Nutrition: Energy gels

In my previous blog post, I talked about my hydration strategy. In this post, the second in the series, I am going to talk about energy gels.

Strategy

I only use gels during a race or training session; I don’t use them pre or post race.

I use them for races that take longer than 90 minutes. So, for a 10km I take nothing. For a half marathon, I will take an energy gel an hour in. I haven’t used them so far for sprint triathlon but I think I will in future.

I use them a lot in sportives and standard distance triathlon. On the bike, I fuel by numbers so historically this has been every 30 minutes in training or every 10km in a race.

Brands

I use High5 plus caffeine gels. They do them in raspberry and orange flavour. They taste good. The downside to them is that they are very, very sticky. Your hands end up really sticky and it is annoying.

I have also tried SiS. They come in a lot more flavours but they are a lot bigger (for the same quantity of energy) and taste like Calpol. You can consume them without getting sticky, though.

Gel flasks

To avoid getting sticky, I use a gel flask. These are pouches that allow you to fill them with lots of gel and take as much as you need before resealing each time.

I use the Gu flask. It claims to hold five gels, but that is Gu branded ones, I find High5 is more like four gels. It works well and you can open it with your teeth, making it a one-handed operation.

I fill mine the day before a race and chill it in the fridge overnight.

Downsides to the Gu flask: it is hard to get the final bits out so you waste some gel. Also, it’s difficult to get the top off when you’re washing up. Both minor problems.

Over a standard distance triathlon, I find I use more than one flask, so I’m thinking of moving to a two flask system.

Timeline

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This entry was posted on Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 at 11:00 am and is filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.