Energy Gels For Cycling: Everything You Need To Know

Energy gels are highly popular among cyclist no matter if they are the professional cyclist or just the one who love cycling out of fun. Energy gels perform certain tasks and usually recommended for the cyclist, but there are a lot of things that may confuse you when it comes to energy gels for cyclists.

So here is the complete guide to shade some light on the energy gels and what is the entire fuse about.

What are energy gels?

Energy gels are simply the refined carbs designed to provide a certain amount of energy to the body while doing the intense workout or in this case riding a bike. Energy gels are the mixture of simple sugars like glucose and fructose with other ingredients like salt, water, and caffeine.

Basically, energy gels are the quick, easy and simple solution to get the kick of energy while doing something intense which result in a lack of energy within the body.

two guys cycling uphills / carbohydrates

What does gel do?

Energy gels are one of the best mid-ride snacks for cyclists which provide them a needed amount of energy with salt to maintain electrolyte balance of the body. Most energy gels for cyclist have a certain amount of carbs and salt, which is important to get the high of energy when you are doing something like cycling.

They are prepared to give the energy boost to the regular cyclist. They are just the mid-ride snack to what the body needs without slow dawning or simply stopping between important rides.

Why are they beneficial?

When we talk about energy gels and that too about energy gels for the cyclist, this question is usually asked by a lot of people. So many people want to know what the benefits are of taking an energy gel in the middle of the long-distance ride.

Among all other benefits, the main benefit of the gel is to provide the punch of energy to the body in the form that it can easily be absorbed by the body and the body can push towards the end goal. Mostly, the professional riders or the one who normally takes a regular ride just for fun can have the limited amount of energy gels. Some of the other benefits are:

  • Provide enough dosage of carbohydrate so that body can have enough carbs for at least two hours.
  • Provide salts to the body which helps in balancing electrolyte.
  • A small amount of sugar is present in the bloodstream which helps in absorbing other nutrients.

Do you really need energy gels for cycling?

It is an important question and so the answer to this question. There is no doubt that energy gels provide strength and energy, but, they also make you sluggish if the amount is heavy on you. A regular professional rider or simply the casual rider can have the energy gels, but the professional riders need it more than any other out there.

a cyclist eating a sports gel
Image by Total Women’s Cycling

When to take an energy gel?

Generally, it is a good idea to have the energy gel during the ride when you started to feel that your strengths are going downhill. It helps in balancing the body weight on moving cycle as well as you got to know the side effects of eating energy gel as well.

So you can have the energy gels while cycling. There is no need to have the gel before the cycle or after the cycle energies.

How much energy gels to eat?

The amount of energy gel consuming by one person depends on the amount and time of exercise. If the person is cycling for few hours and going to push harder than the cyclist need at least one gel per hour. In my opinion between one and three gels per hour is absolutely enough.

What to look in energy gels for cycling?

There are many brands available in the market offering many types of energy gel. The best kind of energy gel is made up of herbal, natural ingredients. When you are looking to buy energy gels for cycling, examine the ingredients and check for artificial flavors and preservatives set. Do not buy energy gels loaded with empty calories.


One thing you should know that energy gels are loaded with calories and too much consumption may lead to tooth decay or other problems. Energy gels for cyclist are in a great way to get the strength back while cycling so that they can push hard. If use accordingly they can be used for various reasons. Remember that you should never replace full meals with energy gels. It’s always better to stop for a quick lunch and use the gels just for a supplement.

I would always prefer my personal favorite food for a cyclist – the banana! 

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