Energy Gell advice

I am running a half marathon in just over a month and am thinking about using energy gel both during training and on race day to enhance my performance. I am looking at using High 5 Energy Gel or High 5 isoGel. I understand the basic difference but would appreciate anyones advice based on past expereice or knowledge.

Also, I would like to know a little more about how they work before I order them, ie do you really not need to drink any water if you use the isoGel and do you need to mix Energy Gel with water. Finally, what is the suggested dosage for them, before/during a run?

Thanks in advance!


  • I tend to go with the SIS stuff so not sure differences. I'll try to blag this. If something is Isotonic which I presume High5 isogel is. You shouldnt need to drink water with it as the solution should be right for your stomach to absorb as it is. If however its a thick gel you will need to drink water to make it Isotonic so your body can absorb. As to how much I wouldnt like to say but you should be drinking enough for it not to matter too much.

    Firstly mak sure you get some training runs in whilst using them. Dont just do it on the day.

    Secondly do you absolutely need to use them?  The reason for gels is to replace the carbs running uses. You can run up to 90minutes roughly before needing to reload. So if you are running a 1.40 - 1.50 ish HM you may not need to bother.

    Also another thing to think about is when you are running at a nice gentle pace say during and ultra your stomach can absorb things better because it gets a normal blood flow. However during the quick pace of a HM your body pumps blood to where it needs it at the time and not to your stomach. So digesting food its alot harder and takes a lot longer.

    Thats my 2 cents. Their are much more wise heads out there than me and may say different but i'd stick with Isotonic drinks for the duration?

  • tbh, i dont think you will get much benifit from them over half marathon distance, i would drink water with them if you do, just because to me they leave a somewhat sticky taste after. make sure you use them a few times before you race too, last thing you wanna do is try them out on race day. 

    personally i use GU ones, 

  • Sorry and just to answer your last couple of questions. I wouldn't tend to bother taking before a run. During a long run I dont take anthing until about 1hr 45 mins in and then I eat proper food, bagels being a favourite image but I do top up with gels every hour. However some manufacturers say 3 an hour but thats likely to make you bulkimage

  • Thanks for the advice guys! Very useful. As it is my first HM and my time is probably going to be very slow (over 2 hours) would you say it would be worth taking some gels when doing longer runs in training and on race day or would I be better to stear clear completely until I am doing longer races like marathons and beyond?

  • I use High 5 and they don't taste as bad as some others, I particularly like the berry/summer fruit flavour. The Iso ones are quite thin and you don't have to drink to get them down, for the normal ones I'd have a drink to hand to help wash them down. The plus "+" version with caffine are also not bad tasting and the caffine obviously has its advantages/disadvantages.

    As the other have said half marathon is probably short enough to not need them but I have used them (I run them in 1:40ish) taken one after about an hour, probably more of a psychological boast than physical.

  • Personally I'd not bother with them. Your body should be able to run over 15 miles without any extra energy, probably nearer 20. 

    On a half marathon I dont bother drinking unless its very hot - so having a gel and water to wash it down would slow me. 

    Save your money I say. 

  • I use GU gels in HM training on over-distance runs. Will probably use one before and one during the race, at halfway, and maybe carry another for emergencies. I agree that you can run that far without gels and water, but for me I am trying to maintain a fast pace and achieve a good time, and I think the boost at halfway will optimise my chance of doing that.

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