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Energy Gels For Cycling: Everything You Need To Know

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Energy gels are very popular among cyclists for a reason, and we at YesCycling love them. They could be a lifesaver in a moment of hunger when you can add a quick carbohydrate injection into your bloodstream. Indeed, they consist only of pure carbohydrates and water, but they can do miracles when you need them.

Our favorite energy gel brands:

What is an energy gel for cycling

In most cases, as we already mentioned above, energy gels consist of carbs and water. Normally its 35% carbs and 65% water, but this may vary. As we know, in order to absorb the food quickly the manufacturers add the water. That’s why it’s always a good idea to digest the gel with a little bit of water after that.

Unless the gel is isotonic, which means they don’t need water at all. In the isotonic beverages the gel will be absorbed directly with the liquid.

Read more: 10 Delicious Bike Snacks for Your Next Ride

How to take the energy gel

Another thing to have in mind is looking exactly how many carbohydrates are contained in each gel sashes. Your body can absorb about 60 carbs per hour, so you need to calculate a little bit. If it’s 30 grams of carbs in a gel, you can take max two sashes per hour.

So it’s essential to take the right amount of carbs in every moment of your ride. If you take more carbohydrates than you spend right now through cycling you will get bloated. It can result in a very bad pain mid-race.

Photo by Yomex Owo on Unsplash

Some additional tips

  • In about 20 minutes after you start your ride, you can take your first bite or in this case an energy gel
  • Don’t wait much more than 20-30 minutes, because after that you will need to take your gel as an emergency
  • Always take the energy gels with water
  • Don’t forget to eat solid foods as well. Some salty ones can control your electrolyte balances.
  • Try a few brands and types of energy gels before stocking up. You need to feel it right in your belly.
  • The sweet taste in your mouth have a physiological effect as well. It gives you a moral lift

Relying on energy gels is an astonishing strategy for many cyclists these days. And we at YesCycling love them as well.

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About Alek Asaduryan

Alek Asaduryan is the founder of YesCycling and has been riding bikes and in the cycling industry since 1991. Since then, his mission is to make cycling more accessible to everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people to achieve that. When he's not out riding his beloved fitness bike, Alek reports on news, gear, guides, and all things cycling related.