Cycling is a great way to burn off excess calories and one of the best forms of physical exercise. However, sometimes it can leave you feeling completely drained halfway through your circuit. It is for this reason that nutrition should play an integral role in any biking enthusiasts’ diet.
There are some individuals out there that can absorb all the nutrients and energy to fill their gas tank before hitting the road, however, some of us may not be so fortunate. It is for this reason alone that many biking enthusiasts are taking advantage of energy-rich gels like Isotonic gel, Torq gel, Honey Stinger gel or GU energy gel. These gels have been around for quite some time, and are a great way to replenish your strength before a bike ride.
With so many options on the market, it can be a little tricky to know which energy gel will best serve your needs. All of our bodies have different nutritional needs, and some of these gels are tailored towards a particular group instead of other gels. However, a little research can go a long way in finding the perfect energy gel to suit your nutritional needs and give you the boost that you need to keep riding.
Listed below are a few options that are popular among cyclists and have been proven to work.
|Isotonic Energy Gel – Science in Sport||
|Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel – GU||
|Huma Chia Energy Gel||
|High5 Citrus Energy Gel||
|CLIF SHOT – Energy Gel||
|Huma Plus – Chia Energy Gel||
|Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel||
Top 6 Energy Gels For Cycling
Isotonic Energy Gel – Science in SportIsotonic Energy Gels – Science in Sport
Coming in at only 90 calories, the Isotonic gels developed by Science in Sport (SiS) provides 22 grams of fast acting carbohydrates, 10 milligrams of sodium, and just under 1 gram of sugars. It comes in a 2-ounce serving size that will not leave you feeling bloated or weighed down. This makes the Isotonic Energy gel a perfect option for those long bike rides.
But what’s with the name?
Isotonic is a term commonly used among chemists and is defined as a substance with the same concentration as a particular biological cell, in this example – your cells. In Layman’s terms, this means that isotonic gel absorbs water instead of utilizing it to digest. This means that you can reap the benefits of the isotonic energy gel without taking it with water. Over-drinking and the risk of becoming bloated will never be an issue again.
Many people have verified that these gels have a light consistency of Maple syrup and the flavors have been reported to be quite tasty. Lemon-Lime, Orange, Cherry, and even Tutti-Fruitti flavors are available, so rest assured, there is something that everyone will find enjoyable.
Science in Sport has spent months perfecting the formula for this best energy gel. As such, they have provided a product that not only tastes great and performs well, but they do not cause any stomach discomfort after consumption.
All in all, Science in Sport’s Isotonic Gels are a great way to find that energy boost that you need to push through to the end of your bike ride.Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel - GU
This energy gel was developed over two decades ago to keep ultra-marathon runners in prime condition throughout their grind. As such, it is one of the best energy gels on the market and has a track record of delivering results to athletes of all ages and backgrounds.
GU Original Sports Nutrition Gels are jam-packed with fructose and maltodextrin carbohydrates to keep you in the game during extensive workouts. They also prevent muscle fiber damage so that you won’t become overly fatigued and come packed with plenty of sodium to replenish what you’ve lost sweating. Brain fog is a figment of the past with this product as well, thanks to branched-chain amino acids within these best energy gels.
Stemming from a formula of simple/complex carbs, amino acids, and electrolytes, GU Sports Gels are designed to keep you at the top of your game. This product is easily digestible and you will begin to feel the energy coursing through your veins within minutes after ingestion. This makes these gels the perfect supplement to take before, during, or after a bike ride.
With over 27 natural flavours, the only difficult decision you will have to make is what option will taste the best. As long as your body has no issue with metabolizing sugars, GU’s Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel will provide you the energy that you need without any risk.Huma Chia Energy Gel
Huma Chia Energy Gel is a gluten-free and vegan performance enhancer developed from real fruit puree. This makes the Huma Chia the best energy gel with the most delicious options on this list. Their formula utilizes milled chia seed, citric acid, brown rice syrup, cane sugar (no artificial sweeteners), and sea salt to provide you with the nutritional boost that you are seeking. Their flavors include raspberry, apples and cinnamon, blueberry, and mango. Yummy!
Their concoction includes a 2:1 glucose to fructose ratio that enables your body to break down the gel and convert it to energy rapidly. 9 essential amino acids assist you with the muscle fatigue that comes along with long periods of intense exercise so that you can keep on chewing at those handlebars.
All in all, Huma Chia Energy Gels make for a great option that you should seriously consider trying. They are an all-natural option, making them the black sheep among energy-providing gels. However, don’t let that fool you; these gels are jam-packed with energy-dense nutrition. Their flavor alone proves to be a reason that many cyclists flock to Huma Chia gels for all of their nutritional and energy needs.High5 Citrus Energy Gel
High5 certainly deserves a high five for their innovative energy gel. Each package contains 38 grams of energy-rich gel to keep you moving. However, many users of this product say that it is more akin to a fruit juice as opposed to a energy gel. Either way, High5 Citrus Energy gels are a great product to bring along with you on those long bike rides.
High5 uses glucose, fruit juice, sea salt, and of course, water in the formula for these citrus energy gels. Fructose is not included so that sugar content (no artificial sweeteners) can remain as low as possible. Keeping fructose content low will ensure that people with sensitive stomachs specifications can use the gel as frequently as other, less sensitive people with no ill side effects.
Fueling for long rides can be a daunting task, however, High5 strives to simplify the process. With organic ingredients and 23 grams of fast acting carbohydrates, High5 Citrus Energy Gel’s are the perfect product to bring along on any workout.CLIF SHOT - Energy Gels
Clif is the producer of one of the most effective energy bars on the market, and they also produce some best energy gels in the market. They have a plethora of different flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, just to name a few. The gels are easy to ingest, not to mention they are incredibly convenient to bring along on your rides. Although they are not vegan nor gluten-free, they are organic and sourced from all-natural, ethical sources.
Within only 15 minutes, you will begin to feel the effects of Clif’s energy gels, making them a perfect option to get moving quickly. Not to mention these gels also keep your energy at a consistent level throughout your workout, some sources report that their energy flat-lined for up to two and a half hours. Cyclists, marathoners, and other athletes all confirm the validity of these gels.
Clif Shot Energy Gels formula is packed with 24 grams of carbs and 60 milligrams of sodium to replenish lost nutrients through exercise. 50 milligrams of caffeine will give you the razor-sharp clarity that you need to keep your mental game as strong as your body’s. The gel also comes in at just 100 calories per serving size.Huma Plus - Chia Energy Gel
Huma Plus offers all the same advantages as the standard Huma Energy gels, except Huma Plus doubles the number of electrolytes. As a result, the nutrients lost through sweat are replenished much more efficiently than other gels on this list. Caffeine is also added to the Huma Plus energy gels, making it a not-so-great option for evening workouts.
Huma Plus energy gels are recommended for only the most intense bike rides. With twice the amount of electrolytes, this product is intended for high-intensity workouts where the body loses a high amount of sodium through sweat. However, if you are one to go big or go home, this product will suit you nicely than other gels on the market.
The Huma Plus remains a vegan and gluten-free option to those that are interested.
Being sourced from organic ingredients, a great flavor, and just a dash of caffeine are all the features of this gel that we truly enjoy. However, since this gel delivers twice the amount of energy of some other best energy gels, we found it a bit too much for our liking. If you are a long-distance cyclist, this aspect will prove to be more attractive to you.Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel
Gatorade is the world’s leader in sports-related beverages and foods, as such, their energy gels are worth looking into. Stemming from decades of conducting extensive research with popular athletes, their sports remedies are simply the best that money can buy. They have some of the best energy gels on the market. Let’s see why.
The carbohydrate content with Gatorade endurance energy gel to ward off fatigue gradually replenishes them as the carbs are being spent. This has the effect of doubling, potentially tripling the distance you can ride before feeling worn out. Gatorade’s formula is so effective that many users report still feeling a decent amount of energy after their workout. This is great if you often find yourself completely drained after a long bike ride.
Although the texture of the energy gel may be a bit off-setting, the flavor makes the energy gel easy to swallow. Gatorade endurance energy gel provides multiple flavors, including apple-pear and vanilla. The packaging of the gel is small and convenient to carry along with you on your ride. Unfortunately, Gatorade gels are not vegan nor gluten-free, although none of the ingredients are derived from grain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are energy gels Important?
Although they are not necessarily a requirement to athletes or bicycle enthusiasts, they help to replenish nutrients that are burned off through exercise. While many of these nutrients are found in many of the foods that we eat throughout the day, sometimes your digestion tract doesn’t process these nutrients quite as efficiently as it should.
Energy gels offer the vital nutrients that your body needs in a simple formula to keep you moving. Limiting the number of ingredients within the gel allows for a simple digestion process – the fewer ingredients means the less the body must process. Since there are far fewer ingredients to digest, the body is able to utilize nearly all the nutrients within this best energy gel.
These energy gels for cycling become more practical as your bike riding routine grows longer or more vigorous. Increasing the intensity of any workout will force the body to burn through nutrients at a faster rate, which can leave you feeling depleted, weak, and drained.
Using an energy gel pack during your bike ride will replenish what has been lost since you started, and continue to revitalize you until your biking routine is complete. This will boost your drive and mental clarity while also keeping you energized so that you don’t return home and feel absolutely drained.
How many energy gels should you consume?
It is recommended that you limit yourself to a maximum of two energy gels for every hour of activity.
There is a limit on the number of carbohydrates that your body can absorb within an hour, and it is typically 0.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. As an example, a 160lb male can absorb approximately 80 carbs per hour. It is important to realize the maximum amount of carbs that your body can handle because the body cannot digest excess carbs.
It also should be noted that carbohydrates come from multiple sources throughout the day, so you shouldn’t assume that all the carbohydrate content within the energy gel will be used efficiently. Your carbohydrate intake throughout the day should be monitored so that when it comes time to take the energy gel, you will have an idea of how effective it will be. Also, consider consuming the best energy gels on the market for better results and fewer side effects.
However, safety should always be your number one priority and if you have any concerns you can refer to the nutritional data on the back of the package for more details. You can also contact the company’s customer service team for in-depth details and suggested usage of their products.
Do these gels work for cycling?
Energy gels have no preference for the type of exercise that you will be doing – if any at all. These gels are simply a source of energy-dense nutrients. No matter if you’re rock climbing, boxing, swimming, or going to work – energy gels will give you the boost that you are seeking.
Nutrient intake is the most vital aspect of life. Without proper nutrients, we can become fatigued, irritable, and even ill. If you routinely ride a bicycle or perform any other type of routine exercise, it is important that you get the nutrients that you need in order to remain active. The more active you are as a person translates to the more nutrients that you need to replenish.
Getting these nutrients from food is possible, however, it can be difficult and provide ill side effects. Eating/drinking excessively before hopping on your bike can lead to bloating, cramps, or even vomiting. Luckily, energy gels were developed so that you will not have to experience those facets ever again.
Energy gels provide dedicated and casual bicyclists alike the opportunity to increase their performance on their bicycles. Whether you are cruising around the city or logging some serious mileage on trails, energy gels like Isotonic, Gatorade, GU energy gel, Honey Stinger gel or Torq gel will give you the boost you need in order to keep moving.
It is recommended, however, that you take the necessary safety precautions before using any company’s energy gels. Each product will have a varying level of nutrients that can make you sick if you are not careful. It is suggested that you begin logging your nutritional intake throughout the day so you can avoid such things as carb overload.
Of course, if you should have any questions look first on the back of the packaging. The back of all energy gel packaging will have an in-depth nutritional synopsis as well as a list of all the ingredients used to produce the energy gel. Nearly 90% of all inquiries can be found here and are sadly overlooked.
If you are curious and would like to see what all the fuss is about, energy gels like GU energy gel or Torq gel are nearly everywhere. Grocery stores, vitamin shops, and even Amazon carry these products. They often come in a box with multiple energy gel packs, so that you can get multiple uses from one purchase.