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Hiking Energy Gels

Dive into a world of endless energy possibilities with our wide range of hiking energy gels, available in an array of shapes, flavours, and sizes. Designed to replenish your depleted carbohydrate stores during long walks, hikes or whenever you need that extra boost, our energy gels are a game-changer for your performance.

Hiking Energy Gels: Insights

TRAIL TIPSWhy Use Energy Gels for Hiking?

One of the most convenient and effective ways to fuel your body on the hiking trail is with energy gels. Whether you're tackling a day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip, understanding how energy gels work with your body and when to use them can be a game-changer for your endurance and performance.

WHY USE AN ENERGY GEL?

Your body uses two main fuel sources: fat and carbohydrates. While fat is abundant, it breaks down more slowly into usable energy, making it less effective for strenuous activities like hiking.

This means your body will primarily rely on carbohydrates as a fuel source. However, your body can only store a limited amount of carbohydrates in the muscles, known as glycogen.

Depending on the intensity of your hike, this glycogen can be depleted in as little as 1-2 hours. This is where energy gels come in handy, providing a quick boost of carbohydrates to keep you going.

HOW CAN AN ENERGY GEL HELP?

Energy gels are designed to provide a concentrated source of simple sugars that are quickly absorbed into your bloodstream as glucose, giving you a spike in energy. This glucose is then absorbed by your active muscles and organs.

Each gel typically provides 15-45 minutes of energy with approximately 25g of carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, an accessible energy source for your body to process.

Many energy gels also contain additional ingredients to boost performance:

CAFFEINE - Can improve alertness, concentration, reaction times, and the ability to push harder for longer by lowering the perception of effort.

ELECTROLYTES - Helps prevent muscle cramping, heat illness, dehydration, and hyponatremia (low sodium levels).

AMINO ACIDS (BCAAs) - The building blocks of muscle. Low BCAA levels may contribute to fatigue or the perception of fatigue, a condition known as 'central fatigue'.

Note: If using caffeine gels, consider alternating with non-caffeinated options to avoid overconsumption.

WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE AN ENERGY GEL?

Timing is crucial when it comes to fueling with energy gels. Don't wait until you're already feeling fatigued, as this may be too late. This is a common reason why people experience "bonking" or "hitting the wall" on the trail.

The ideal time to consume an energy gel depends on your body and the intensity of your hike. Generally, you'll feel the effects of an energy gel about 15 minutes after consumption.

As a general guideline, consider taking an energy gel (rated for 45 minutes of energy) every 45-60 minutes or every 3-5 miles during strenuous hikes. This will help maintain your energy levels without overloading your stomach with too much sugar at once.

WARNING - These are general guidelines based on 45-minute energy gels. Always check the packaging for specific consumption recommendations.

WHAT'S THE CONSISTENCY OF ENERGY GELS?

Energy gels come in a variety of consistencies, from thick and chewy to drink-like textures, with varying flavor intensities. Some may find certain textures or flavors more palatable than others.

With a wide range of flavors available, from citrus fruits to decadent dessert-inspired options or even coffee flavors, the only way to know what works best for you is to try different brands and varieties.

SHOULD I TEST DIFFERENT GELS?

Practice makes perfect. As with any nutrition strategy, it's essential to test different energy gels during your training hikes to find what works best for your body before relying on them on race day or multi-day treks.

Long training hikes provide the perfect opportunity to experiment with different energy gel brands, flavors, and consumption timings to dial in your fueling strategy.

SHOULD I CONSUME WATER WITH ENERGY GELS?

It's generally recommended to consume energy gels with water, as this can aid digestion and absorption. However, some energy gel formulas are designed to be consumed without water.

Without water, some energy gels may take longer to digest and enter the bloodstream, potentially delaying the performance benefits. Additionally, avoid consuming energy gels with sports drinks unless it's part of a planned fueling strategy, as the combined intake of gels and sports drinks can provide too much sugar at once.

ENERGY GELS OR ENERGY CHEWS?

Both energy gels and energy chews are popular options for active individuals seeking a quick carbohydrate boost. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice depends on your personal preferences and needs.

Energy gels offer a quick and easy way to consume carbohydrates and electrolytes but may not be suitable for those who dislike the texture or taste.

Energy chews, on the other hand, offer a more appealing taste and texture but may take longer to consume and may not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions.

To find the best option for you, keep track of your experiences with different products, note what works and what doesn't, and make adjustments as needed. You can find a more detailed comparison of energy gels and energy chews here.


Hiking Energy Gels: Brands

  • GU Gels GU Energy Gel XMiles
    GU

    GU Energy Gel

    From €2,61 - €51,86 EUR

    A mix of carbohydrates (maltodextrin and fructose) to maximise carbohydrate absorption and reduce GI distress, sodium to maintain hydration levels...

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  • Hüma Gels Huma Chia Energy Gel XMiles
    Hüma Gels Huma Gel: Original - 44g XMiles
    Hüma

    Huma Chia Energy Gel

    From €2,61 - €57,40 EUR

    Are you looking for a delicious and effective way to fuel your workouts and stay energized throughout the day? Look no further than Hüma Gel: Orig...

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  • Maurten Gels Box of 12 / GEL 100 GEL 100 XMiles
    Maurten Gels GEL 100 XMiles
    Maurten

    GEL 100

    From €3,53 - €42,26 EUR

    GEL 100 by Maurten is utilized by athletes globally for fuel during their workouts. Each gel features a custom combination of fructose and glucose...

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  • Torq Gels Apple Crumble TORQ Energy Gel - 45g Gel XMiles
    Torq Gels TORQ Energy Gel - 45g Gel XMiles
    Torq

    TORQ Energy Gel

    From €2,80 - €38,48 EUR

    Each gel packs a punch, delivering 30 grams of carbohydrate (significantly more than many other brands) allowing it to function as part of the uniq...

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  • Mountain Fuel Gels Single Serve / Orange Hydrogel Sports Jelly (60g) XMiles
    Mountain Fuel Gels Hydrogel Sports Jelly (60g) XMiles
    Mountain Fuel

    Hydrogel Sports Jelly

    From €2,09 - €39,14 EUR

    Description Mountain Fuel Hydrogel Sports Jelly is one of the most effective, convenient and efficient ways to fuel for endurance activities. Using...

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  • SiS Gels GO Isotonic Energy Gel 60ml XMiles
    SiS Gels GO Isotonic Energy Gel 60ml XMiles
    SiS

    GO Isotonic Energy Gel

    From €2,28 - €45,01 EUR

    SiS' GO Isotonic Energy Gel is an award-winning and highly acclaimed product designed to provide athletes with a convenient and effective source o...

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  • Precision Hydration Gels Single Serve PF 30 Gel XMiles
    Precision Hydration Gels Single Serve PF 30 Gel XMiles
    Precision Fuel & Hydration

    PF 30 Gel

    From €2,94 - €39,12 EUR

    Engineered with the athlete in mind, this gel provides a quick and efficient way to replenish your energy levels with 30g of carbohydrates. Whethe...

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  • GU Gels GU Roctane Energy Gels - 32g Gel XMiles
    GU Gels Roctane Energy Gel XMiles
    GU

    Roctane Energy Gel

    From €3,91 - €84,80 EUR

    Fuel your long-distance workouts and races with GU Roctane Energy Gels. These gels are packed with carbohydrates, electrolytes, and branched-chain ...

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  • High5 Gels High 5 Energy Gel Sachet 40g XMiles
    High5 Gels Energy Gel XMiles
    High5

    Energy Gel

    From €1,94 - €24,79 EUR

    Introducing High5 Energy Gel, the ultimate fuel for your active lifestyle. Designed to provide an instant and sustained energy boost during exerci...

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