Gels & Energy Drinks

Hi - I am currently training for the London Marathon, it's the first time I have run a marathon and at the stage in my training where I know I need to be taking something more than water on board during my longer training runs. I have done a bit of research on gels and energy drinks, but I just wondered if anyone with marathon experience could suggest any particular brands? I do not digest things too easily whislt running, so something fairly palatable would be brilliant! Thanks so much


  • Well they give you orange lucozade sport and lucozade gels - so its worth a go to see if you like them.

    Personally i like high5 gels - but everyone likes something different.

    Jelly babies/beans can also be good but you have to try them and see.
  • Try the SIS go gels - I had real trouble with all sorts of gels/lucozade etc, a bit of a problem at VLM since they almost throw the stuff at you every couple of miles.

    Go gels claim to be isotonic so don't need water and are vaguely palatable, just don't take your time over them - get them down in one and keep running.... They do a caffeine charged one too called Smart I think but I've not seen them in the shops for a while so may not be available anymore.
  • I should say also, get used to them before the big day - given my past history and bad experiences with various products I now make sure my body is well used to the chosen product and take them out on pretty much all my long runs over 18 miles.
  • Perfect thank you - will definitely give those a try and practise taking them before the day too. Just quickly, how often do you take them during a run?
  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    +1 for what cougie said - try out the lucozade ones first to see if you get on with them, as they provide the lucozade orange drinks roughly every five miles and also hand out the lucozade gels at two points on the course.    

    Even if you discover you prefer the taste of a different type (the SIS ones FINgers mentioned are my current choice), its better knowing whether you can use the lucozade variety prior to the race.  If you can't stomach them, then finding out at mile 19 when you've grabbed one in a desperate attempt to keep going will be an uncomfortable experience.image 

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    The gel/fuel debate is so personal it depends how you get on. Some people try sandwiches/jelly babies/wine gums etc. Just see what works for you.

    For gels - I take it every 45 minutes after 90 minutes and find that's adequate (i use powerbar)

  • Jelly babies do it for me. 

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I take a gel every 5 miles but it's all a very personal thing. Over the next 7-8 long runs its a good idea to experiment with different gels and fueling strategies so you can get it right on the day.
  • I go with Millsy, a gel every 5 miles, gives you something to look forward to, check what works first though, but take a bit of advice, do NOT try the isotonic "shots" I did last year at mile 6 and another at mile 15 took me to mile 19 before I could focus on anything, seems I overdosed on sugar etc. not a good experirnce

  • I've been practising with SIS go and seem to get on ok so far, but..... they're a nightmare to open, I'd like to stick with them, so has anyone got any tips on opening them without wrecking my teeth or risking injury with scissors!!
  • Practice thoroughly with any new techniques. My friend and I get on nicely with wine gums - one every km as a reward, which helps with morale! Also practice with the exact fluid bottle you'll be running with. Loaded a new (Karrimor) bottle with Lucozade for a 10k last year which ended up leaking and ran for 58mins with an orange sticky hand! 

  • Anniesophie - put a little nick in each side of the gel tab with nail scissors before the race then they are easier to open on the move.....

  • Thanks Mike will give it a go- maybe AFTER I've manhandled it into my gel belt!
  • Hi ya, the Lucozade gels are like jam, thick, sweet and sticky. You will have to have water to wash it down, the SIS Go ones are more water based and are easy to swallow and they don't taste bad at all. There is some debate about gels if they really do any good, some say you only get a very small return from them. So buy a few, run without and with them to see if they make any difference to you. You might want to invest in a camel sack for your longer runs, it saves carrying a water bottle around and you can put isotonic drinks in it instead of water.


    Good luck



  • Mike Sheridan wrote (see)

    Anniesophie - put a little nick in each side of the gel tab with nail scissors before the race then they are easier to open on the move.....

    that's a good tip.... (and a new one to me)!

  • I find that however hard I try, I always end up with gloop on my fingers when I have a gel, so I have swapped to Clif Shok Bloks.  They are like a gel, but are solid jelly blocks which don't get you sticky.  They taste nice, and you can space them out as you get about 6 blocks in a pack.  Definately pre-cut the pack otherwise you will be running along trying to rip the pack open with your teeth.

  • It's my first marathon too and also have to watch my guts! I have definitely found the SIS ones to be the best. In the race you will have to carry whatever you choose with you unless you decide on Lucozade. Good luck
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