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Energy Gels

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Are they worth it for endurance running? I know they're pure carbs and sugar but I need to get through an extreme 10K obstace course this weekend and am thinking about buying a few. They're lower in calorie than I thought but obviously not very natural or healthy and I am on a clean foods only diet that I don't want to break unless it's going to be really beneficial.

I am relatively fit but am in the early stages of eating disorder recovery so my stamina an blood sugars are still often a problem.

So, do you think an energy gel might be the way forward??

Replies

  • RunRunRepeat
    RunRunRepeat Posts: 3 Member
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    I use Gu but only after 45 minutes or so on the pavement. I think if I were doing a 10K I'd leave 'em at home.

    A lot of people swear by honey stix - you could try that instead!
  • liftingbro
    liftingbro Posts: 2,029 Member
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    I think most people don't dip into carb infusions until they are doing marathons and the do it around the half way mark.
  • jessilyn76
    jessilyn76 Posts: 532 Member
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    I know that energy gel (gu) gives some serious GI issues, so you might want to give it a test run before the 10K.
  • UrbanRunner81
    UrbanRunner81 Posts: 1,207 Member
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    I have only used them on runs over 10 miles+. I did use them gu chomps (kind of like gel but in a gummy form) at my half. I do think it helped me.
  • jellybaby84
    jellybaby84 Posts: 583 Member
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    Honesy stix? Never seen those, I'll have to google.

    I wouldn't worry if it was an ordinary 10K but it's similar to Mudding (or whatever it's called!) - swamps, walls, fire, pits etc - and it's predicted to take at least 2-3 hours.
  • jellybaby84
    jellybaby84 Posts: 583 Member
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    Eeek, ok, maybe I'll leave well alone!
  • Triathlynne
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    You could try Chomps by GU. That way you could eat 2 or 3 instead of the whole gel package. Much easier to swallow also.

    https://guenergy.com/store/chewables/chomps-1.html

    I will take a gel for long runs and bike rides. The only flavour I can stomach though is Chocolate Mint.

    I didn't see the above post lol. Sorry!!! But I do recommend these instead. There's also Clif Bloks too. Those are delicious :)
  • sleepytexan
    sleepytexan Posts: 3,138 Member
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    I would sample before the big day. I personally think they're gross, and they make me slightly nauseous, but that happens to me with gatorade too.

    I do like the stinger cherry or lemonade flavored gummies, but only 2 or 3 at a time.

    blessings.
  • jellybaby84
    jellybaby84 Posts: 583 Member
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    I haven't got time to sample so I think I'll leave it.
  • TinaDay1114
    TinaDay1114 Posts: 1,328 Member
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    I've never tried the gels, but when I was training for a 1/2 marathon, I made this snack called "Honey Milk Balls" that got me through 8 mile training runs well. Plus it's natural.

    It's basically 1 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup honey, 1 cup nonfat dry milk, and 1 cup of oatmeal all mixed together and formed into little 1" balls. They aren't sticky, they go down easily, and they stick w/you...I usually ate 2 before my long runs, and they didn't make me nauseous or crampy, and kept me going.

    Good luck w/that "mudder"!!
  • ennaejay
    ennaejay Posts: 575
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    I've never tried the gels, but when I was training for a 1/2 marathon, I made this snack called "Honey Milk Balls" that got me through 8 mile training runs well. Plus it's natural.

    It's basically 1 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup honey, 1 cup nonfat dry milk, and 1 cup of oatmeal all mixed together and formed into little 1" balls. They aren't sticky, they go down easily, and they stick w/you...I usually ate 2 before my long runs, and they didn't make me nauseous or crampy, and kept me going.

    Good luck w/that "mudder"!!

    OMG! I have a recipe that's almost exactly like this, only there's also coconut and sesame seeds mixed in. Same PB, honey, and dry milk. no oats though. I'm going to use your recipe for cookies for my kids :)

    OP, I bet you could throw in raisins as good carbs too for a sugar boost. They'd be just as good for you as anything man-made. Other peeps on here make their own electrolyte drink with sugar/salt and lemon or lime water...

    If you choose to use something like gels, shots or bloks, it's recommended you don't try something NEW on the day-of your race, in case your body gets upset with you.
  • TinaDay1114
    TinaDay1114 Posts: 1,328 Member
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    I've never tried the gels, but when I was training for a 1/2 marathon, I made this snack called "Honey Milk Balls" that got me through 8 mile training runs well. Plus it's natural.

    It's basically 1 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup honey, 1 cup nonfat dry milk, and 1 cup of oatmeal all mixed together and formed into little 1" balls. They aren't sticky, they go down easily, and they stick w/you...I usually ate 2 before my long runs, and they didn't make me nauseous or crampy, and kept me going.

    Good luck w/that "mudder"!!

    OMG! I have a recipe that's almost exactly like this, only there's also coconut and sesame seeds mixed in. Same PB, honey, and dry milk. no oats though. I'm going to use your recipe for cookies for my kids :)

    Hee hee...I first made that recipe in 4-H when I was about 11 years old, and I still have the book. It's SOOOO good. :)
  • wolfchild59
    wolfchild59 Posts: 2,608 Member
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    Number one rule for any race - never have something new on race day. No new shoes, no new hydration belt, no new foods, no new energy drinks and definitely no new supplements since they can and do make a lot of people queasy. Always test absolutely everything in your training runs weeks before the race so you know how your body will react or how it will feel and/or affect your run.
  • LotusLoo
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    Number one rule for any race - never have something new on race day. No new shoes, no new hydration belt, no new foods, no new energy drinks and definitely no new supplements since they can and do make a lot of people queasy. Always test absolutely everything in your training runs weeks before the race so you know how your body will react or how it will feel and/or affect your run.

    Yep, agreed.
    Your stomach is used to a certain amount of carbohydrate and if you have not been training with gels, then it's not a good idea to use them on race day. That's a GI issue waiting to happen.
    For race day, I recommend to grab something at each hydration station. You should find both water and a sports drink option - Considering the distance, I would alternate between water and sports drink throughout the race. If they offer an electrolyte beverage, I would do that instead of water (assuming you will be sweating!).
    For future training, you can actually train your stomach to tolerate more and more carbohydrate during endurance events - try a run once every two weeks where you intake more carbohydrate than usual (this may make your tummy uncomfortable, but eventually, you'll be able to tolerate the extra carbohydrate and have better race performance). Considering the race distance and type that you mentioned, research aims you for 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour - so that's a thought for the future if you're doing similar distances.

    Good luck!
  • jellybaby84
    jellybaby84 Posts: 583 Member
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    Thanks everybody. I'm woefully underprepared, clearly! No training at all!! (though I do do 6-12 hours of exercise in the gym per week so I'm not totally ununsed to physical activity).

    I won't go down the gel route. No time to source honey stix. Thinking I will take raisins and dried apricots.

    Roll on tomorrow - not!