathon distances runners tend to hit the wall around an hour into a race or a little later if going at a slower pace.
Fancy carrying another bottle with you for that length of time? Probably not.
Cycling gels, such as SIS Go isotonic energy gel, are pocket-sized, making them easy to slip into your shorts or jacket.
There is no need to stop or slow down either: a couple of quick gulps and your energy top-up is complete.
Research also suggests that energy gels for running and other sports are kinder to your stomach than bars, while drinks are more likely to cause you to require a loo break – not good news mid-race.
While energy gels for running, cycling and other sports can be a convenient and less difficult to digest option than other energy products, they are not without potential side effects.
Some people find that gels may cause an amount of GI distress, including stomach cramps and sometimes diarrhoea.
It is important to fuel early on and make sure you keep drinking plenty of water. Big race coming up? Choose a gel you know works for you.
There is also some controversy surrounding maltodextrin’s ability to cause a fast, sudden spike in blood glucose levels. For this reason, it is best for those with diabetes or insulin resistance to avoid it.
To ensure you are getting the best, safest gel, we suggest picking a well-known, established brand name.
SIS energy gels, along with other Holland and Barrett supplied brands, contain high quality ingredients and are well-researched and formulated using years of scientific knowhow. They are also trusted by elite professional athletes.