I have to admit off-the-bat to being an energy gel sceptic, so when I got my hands on the Stealth Real Fruit Energy Gels from secret-training, I wasn’t really all that sure I was going to enjoy the testing process. In truth, although the flavours came as a bit of a shock (particularly the banana gel, which actually tastes like banana), I really liked them. I wasn’t expecting the gels to actually tastes like the flavours on the packet, so this was a real treat. I tried the banana flavoured gel and the mango and passion fruit one, but there are a bunch of other flavours available to choose from.
Stealth gels on the go
The gels aren’t particularly thick, so they run easily – making for easy consumption on the go. I used the Stealth gels on a number of training runs. I often used the first one 30 minutes in, however thinking back, for me I think this was probably slightly premature and next time I would consume one about 50 minutes in. If running a marathon I would probably the take the second about 1 hour 45 minutes in and third approximately 45 minutes to an hour after that. If my energy reserves were feeling particularly exhausted in a run then I would probably consume two in an hour with short breaks between consumption. The back of the product recommends you take up to three gels per hour of exercise. The energy gels contain multiple energy substrates with sticky rice starch and fructose, this is where the quick burst of energy comes from. These gels assisted me to continue running comfortably, and being able to taste actual banana, mango and passion fruit was such as refreshing feeling when struggling.
Hitting those sugar cravings
Energy gels are generally super sweet, and these are no exception. If you find sweet products sickly, then this may not be the product for you. I generally find though that something sweet is very satisfying when you’re running. Your body tends to crave sugar when it’s doing something hard, to give it extra energy. This is obviously an issue when you’re sat in an office all day; but if you’re running 26 miles, it has it’s place. Make sure that you’re in tune with your body: be aware of how you feel and how you’re thinking. You’ll find gels can give you a bit of a mental boost as well as a physical one. Just find a way to use gels which is effective for you.
I’d definitely recommend these gels to other runners. The Stealth gels have the added benefit of being made with real fruit and being packed full of vitamins. If you have a big run coming, I’d say try them in your training runs first, rather than whacking them out for the first time on race day. There are loads of different types of gels on the Stealth website to choose from including energy gels with added caffeine, hydration gels and whey protein drinks. Follow Ben on Instagram @marathon_running