Maintaining the right level of carbohydrate, electrolyte, and water in your body is necessary especially if you have a very active life. That is due to the fact that you consume more energy and body fluid than normal. Hence, if you do not do so, you might end up dehydrated and fatigued. Of course, muscle and bodily pains are other things that can only be relieved by rest.
Many experts recommend that hikers, joggers, runners, triathlon participants, and other individuals who do strenuous physical activities take products that are exclusively designed for energy boosting. The energy gels belong to this group and are now starting to make a name in the athletic world. They are consumed in order to increase the level of carbohydrates and calories in the body that are used as energy sources. As such, users will not totally use up the stored energy that they have gotten from their normal diet.
However, since there are already a lot of brands and varieties, you should be careful when purchasing one. With that in mind, we have put together tips on how to choose the right energy gel.
Choosing the Energy Gel
The very first thing that you need to look at is the component of the energy gel that you intend to buy. It is recommended that you choose those that have natural ingredients. In general, energy gels will contain salt as a source of electrolyte, water for hydration, and fructose in combination with glucose and/or caffeine for an energy boost.
Another thing to consider when buying energy gels is the packaging of the product. It should be labeled and sealed properly to ensure the safety of the product. Likewise, you must also check if the product can easily be carried around especially if you need to bring one for replenishment. Such is especially true for long marathons and triathlons. Hence, it must be packed in small, easy-to-open, and lightweight containers.
Nonetheless, no matter what brand you choose, you must always remember that there are recommended ways of consuming energy gels.
Consuming the Energy Gel
Generally speaking, water is very important when energy gels are taken since they are usually produced in concentrated forms. Meaning, they have more solutes than solvents that can make the body dehydrated. Also, if energy gels are taken before a physical activity, it should be done 45 or 60 minutes prior. Similarly, the amount of carbohydrates and protein present should be 25 to 45 grams and up to 12 grams, respectively. In case electrolytes or salt are present, it should be from 100 to 200 milligrams.
Since some of you may replenish during the activity, you must have an energy gel that contains at 110 to 200 grams of sodium, 21 to 34 grams of carbohydrate, 50 to 70 calories, and if possible or preferred, caffeine. Further, if you plan to take energy gels after your physical activity, choose the isotonic types since they have the right balance of water and solutes.
Buying and consuming energy gels should be done in a very careful manner since doing such wrongly may cause you some troubles. Hence, it is always best to buy one that have great reviews and consume it by following the manufacturer’s or your trainer’s recommendations.