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Best Energy Gels for your next Marathon

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Best Energy Gels for your next Marathon

The Marathon is a long-distance race of 26.2 Miles, or around 42K. Usually a road race but sometimes run on trail routes, the marathon has become one of the most popular long-distance races. Although their popularity certainly doesn’t mean they are easy, and even the best runners still need to consider their nutrition.

How to fuel a marathon?

There are three phases of your nutrition to consider for Marathon running- pre, during, and post.

Pre-marathon you will be making sure your glycogen stores are fully topped up (this is where you get your energy from) and that you are properly hydrated.

Unlike a shorter race such as a 5 or 10k, you will be exercising for well over an hour which means you’re going to need to use in-race fuelling to keep these stores topped up while you run.

Post Marathon your nutrition will focus on recovery, replenishing lost glycogen and electrolytes, and repairing damaged muscles.

Read more about Marathon Nutrition planning with our Nutrition Guides.

Energy Gels

Energy gels are one of the most popular and common products for in-race fuelling. Favoured for being easy to consume on the go and store in your pocket. Energy gels aren’t a new concept, but their popularity has grown enormously in recent years.

If you haven’t used energy gels before you can check out our handy guide on Energy Gels: How and When You Should Use Them .

Things to Consider

If you’ve decided to include Energy Gels in your Marathon Nutrition plan (we highly recommend that you do), here are some things to consider:

Calorie and carb content are always important to consider, you will want these to be fairly high if you plan to run a marathon with your gels. Energy Gels use a dual carb blend, for example a Maltodextrin & Fructose blend. This ensures better and faster carb absorption whilst avoiding stomach upset.

Replenishing your electrolytes is vital for staying hydrated, some people will use hydration drinks or hydration tablets for this, but some gels also have added electrolytes (like Sodium & Potassium) and can save you carrying extra nutrition.

A lot of Energy Gels have a caffeinated option available. Caffeine is a stimulant which enhances focus, for some people this can be useful near the end of a long race for a final boost.

It is always important to consider the other products that you might be using in conjunction with your energy gels as these may contain some of the same ingredients or have similar nutritional content, you don’t want to overload.

How many gels do you need?

This will vary from person to person depending on your nutritional requirements and the nutritional contents of your chosen gels. As a general guideline most people will need to consume somewhere between 30-60 grams of carbs an hour during a Marathon, so this could look like 1-2 gels per hour.

As we mentioned before, you don’t need to get all of these from your energy gels, just consider the contents of any other nutrition you use and how it might interact with your gels.

Flavour Fatigue

This can be a real issue for runners. A lot of people will find their one favourite gel and stick with it, whilst this is completely fine to do it can cause flavour fatigue.

An easy way to avoid this is by finding a range of gels you like that has several different flavours that you can switch between. The majority of gels these days come in a variety of flavours, for example the SIS GO Isotonic Gels & the Torq Energy Gels both come in a large range of flavours.


Even if your energy gels contain electrolytes, it’s still important to sip water throughout your race to stay properly hydrated. Many energy gels also need to be taken with water to aid digestion.

Our Recommendations

With everything we have just discussed in mind, here are our top Energy Gel picks for your next marathon.

TORQ Energy Gel

  • 114 Calories
  • 29g Carbohydrates (2:1 Maltodextrin: Fructose)
  • 5 Electrolytes: 49mg Sodium, 1mg Magnesium, 24mg Potassium, 6mg Calcium, 99mg Chloride
  • Range of great flavour options


Precision Fuel & Hydration PF 30 Gel


Mountain Fuel Hydrogel Sports Jelly Plus

  • 119 Calories
  • 30g Carbohydrates
  • Added electrolytes: 46mg Sodium & 54mg Potassium
  • Caffeine option available


STYRKR GEL30 Duel-Carb Gel

  • 128 Calories
  • 30g Carbohydrates (1:0.8 Maltodextrin:Fructose)
  • Added L-Arginine & L-Citrulline: Lowers the ‘oxygen cost’ of exercise.



These are just a few of the great options available from us.

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