making my own gels.

I'm just starting to run significantly beyond 10km in my training for my first marathon next year and started looking at gels for en route energy boosts.

After seeing the prices and working out how many i'm going to end up using, i decided to google "energy gel recipes" in order to make my own in the hope that they would be a bit cheaper.

I found this site

which looks to be exactly what i'm after. Even after 3 years of inflation, the costs still only worked out at about 15p per gel; well over 6 times cheaper than the average cost of commercial ones with all the same amounts of main ingredients.

So in the name of scientific research (who am I kidding, the other bloke has done all the hard work) and saving about £6 a week I reckon, I'm going to make up a load and report back.

has any one else tried this?


  • High5 used to sell the powder so you could make up your own gels in flasks.

    How many gels are you planning on taking though ?  I only bother when I'm running over 15 miles or so and most of the time I use sweets and just swap the gels in for practice and races. 


  • i don't really like carrying water (or anything really). it puts me off, wierdly.

    gels are as small as i can get. 

    my general runs are about 10km at the mo with a slowly lengthening sunday run, currently at 15km. i find i'm starting to run out of juice at about 12km but i want to get used to consuming 'stuff' while i'm runnning. so i'm thinking of one towards the end of every run and i'll take it from there. even if i don't phyisically require it for the run, i'll need to replace carbs etc after a run anyway.

  • you can replace carbs after a run by either usuing a recovery drink like Rego, or simply having some food

    at the distances you're doing, you need neither gels or a recovery drink, but I agree as you go longer they are of benefit.   but you can also use other fuel sources like jelly babies, wine gums, Harbos etc - you don't "need" gels although are very convenient to swallow and digest

    I'm with cougs on usage - let the body use it's own glycogen reserves up to around 15 miles and then supplement with either a liquid fuel or gels (both if going beyond 20 miles as you need fluid for dehydration).  and I only use a recovery drink if beyond 15 miles - otherwise, normal diet.   

    and if you're running out of juice at 15km, then you're either not feeding well the night before (not enough glycogen), or you're going too fast - slow down and get into fat metabolism to develop more endurance.

  • i think i might not be eating enough as i generally run at 5:30 p/km, which is a lot below my "speed" pace of about 4:30. but i don't exactly scrimp on my meal portions either.

  • It's also adaptation. I used to "die" and need energy by about 65-75 minutes, about 14 months ago. A few months ago I realised I could run 2 - 2.5 hours without needing to eat anything, on lsr, and a few weeks ago I did a 3.5 hour lsr without any fueling (did drink water with electrolytes in, and had fuel with me in case I needed it). So you might need fuel to run 15 km now, but if you keep increasing your long runs, you'll get to the point when, as the others say, you don't need it for that distance.

    My cheap and simple quick-relesase carb (sugar!) option is Kendal mint cake. Sometimes also jelly beans. For longer runs (over three hours), also malt loaf and fig rolls. And pretzels in case I want something savory. Or maybe a cheese sandwich. image 

  • I think another motivation to try this is that I just like brewing stuff up in my kitchen....

    Provided I don't use them to push myself past my self-imposed limit of increasing distance by 1km a week at most, they shouldn't do any harm.

    unless I'm wrong on that. happy to accept advice as always.

  • Usual suggestion is increase by no more than about 10% per week, so 1 km a week should be fine at the moment, and 1.5 or 2 km/week later (by the time you're doing a 20 km lsr, increasing to 22 kmfor the next one won't be excessive). I increased e.g. 18 miles, 20 miles, 22 miles... At each distance it was the miles I'd not previously run that seemed hard.

    And hey, if you like brewing stuff like that, then do so, by all means.

    As far as not liking to carry anything, have you considered/tried a small backpack? I used a 5 litre backpack with 1 lire water bladder when training up to 50K; more recently a 10 litre backpack with 2 litre bladder (but I'm ultra training).

  • For a moment I thought the title was "making my own gin".

    So naturally I was interested! image

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