Best Energy Gels for Trail Running
GU Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel
GU Energy Gel sustains all forms of athletic activity with a highly compact, portable, and calorie-dense packet that is loaded with carbohydrates that can be rapidly absorbed. Branched-chain amino acids limit muscle fiber damage and increase speed of recovery, and extra electrolytes help maintain water balance.
What makes this the Best Energy Gel for Trail Running?
GU is popular with a lot of runners who are into long-distance running. It gives the energy boost needed to continue the moment you feel weak along the way. If you consume it the right way, it prevents bonking or vomiting due to dehydration. Below are the things that make this energy gel the best.
Runners use gels because it's easily absorbed by the body. This is made possible due to its semi-liquid form. You don't have to get the energy you need on solid foods which takes time to digest. The advantage of GU gels is that its fast-absorbing. This means that the moment you take it, you would feel the boost of energy after a while.
The moment you feel weak, take one gel and you'll feel better in no time.
The main reason why a lot of people use GU is it works. Its combination of complex and simple carbohydrates, electrolytes and caffeine help runners perform better.
For those who are particular with taste, it comes with various flavors like orange, chocolate, strawberry, and others. This helps you enjoy it more.
Another good thing about this product is it contains amino acids that decrease muscle damage and improve cardiac output. Also remember that running is not just physical sport, it's also a mental activity. The amino acids also help deal with mental fatigue.
Aside from GU, I have tried other brands. Though these were effective in giving me the energy I need to sustain my run, the GU just tastes a lot better. And since it comes with a lot of flavors, you'll find one that fits your taste.
Things to Consider When Buying Energy Gel for Trail Running
I have used energy gels for several years already and if I remember it right, it started on my first trail marathon. Though for me, one can use any brand of energy gel, it is best to stick to one brand. This way your stomach will get used to it.
The main factor to consider for me is the experience of other runners with this energy gel. Try to ask some of your friends for a recommendation. This way you could be sure that the one you'll try has already worked for a lot of people. It means that there is a good chance that it would also work for you.
It is also a good idea to check the nutritional facts of the gel. What you would want to see there are electrolyte details, amino acids, and carbohydrates. Depending on your preference, you could also go for one with caffeine. Personally, I try to avoid caffeine but I found it useful for times when I feel sleepy on the trail. So on my ultras on the trail, I try to bring one gel with caffeine in it.
Though energy gels are made to be easily consumed by the body, it would be an advantage if it also has a fast-absorbing quality. This makes the use of the necessary nutrients even faster. There will always come a time in your run that you will feel weak. Oftentimes, you'll be in this situation around half of the total distance. The moment this happens, a fast-absorbing gel would be a great help.