Lets talk Energy Gels!
What are energy gels? Basically they are liquid carbohydrates, used by endurance athletes to fuel their training. They consist of simple sugars, such as sucrose, fructose and glucose and maltodextrin, which is a carbohydrate made from corn starch.
Brands tend to vary but most gels provide between 20 and 30g of carbs and often contain added electrolytes and caffeine.
In reality gels only really make a difference if you are running along and far. For the 5k and 10k runs, gels will actually make little difference and this is because the process of digestion takes 45 minutes to an hour before the body can begin to use them as a fuel. So you should not need to use gels unless you are running for well over an hour. On the other hand, if you start running longer, you will start to deplete your energy stores and after about 90 minutes you will be running on empty. If you do not top up your glycerine stores with enough carbs this is when fatigue, poor performance and bad recovery can occur. Even illness! This is not what you want to happen when you are only half way though the marathon!
You might say “but simple sugars are bad”. But in this situation, glucose or fructose is exactly what you need. These will be absorbed quickly and efficiently which is why endurance athletes top up their energy levels by using gels, sweets or other high-sugar foods.
Athelti.ca has an assortment of gels for your endurance success and goals.