9 Best Energy Gels for Running: Your Power Boost 2024

You know it too! You’re on your long run and somehow, after a certain amount of time, a small dip in performance creeps in. So you notice how it’s getting slower and you’re lacking energy. This is exactly why I always have a few of the best energy gels for running with me. You can find out what they are here!

Best Energy Gels for Running to Increase Your Performance

Honey Stinger Smoothie Energy Gel

600+ bought in past month / Our Pick
Honey Stinger Smoothie Energy Gel
$33.35 ($1.26 / Ounce)

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Quality Ingredients
  • ✅ Easy to degist
  • ✅ Energy boost

Con:

  • ❌ Not many different flavors
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05/15/2024 11:22 am GMT

After tucking the Honey Stinger Smoothie Gel into my running belt, I set out for a long jog around the neighborhood. The energy slumps that usually hit were kept at bay. I took it right before a hill, and the difference was noticeable. My legs felt lighter, and I maintained a steady pace.

Later in the run, I was grateful for the gel’s light texture. It didn’t feel heavy in my stomach, and I avoided the dreaded side stitch that can come with richer gels. Plus, it was like a tasty treat that I looked forward to—much better than the bland flavors I’ve had in the past.

It’s a game-changer for endurance workouts. These gels will indeed become a staple for my longer sessions, and I’m excited to keep them close by for my upcoming marathon!

GU Energy Gels

Performance Fuel
GU Energy Gels
$35.46 ($1.34 / Ounce)

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Tasty variety of flavors keeping the palate entertained
  • ✅ Immediate and sustained energy release
  • ✅ Compact and portable, perfect for endurance activities

Con´s:

  • ❌ Some flavors may have too much caffeine for sensitive individuals
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05/18/2024 12:29 pm GMT

With flavors like Strawberry-Banana and Mandarin Orange, it felt like I was indulging in a fruity treat while giving my body the necessary fuel.

The compact and easy-to-tear packaging fit snugly in my pocket, making it incredibly convenient to carry around. Even while pushing the pace, I could grab a gel, rip it open, and get that energy injection without breaking stride.

For those sensitive to caffeine, be mindful of the caffeine content, which varies by flavor. Though beneficial for an extra boost, it could be a tad overwhelming if you’re not used to it. The texture is typical of energy gels—somewhat thick and viscous—which might not be to everyone’s liking.

Tri-Berry Energy Boost

1K+ bought in past month
Tri-Berry Energy Boost
$12.80 ($1.45 / Ounce)

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Quick and sustained energy boost
  • ✅ Easy to carry and consume mid-run
  • ✅ Delightfully tasty for an energy gel

Con´s:

  • ❌ Texture may be too thick for some
  • ❌ Requires water to digest comfortably
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05/18/2024 09:11 am GMT

When I first squeezed a packet of GU Energy Gel into my mouth around mile five, I was skeptical. However, the surge of vitality was unmistakable. The dual-source energy seemed to kick in right when I needed it, and unlike other products, it didn’t crash and burn.

Convenience is key when you’re in the zone, and the portability of GU Energy Gels is a game changer. Tucking a few into my shorts, I barely noticed them as I ran. When it was time for a boost, I tore one open effortlessly, even with sweaty fingers. The Tri-Berry flavor was surprisingly pleasant, a welcome departure from overly artificial tastes common in other gels.

Now, if you’re not used to the consistency of energy gels, the GU may catch you off guard; it’s undeniably gooey. I found that chasing it with water helped me swallow it down and prevented any stomach distress that can sometimes accompany concentrated doses of glucose.

Sports Nutrition Energy Gel

Energy Boost
Sports Nutrition Energy Gel
$12.80 ($1.45 / Ounce)

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Quick absorption for sustained energy
  • ✅ Delicious taste that makes it easy to ingest
  • ✅ Ingredients support muscle recovery

Con´s:

  • ❌ Limited sodium and potassium for electrolyte replenishment
  • ❌ Flavor may not suit all palates
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05/18/2024 01:28 pm GMT

I noticed a steady stream of energy, without the spikes and crashes, which I attribute to the gel’s dual energy source. Since they’re caffeine-free, they gave me the assurance of no jittery side effects, just a smooth, consistent performance which is crucial when I’m clocking in the miles.

What impressed me the most, though, were the branched-chain amino acids. They seem to play a big part in my recovery, as I was less sore than usual after a demanding half marathon. Nevertheless, I’ve kept an eye on the fact that for longer or more intense sessions, additional electrolytes might be warranted, as the amount in each gel is modest.

Hüma Chia Energy Gel Variety Pack

Energy Kick
Hüma Chia Energy Gel Variety Pack
$29.95 ($1.66 / Ounce)

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Made with real food ingredients for easy digestion
  • ✅ Variety of flavors to suit all tastes
  • ✅ Contains chia seeds for sustained energy release

Con´s:

  • ❌ Watery consistency may not appeal to everyone
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05/18/2024 12:28 pm GMT

The blend of fruit puree and chia seeds provided a smooth, stomach-friendly texture. Mixed with the upbeat rhythm of my steps, the boost was evident yet not overpowering, which allowed me to maintain a consistent pace without the jitters.

The tropical taste of mango was a refreshing departure from the overwhelmingly sweet flavors I’m used to from other gels. My palate sang with appreciation as I navigated the winding paths. Being a stickler for natural nutrition, the transparent ingredient list of Hüma gels really hit home; knowing exactly what fuels me offers an immeasurable peace of mind during grueling long runs.

While I found the watery texture to be a relief, making the gel easy to consume mid-run, some might prefer a thicker consistency to slow down consumption. It’s a minor detail because, in terms of performance, Hüma held up impeccably.

Glukos Lightning Energy

Pure & Clean
Glukos Lightning Energy
$19.58 ($1.63 / Ounce)

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Digests easily without any stomach trouble
  • ✅ Noticeable pick-me-up in my energy levels
  • ✅ Clean ingredient list, vegan-friendly

Con´s:

  • ❌ The Lemon Lime flavor isn't for everyone
  • ❌ Only 12 in a pack, which may not last long for frequent runners
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05/18/2024 08:41 am GMT

I popped open a Glukos Energy Gel mid-run and was immediately grateful for the easy-to-swallow texture. Unlike some thicker gels I’ve tried, this one was a breeze to consume even while pacing quickly. The energy uplift was almost instant, helping me power through the last few miles without feeling weighed down.

One thing I truly appreciated was the simple ingredient list. Plus, knowing it’s made with clean, vegan ingredients puts my mind at ease about what I’m putting in my body.

Lastly, I must mention the convenience. The packaging allows for easy storage in a pocket, and there was no mess. .

GU Espresso Love Energy Gel

High Caffeine
GU Espresso Love Energy Gel
$47.19 ($1.79 / Ounce)

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Surprisingly tasty for an energy gel
  • ✅ No stomach issues, easy to digest
  • ✅ Noticeable energy surge without the crash

Con´s:

  • ❌ Slightly thick consistency
  • ❌ Caffeine may not suit late-evening workouts
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05/18/2024 09:11 am GMT

Sliding the packet of GU Espresso Love Energy Gel into my pocket, I hit the trail with anticipation. First impressions? The taste was a pleasant surprise – not the usual cloying sweetness you might expect from an energy gel, with a robust coffee flavor that was much welcomed.

Mid-run, I squeezed the contents and found the gel smooth enough to swallow without water. Legs that had felt heavy began to pump with a renewed vigor, carrying me through the rest of my run with ease.

As the miles stacked up, I monitored for the dreaded energy dip, but the gel lived up to its promise – delivering a sustained boost. The addition of caffeine seemed to sharpen my focus, which is just what’s needed during those challenging endurance sessions.

Clif Shot Energy Gel

Fuel Up
Clif Shot Energy Gel
$27.43 ($0.95 / Ounce)

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Doesn't melt
  • ✅ Multiple flavors for varied tastes
  • ✅ The Litter Leash packaging is brilliant for mid-run

Con´s:

  • ❌ Some may find the consistency thicker than other gels
  • ❌ Non-caffeinated may not suit runners looking for a caffeine boost
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05/18/2024 08:41 am GMT

It’s like a cheat treat that boosts your stamina without the junk food guilt. The texture is a bit more substantial than other gels I’ve tried, which makes it feel like real sustenance during long stretches.

The Litter Leash design, which keeps the top connected even after ripping it open, is a small but thoughtful feature. It meant I could keep my eyes on the path while refueling and not worry about dropping plastic on the trail.

Perhaps the most distinctive advantage over other brands is the peace of mind from knowing I’m consuming mostly organic ingredients.

Transcend Glucose Gels

100+ bought in past month
Transcend Glucose Gels
$39.99 ($3.78 / Ounce)

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Swiftly increases blood sugar levels
  • ✅ Lusciously strawberry flavored
  • ✅ Ultra-portable pouch design

Con´s:

  • ❌ The strong taste might not suit everyone's palate.
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01/28/2024 02:41 pm GMT

Just today, during my mid-morning run, I hit that dreaded wall. My gut told me I was headed for a sugar low, but I wasn’t the least bit worried because I had a Transcend Glucose Gel in my pocket. Within minutes of downing the gel, I could feel my energy levels surging back. I’m always impressed by how swiftly they work.

I love the burst of strawberry flavor; it’s a nice departure from some of the more medicinal-tasting gels I’ve used in the past.

While the syrup consistency is not everyone’s cup of tea, I appreciate it because I can easily gulp it down without needing to chew. On a practical note, the pouches are incredibly logistically friendly – they slip into even the smallest pocket. I always have one stashed away whether I’m in my running shorts or my gym bag.

Buying Guide

🏃 Ingredients

I always check the ingredient list first. What’s inside makes a huge difference! Look for best energy gels for running that contain:

  • 🏃 Carbohydrates: To fuel my muscles.
  • 🏃 Electrolytes: To replenish what’s lost through sweat.
  • 🏃 Amino acids: They can aid in muscle recovery post-run.

Keep an eye out for the presence of caffeine if you’re sensitive to it or need that extra kick.

🍯 Consistency

The texture is a personal preference, but it can affect how easy the gel is to consume on the run. Options include:

  • 🍯 Thick and sticky
  • 🍯 Light and watery

🌿 Natural vs. Synthetic

I consider whether I want natural ingredients or if synthetic ones are acceptable. Some runners prefer gels with organic ingredients and no added preservatives, colors, or flavors.

🏁 Taste

Since I’ll be consuming these during my runs, the flavor is important! I look for a taste that I enjoy and can tolerate repeatedly, especially during longer races or training sessions.

⚖️ Nutritional Profile

Understanding the nutritional information is crucial:

NutrientWhy It’s Important
CarbsThey’re my main source of energy.
SodiumEssential for nerve and muscle function.
CaloriesShould align with my energy needs.
SugarProvides quick energy, but I check for how much and what kind of sugar is included.
Nutrient in best energy gels for running

I always choose best energy gels for running that align with my dietary needs and fitness goals. A thoughtful selection ensures that I’m fueled properly for every run!

I can also recommend our articles about the best running hats and best running rain jacket. There is also the right one for you here!


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Sebastian Gradl 26.09.2023
Sebastian Gradl

Nice to meet you, I´m Sebastian Gradl!

I write the articles on runfitjourney.com.

I hope I can awaken your passion for running too and would be happy to take you on the runfitjourney!

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