When to use gel sachets

Does anyone have a view as to how long it takes for peak benefit after slurping a gel sachet? No point doing one if it's not going to give me a boost til I'm showering off!

Sorry if this has been covered a million times - couldn't find a useful search expression.

Oh, and as someone with the constitution of an ox, do I need to worry about not taking it with water?


  • In my opinion they kick in quite soon after taking them but you have to remember the water is part of the formula & without it you can't expect such good results.
    I use H5 as they work best for me.
    Hope this helps.

  • There seems to be some confusion over this. I have heard it said that taking a gel after 18 miles in a marathon is useless. I'm not sure I believe it though. Gels work well for me and I think I get a fairly instant hit, although whether that is just psychological I don't know. I think that anywhere between 15 and 18 miles is probably the best time to be getting them down you though, although I'm guessing slightly there.

    As for taking them with water, I find it very hard to take most of them without water as they are just not palatable. If you can get them down, then I guess that's fine. If you want specific non-water ones, go for the Isotonic SIS sachets which you can just gulp down.

    Hope this helps.

  • I use squeezy sachets and I find i do not need water to take them down, but I do find that they can be a tad sticky if you get them over your hands while opening them.

    I also find that they start to work straight away but as my friend above said, maybe this is all in the mind.
  • Thanks, people.
    I'll do some experimenting on that basis. I need all the help I can get!
    Oh, and, er, where can I get some of that EPO I keep hearing about? ;-)
  • In my limited experience, gels start to kick in +/- 15 mins later - but we are all built differently!

    In my first marathon last week I took them at 15km, 25km and 35km (just before water stops) and am convinced they helped a lot. I also took on water and sports drinks which was laid on every 5k. Taking one at 15km may seem pretty early, but I figured that leaving it until I felt tired was too late.
  • Right. Experiment 1 says about 10 mins. But not a lot of effect. Off to buy a catering pack.
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