Taste Success: 5 Mile-Tested Running Gels to Boost Results

Looking for running gels to boost performance and help you keep going?

You know...the kind of running gels that don't taste like sludge, leave a nasty aftertaste, or require major-gag-reflex control to gulp down.

WeeViews runners put these 5 running gels to the test...

  • Enervit Isotonic Gel
  • UCAN Edge Fuel to Go
  • Spring Energy Gel 
  • Maurten Hydrogel Sports Fuel
  • Huma Energy Gel Plus
1. Enervit Isotonic Gel - Apple Cinnamon

"Ever in search of the perfect fuel brought me to this fantastic gel," says endurance athlete Loehr Young
.
"Really it’s liquid not gel. But who’s complaining when it truly does go down easy even at race pace with no water needed. The taste is pleasing without being too sweet or salty."

Pros

  • Great taste
  • Easy to swallow
  • No water needed

Cons

  • Can’t really find any 

😋The Taste Test
"I use all kinds of gels and find really all of them to be palatable. Where it gets dicey is when the effort is really high."
.
"This is where more liquid 'gels' like this one jump WAY ahead of the traditional gels and the newer Jell-O style ones. The more liquidy ones truly are very easy to swallow and require no water/drink to get them down even when you are really going hard."
.
🏃‍♂️Performance Boost 
"I find these to really help later in longer efforts when the legs are really burning and the strength is fading, really giving a boost to the finish."
.
"Highly recommend these for high-effort race-paced workouts/races." 

2. UCAN Edge Fuel to Go - Strawberry Banana

Looking for sugar-free running gel alternatives?
.
"UCAN Edge Fuel to Go is an absolute winner," says Michael Vaughan. "UCAN uses a simple starch rather than sugar to help you produce the correct amount of glycogen through your workout."
.
Pros

  • Sugar free
  • Good flavor
  • Easy on the stomach.

Cons

  • Large package
  • Contains xantham gum.
  • You need to shake well before it opening 

📉No Sugar Crash

"When switching to a sugar-free diet, finding a running fuel with little to no sugar has been a challenge. I've been experimenting with many different running fuels for the past 6 months.  I've tried low sugars, natural sugars, and no sugars."
.
"No sugary crash" we're the words that sold me on this."
.
🏃‍♂️Race-Test Results

"I was at a race called the King of Pain in Glastonbury, Connecticut.  It boasts 1,000 feet of elevation change over a 10 mile course."
.
"The gentleman who won it at a ridiculously fast pace swore by this product.  I'd struck up a conversation with him asking how many he consumes in a marathon. About one every half hour." 😲

3. Spring Energy Gel - Awesome Sauce

"This is a GI-friendly, convenient whole-food gel reminiscent of apple pie and applesauce," says Abigail Lock.
.
"The formula provides a balanced mix of complex and simple carbs to provide lasting energy for long days."
.
Pros

  • Whole food gel
  • Contains appropriate ratio of glucose and fructose
  • Easy to open
  • Tastes great
  • No non-nutritive or artificial sweeteners

Cons

  • Pricey ($4-4.50 depending on retailer)
  • Low in sodium (only 85 mg)
  • May not be ideal for short and fast events 

👍Frequently Recommend to Athletes

"As a sports nutrition coach, on-the-run fueling is one of my specialties. Spring Energy is a go-to for me personally, and I frequently recommend it to clients for the numerous pros I have listed."
.
"I typically rely on Spring Energy Awesome Sauce for long days in the mountain and for ultras.:
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😋Flavor & Texture

"I appreciate their thoughtful formulations using basmati rice, apple juice, apple sauce, yams, maple syrup, lemon juice, sea salt, cinnamon, and vanilla."
.
"The basmati rice provides a slower digesting carbohydrate source complete with starches to give longer lasting energy, but the apple juice and maple syrup provide faster digesting carbs for a quicker pick-me-up."
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"Plus, this formulation from Spring tastes particularly great if you enjoy apple pie or apple sauce.

4. Maurten Hydrogel Sports Fuel - Gel 100 Caf 100

"Maurten Hydrogel Sports Fuel Gel 100 Caf 100 is a really good fueling option if you do well with sugar and caffeine," says Mike Murphy, "but may not be the best bang for your buck."
.
Pros

  • Easy on stomach
  • Easy to swallow on the run
  • Maintains consistency in varying temps
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly

Cons

  • Very sweet
  • Mostly added sugar
  • High cost per unit 

😀The Free Sample

"I came across Maurten while volunteering at an Ironman event," says Mike. "At the end of the evening, volunteers were allowed to take leftover products and I came home with plenty of gels."
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"I most likely would not have spent the money to try these out since they run in the high $3-$4/unit range."
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😋The Taste Test
"I gave them a try and was mostly happy with the results."
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"From a texture standpoint, these are not tradition gels. They are more of a loose Jell-O consistency."
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"I really like that, because it made it easier for me to eat on the run. The gel stays consistent in varying temperatures, which helps it empty out of the pack quickly. And you don't get that sticky/dry mouth feeling that sometimes happens with other gels in colder weather.
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👍Performance Results

"I love that it's super easy on my stomach, and the 100mg of caffeine per serving provides a bit of a boost if you want it."
.

"Overall, I like these gels. The caffeine and sugar content is a bit higher than other options, but may not be worth the extra cost."

5. Huma Energy Gel Plus

"Huma is real food gel packed with electrolytes in a thoughtfully formulated manner," says Abigail.
.
"It's ideal for salty sweaters and runners who don't want to leave anything on the table with regards to performance hydration/nutrition."
.
Pros

  • Stomach-Friendly
  • Simple, Fast Carbs
  • Balanced Electrolyte Profile
  • Convenient
  • Moderately Priced

Cons

  • Salt overpowers some flavors 

😀Performance Boost

"Huma Plus has really changed the game for me."
.
"Initially I thought I wasn't fueling with enough carbohydrate during my long runs, but now it seems that the addition of more electrolytes was the real issue."

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💦For Salty-Sweat Runners

"If you are a salty sweater, live in a hot/humid climate, or notice unexplained fatigue mid-run, consider adding Huma Plus to your nutrition plan.
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"I've been running hard workouts in 80-90 degree weather and haven't experienced any GI distress using these gels with adequate water intake.
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😀Gut-Friendly Results 

"I've always struggled with running gels, gus and other similar products."
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"Their consistency, flavor, and ingredients are SO off-putting over the course of a few hours. Not only that, I always seem to come away from a session with a brick in my gut...or worse."
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"Huma gel has yet to fail me even in the hottest conditions so far this summer.
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😋Taste Test + Flavors

"My favorites flavors are the lemon/lime and the raspberry lemonade, which also happen to be Huma's caffeinated options."
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"The high-salt content compliments them nicely whereas the other flavors I've tried (blackberry/banana and berries/pomegranate) get a bit overpowered by the salt. I actually like the saltiness as it encourages me to drink more plain water with each gel."

🏃‍♀️What running gels do you recommend to boost performance?

👉Tell us in the comments or create a WeeView about your favorite running gels.

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Evan Jensen
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I help RUNNERS reduce injuries, fix running form, run longer & faster by strength training without running ragged. I'm a NASM...

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