🔋Gels or ⚡️Chews and how to use them like a pro
A few years ago I was about to start a 130-mile ride down the coast of California as part of multi-day San Francisco to San Diego charity event. For many of the participants, this was a daunting athletic challenge. At the start, at 6 am I might add, I saw a number of people tear into and devour a Gel…This was the moment that I decided that I needed to start The Feed. That I could share my knowledge and help people with how to use performance nutrition, like Gels and Chews to their advantage, not their detriment.
The folks I saw devouring the Gel and Chews were going to be in for a rough day. They were now spiking their sugar levels and there was no way they could now consume enough chews and gels, aka Quick Energy, to sustain themselves for the next 8 hours of riding. The result I predicted (and came true) was that they had a significant energy crash after the first few hours and really struggled to finish the ride.
What they did wrong was timing their nutrition to their effort. It’s is not necessarily wrong to take a gel before a ride, if that event is short and intense and you can maintain these elevated sugar levels throughout your event (like a 1-hour race). But for most workouts, you don’t want to be downing a Gel at the start.
Here are my Three rules on using Quick Energy (aka Gels & Chews):
- Once you start using Quick Energy, you have to keep using it until your workout or event is over.
- For short events, you can start earlier and generally opt for a caffeinated option.
- For longer events, count back from the end of your workout. If you have Gels, and you need to use one every 3 minutes, then you can start 3 hours before the end of your workout. As a rule of thumb for long multi-hour events, wait until you are 50% through your workout before starting Quick Energy.
Quick Energy is your friend and will help you finish your workers stronger. They will also let you push your self harder for longer and get an even better training effect, i.e. you will see more fitness gains post recovery from having pushed your limits harder than you could have without the addition of Quick Energy.
Should I use Gels or Chews?
Both function the same way. It is personal preference which one you want to use. I tend to go with Chews as I can regulate my dosage more (and the used wrapper is less sticky).
How many Chews to take at once?
I like to use 2 individual chews at a time and take them every 15 minutes or so. This provides me even consumption of quick energy without every getting to big a spike.
How often do you take a Gel?
Your goal is even energy consumption. If you are doing are trying to do a fast two and half hour marathon you would be consuming a Gel every 15 minutes. But for us mere mortals, aim for a maximum of every 20 minutes (3 per hour) to every 30 minutes (2 per hour). I’ll admit that in slower, longer workouts I might push this to over 45 minutes per Gel, but if I go beyond that I can feel my energy levels dropping.
The Feed is the best place to buy gels and chews. We are really the only online store that has almost every product available in single servings. So you aren’t forced into buying a box of 12 or 18 and then find out you are sick of the flavor before you are halfway through the box. At The Feed, you get just what you need and can mix and match flavors and even the brands of Gels and Chews so you have more variety.
Plus when you have more variety or something new to eat, you look forward to trying it and are more likely to keep fueling more consistently during your workouts.
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Article by: Matt. Founder-The Feed.