Wise fuelling can help produce your best performances, but which gels and bars suit your needs and tastes?
Torq Energy Bar
£27.50 for 15, torqfitness.co.uk
Delicious, fast working, moist and perfectly sweet, Torq energy bars deliver fast results. With or without caffeine, the taste is natural and authentic giving you an instant energy boost during your races and long runs, plus they include five electrolytes. You can even select which flavours you want if you order a box.
SIS GO Isotonic Energy Gel
These gels feel substantial to eat, plus they’re easy to digest without water. When you’re feeling your energy dip these lift you and they soon feel like a gel you can trust to get you to the finish line – crucially, without irritating your stomach. The cherry and apple flavour is especially refreshing; a perfect level of sweetness.
High 5 Energy gel/Energy Gel Aqua
What makes the High 5 Energy Gel range so likeable is their consistency; they are so easy to swallow, not sickly or thick. It feels like a drink of water, but you still get that vital boost of energy. The High 5 with caffeine will give you a little extra boost, keeping you alert and focused in a race.
CLIF Shot Energy Gel Mocha +caffeine
£24.99 for 24, clifbar.co.uk
The gel is light and easy to get out of the packet. The taste is agreeable and simple to digest, albeit best taken with water. They’re easy to carry, fitting perfectly in a running belt. The effect of the gel is noticeable within 10 minutes and the boost from the 50g of caffeine is surprisingly quick – perfect for the end of a long run. Neatly, a litter leash prevents the foil tab at the top breaking off.
GU Energy Gel
£40.80 for 24, guenergy.co.uk
These perfect pocket-sized GU Energy Gels work a treat and taste like one too, with appetising flavours such as Chocolate Outrage and Salted Caramel. Easy to carry in a pocket or belt, they function well on the go: simply tear and squeeze. Easy to swallow, without the need for water, the GU Energy Gels are super-sweet – and they can really pick you up on a long run.
TORQ Energy Gel
£24 for 15, torqfitness.co.uk
These gels taste delicious, with plenty of great flavours that sound more like desserts than energy fuel. Flavours such as Rhubarb and Custard, Cherry Bakewell and Apple Crumble are refreshingly unusual, and the taste is sweet without feeling sickly. You are fully fuelled up with each gel delivering 30g of carbohydrate. There’s no unpleasant aftertaste and when consumed mid run your energy is definitely increased.
£52.20 for 18 double serving packets, guenergy.co.uk
GU Chews are for the sweet-toothed runner who struggles with gels – a no-nonsense product without all that stickiness. Just try not to gorge on these prior to a run as they taste so good! Great on the stomach, but they may stick to the teeth.
SIS Go Energy Bar
The fruit juices and dried fruits make this bar taste more natural than many others. The texture is moist and easy to digest on the run. The result is a sustained, slow-release energy and it’s perfect as a pre-workout top-up too. A caffeine version is also available, for that extra kick.
Honey Stinger Rocket Chocolate
£2 per bar, honeystinger.co.uk
A fabulous energy bar with a rich cocoa flavour and a chocolate layer on the bottom, it really feels like a treat. With 23 vitamins and minerals, over 30 per cent honey, whole grains, antioxidants and natural flavouring, these really do pack a punch.
Stealth Juice Bar
£25 for 16, secret-training.com
Vegan and gluten-free energy bars that are somewhere between a gel and a traditional bar. The texture is like fondant and is perfect for consuming on the go. They have easy to open packaging and are much less gooey than traditional gels – your fingers don’t get all sticky mid-run. Combined with real fruit juice, both flavours are refreshing; the Apple & Blackcurrant is sweet, yet not overly so; while the Orange & Pineapple is very pleasant with a zingy taste.
Tribe Infinity Energy
£18 for 24, waeretribe.co
Testing these were a pleasure! These natural oat bars in a variety of tasty flavour combos, including scrummy Peanut Butter + Banana and a subtle Apple + Cinnamon, are great for long runs. Containing seeds and fruit, they’ll provide both protein and carbs while you’re on the move. They’re easy to swallow and a donation from each sale goes towards the Tribe Freedom Foundation, whose mission is to end human trafficking.
Stealth Energy Gel Selection
£20 for 14, secret-training.com
You’ll love that these gels are naturally flavoured, vegan and leave no after taste. Lemon & Lime and Watermelon were really refreshing, a pleasant texture and can be consumed on the go without water. Berry flavour includes caffeine and betaine and successfully fuelled the push from 14 to 16 miles on a long run. Easy to open while running, these gels are perfect for your marathon training.
Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 108 February 2019.
How we test: This kit has been tested by real runners: passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathoners to happy plodders. Our group testers have run in the shoes our their usual runs to see if they go the distance. They give each piece of kit a star rating.
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