Saturday, October 1, 2022
HomeSuperfoodPower Gels vs. Power Bars, When to Eat What? – RUNIVORE

Power Gels vs. Power Bars, When to Eat What? – RUNIVORE

Power gels are higher. They offer you a fast increase in an excellent compact, energy-dense package deal. Power bars are higher. They’re tastier, depart you glad, and supply extra numerous vitamins. (Learn in Adam Sandler’s Billy Madison voice.)

Jokes apart, “vitality gels versus vitality bars” is among the most mentioned matters in sports activities vitamin. This text offers you a glimpse at how the human physique reacts to 2 forms of gasoline, and I’ll additionally share their execs and cons based mostly on earlier experiences.

If you eat an vitality gel…

As quickly because the gel enters your mouth, the enzyme salivary amylase instantly begins to course of the easy sugars. A lot of the gel is then swallowed into the digestive tract, the place carbohydrates are damaged all the way down to cross from the small gut to the bloodstream within the type of glucose.

Insulin is triggered and prompts cells to make use of the glucose or retailer it for later. The entire course of is quick. Mouth-to-muscle time often takes 5-Quarter-hour, relying on the athlete.

For those who’re occupied with diving into the vitality gel rabbit gap, right here’s a great place to begin.


If you eat an vitality bar…

For those who assume there are method too many vitality gel choices, vitality bar merchandise are presumably much more numerous and are available in all styles and sizes. 

Elements vary from pure meals akin to nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and grains to synthetic components like maltodextrin and artificial micro-nutrients.

As quickly as you chew into an vitality bar, the identical enzyme, salivary amylase, begins to course of the easy sugars, identical to with gels. Chewing breaks it into smaller items for the digestive system.

It’s in your abdomen the place the variations happen. The everyday vitality bar comprises advanced carbohydrates and different vitamins akin to dietary fiber and proteins. These components require an extended time to digest and cross from the small gut to the bloodstream as glucose.

Though vitality bars present extra energy and carbohydrates, they’re slower to empty from the abdomen. The mouth-to-muscle course of could be considerably slower.

This text goes deeper into the 2 processes. Have a learn.


My prime 3 execs and cons of vitality gels


  1. I often really feel vitality surges of varied magnitude inside 5-8 minutes; for some manufacturers, even quicker. Gels merely work, particularly for shorter and quicker occasions.
  2. Compact, gentle, and matches nicely in most fuel-carrying gears.
  3. Tremendous straightforward to eat when on the transfer, even at larger intensities.


  1. Clearly, the style ain’t nice and I’m at all times cautious of the dreaded sweetness fatigue.
  2. Sugar spikes and crashes are frequent unwanted side effects.
  3. Unhealthy and never appropriate as each day exercise gasoline.


My prime 3 execs and cons of vitality bars


  1. For those who choose the best manufacturers, they’re scrumptious gasoline choices and in addition extraordinarily straightforward to make your self.
  2. And wonderful pre-race or pre-workout meal. Some bars are just about oatmeal in an aluminum wrapper.
  3. Offers a extra balanced dietary profile (however most likely nonetheless can’t be categorized as wholesome).


  1. Takes longer to empty out of your abdomen and, subsequently, slower reacting.
  2. Extra blood must be drawn to the gastrointestinal system for digestion, which implies much less blood on your physique’s cooling mechanisms and muscular actions.
  3. Turns into rock arduous within the chilly (unimaginable to eat) or melts right into a sticky goo in sizzling temperatures (tremendous messy).


My vitality gel and vitality bar ideas and techniques


  • Something underneath 90 minutes, I’m okay not refueling so long as I had an honest breakfast.
  • I usually eat an vitality bar alone or with my breakfast at the very least two hours earlier than a race or a exercise. It’s straightforward and supplies what the physique wants.
  • For marathons, I strictly go along with vitality gels. When working at marathon effort, chewing and digesting a bar is simply too taxing.
  • Combine in several gel flavors and types (keep in mind to check them beforehand) to keep away from taste fatigue. I like to avoid wasting caffeinated ones for afterward within the race.
  • For extremely distances, particularly path ultras, that take 10+ hours and as much as 20+, stable meals is a should for me. Getting from one water station to the following typically takes a number of hours, so vitality bars are good for these conditions.
  • When consuming vitality bars, I don’t eat the entire thing in “one sitting.” It takes me 20-Half-hour to eat a bar. Take a chew, chew it completely and savor the style. Don’t need to over stress my jaw and abdomen. By the way in which, many manufacturers supply bite-size bars.
  • Packaging is a prime precedence when choosing an vitality bar or a gel. They need to rip open simply. Any additional effort to get to my gasoline can get annoying when fatigued or caught within the ache cave.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments