How do you use sports gels?


In this episode, my co-host Wes joins me to discuss sports gels. We discuss how to use sports gels to enhance sports performance and the common pitfalls of their use. We also compare brands and give you tips on what to look out for.

This month’s series, we have covered a range of useful sports nutrition topics. If you want to learn more about food prep for hard gainers or hydration, make sure you go back and listen to previous episodes.

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Check out this episode!


How do you use sports gels?

0.00 Sports gels are sachets of liquid, typically used in endurance based sports.

4.05 Are sports gels needed for people who train at the gym? Sometimes hard gainers use gels at the gym to gain weight. However, it isn’t necessary. Eating more nutritious foods is a far better option.

6.07 Gels are a combination of fructose and glucose. Hard gainers tend to use honey or dextrose in their post train shake instead of using gels.

8.50 Who are sports gels useful for? Sports gels contain 30-35g of carbohydrates, it is useful for people who are doing more than 1.5hrs of continuous exercise. Useful for sports people, such as; marathon runners, triathletes, ocean swimmers and cyclists. It is recommended to leave the use of sports gels for competitions and race days, rather than over use them during training, as it may cause unnecessary weight gain and too much sugar consumption.

11.02 Gels will cause weight gain if you are not burning off the energy. A common thing you will see is recreational cyclists over use gels, and hence why they don’t lose weight.

12.29 For example during 2hour long rides you probably don’t need gels, take other snacks instead, such as crackers or fruit if you need them.

13.20 Good idea to practice using gels before competition to learn how to manually handle them through a race. It is also useful to get you gut used to the high volume of fructose, so you don’t get stomach upset.

16.03 Caffeine is a bowel stimulant, which may also compound gut issues.

17.41 What brands of sports gels do you like using? All the different brands have different flavours, extra ingredients like caffeine and sodium. Pay attention to carbohydrate dose per gel to quantify how much you need to take in.

19.00 We discuss the ingredients of the following brands: Torque, SIS (Science in sports) and Bsc (Body science energy gel).

20.30 The primary purpose of a sports gel is for energy not for rehydrating per say. When clients get a program from me we try to hit targets of carbohydrates, sodium, caffeine and fluid per hour during a race.


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