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HomeSuperfoodPower Gels vs. Sports activities Drinks, Similar Freakin’ Factor? – RUNIVORE

Power Gels vs. Sports activities Drinks, Similar Freakin’ Factor? – RUNIVORE

Are power gels and sports activities drinks the identical factor? The reply shouldn’t be actually but additionally form of sure.

They serve the identical objective: replenishing misplaced vitamins, notably carbohydrates and electrolytes. Placing all the flamboyant advertising apart, they’re basically sugar water of differing concentrations and ship easy sugars that may be shortly transformed into glycogen.

An power gel delivers carbohydrates in a higlhy concentrated answer and requires water consumption to help digestion. And a sports activities drink does the identical however in a extra diluted combination and ideally also needs to hydrate the physique.

As with most subjects relating to sports activities diet, it is dependent upon the person athlete, and completely different conditions name for various choices. Beneath are my previous studying on fueling with gels and drinks and their execs and cons in your consideration.



What are power gels and their execs and cons?

Right here’s the easy and basic definition of an power gela carbohydrate-rich, gel-like substance conveniently packaged to replenish misplaced energy and vitamins throughout train.

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 right 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.


  • I often really feel power surges of assorted magnitude inside 5-8 minutes; for some manufacturers, even quicker. Gels merely work, particularly for shorter and quicker occasions.
  • Compact, gentle, and matches nicely in most fuel-carrying gears.
  • Tremendous simple to eat when on the transfer, even at increased intensities.


  • Clearly, the style ain’t nice and I’m all the time cautious of the dreaded sweetness fatigue.
  • Sugar spikes and crashes are widespread negative effects.
  • Nonetheless have to fret about chasing the gels with fluids to make sure correct digestion and hydration.
  • Unhealthy and never appropriate as each day exercise gas.


What are sports activities drinks and their execs and cons?

Simply like gels and bars, sports activities drinks are available diverse codecs. Some like Gatorade and Pocari Sweat (a favourite right here in Asia) are completed merchandise in plastic bottles. Others are bought in massive tubs of powder, and it’s important to combine it your self.

As talked about, sugars are essentially the most crucial elements, and plenty of sports activities drinks embrace the standard extras – electrolytes, caffeine, amino acids, nutritional vitamins, and so forth. – to supply a extra balanced gas than power gels.

The absorption course of is much like that of gels described above. One distinction that may be thought-about a bonus over gels is sports activities drinks ought to already encompass the correct amount of water. Subsequently, no further fluids should be drawn into the abdomen for digestion.




  • I’m a fan of powder mixes, which lets me customise. For instance, I can go along with a extra diluted combination for lengthy and straightforward efforts that received’t utterly drain my saved carbohydrates.
  • Drinks are extra palatable in contrast with gels, for my part. In the event you’re like me and don’t prefer it too candy, the flavour is customizable too.
  • I may also keep away from massive spikes and troughs of blood sugar ranges by mixing a much less concentrated answer. It’s a approach to stop gastrointestinal stress.
  • Refuel power + hydrate – killing two birds with one stone.
  • Drink mixes are bought in bulk. I combine my drinks in reusable flasks and bottles, making it an environment-friendly gas choice.


  • For races, sports activities drinks weigh me down. A typical gel is 30g and supplies 20g of carbohydrates and 100 energy. The rule of thumb is each 20-25g of carbohydrates require 250 ml of water to course of. To get the identical quantity of carbohydrates and energy as a packet of power gel, it’s important to convey 250g of sports activities drink.
  • Typical knowledge states that endurance athletes ought to eat 1g of carbohydrate per kg of physique weight per hour, that means a 60kg athlete ought to soak up 60g of carbohydrates every hour. That’s 750g of sports activities drink, loads of weight.
  • Appropriate for exercises however not race days. Non-elite marathoners and half-marathoners don’t have the luxurious of putting water bottles all through the course, so drinks are usually not sensible for us weekend warriors.


My power gel and sports activities drink ideas and techniques


  • For actions beneath 90 minutes, I’m okay not refueling so long as I had a good meal earlier than hand.
  • Sports activities drinks could be a better option for runners with delicate stomachs. Make a much less concentrated answer or take small sips at common intervals.
  • For marathons, I strictly go along with power gels. When working at exhausting marathon effort, a water bottle weighs me down.
  • Have quite a lot of gel flavors and types (bear in mind to check them beforehand) to keep away from taste fatigue. I like to avoid wasting caffeinated ones for in a while within the race.
  • I generally squeeze 1-2 power gels into my 500 ml water flasks to make a sports activities drink.
  • For each 20g of carbohydrates, goal to drink round 250 ml of water. That is additionally the extensively accepted ratio for mixing power drinks.
  • When utilizing each gels and drinks throughout the identical session, watch out for sugar overload attributable to chasing gels with a carbohydrate-dense drink.
  • Concerning efficiency and effectiveness, they each work effective for me. I choose my gas in response to the occasion.

For instance:

If it’s a street race with frequent water stations, I’ll go along with gels and eat one proper earlier than I seize a cup of water to clean it down. They weigh much less, they’re compact they usually’re simple.

If it’s a exercise the place I’m working loops and have a house base to arrange water bottles, I’ll go along with power drinks. Run in, take a fast gulp and run out once more. Drinks style higher so I desire it for on a regular basis coaching.

Sports activities drinks could be the higher selection for ultramarathons, which require a gradual, average tempo. Since I’ve to hold at the least a 12-liter pack/vest with obligatory gears and water flasks for a lot of of those occasions anyhow, weight shouldn’t be ta massive concern.



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