PowerGel Smoothie review summary: At 90 g, Powergel Smoothie energy gel provides 146 calories and 35 g of carbohydrates, of which 15 g are from sugar. Other notables are:
At first glance at the package, PowerGel Smoothie by PowerBar reminded me of baby food made with fruit puree. I’ve long believed that baby food could be great for endurance sports fueling, so I was excited to test this PowerBar energy gel during a 20 km trail run with 1200 m in total vert.
I recently reviewed PowerGel Original in a marathon workout. I thought it was a rock-solid fuel supplement despite below average flavor.
I had high expectations for the smoothie version, hoping, just like its fellow PowerBar product, it would provide all the body needs to go hard but better tasting with natural fruit puree as the primary ingredient.
At 90 g, PowerGel Smoothie provides 146 calories and 35 g of carbohydrates, of which 15 g are from sugar. Other notables are 147 mg of sodium and 0.37 g of salt, which adds another 143 g of sodium, for a generous 290 g of sodium per pack by my calculation.
If you’re a salty sweater, PowerGel Smoothie is well designed to replenish electrolytes. Here’s a piece to estimate your rate of sweat sodium losses.
For such a heavy energy gel, 35 g of carbohydrates and 146 calories are not a lot. It slightly underwhelms in terms of energy-to-weight ratio.
I tested the Mango Apple flavor, so the 65% fruit puree came from apple and mango. Maltodextrin and fructose are also included for added sugar.
The texture of the energy gel is on the thicker side of the spectrum. It’s called a smoothie, after all.
Flavor-wise, I wouldn’t say it tastes great, but it wasn’t terrible. Due to the high salt and sodium citrate content, it has a savory/tart twist. Definitely one of the most unique energy gel flavors I’ve tried.
I have reviewed two other products – Precision PF 90 and Morinaga Wieder – with resealable designs. Although this type of energy gel tends to be heavier in weight, I’m a big fan of the twist cap approach. You can”micro-dose” your energy gels, taking smaller sips frequently instead of shocking your digestive system by consuming a full gel all at once.
Due to PowerGel Smoothie’s larger size, ensure it fits in your fuel-carrying gear and apparel.
The brand also recently redesigned the package graphics. Here’s the latest look.
I brought two Mango Apple PowerGel Smoothies on a 20 km trail run with 1200 m elevation. It was also my first truly hot run of the year at almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), creating an opportunity to test a product with sodium content as a selling point.
I had two liters of water, and the entire run took just over three hours.
Here are several takeaways:
The 90 g Powergel Smoothie is a natural fruit puree-based energy gel. It contains 146 calories and 35 g of carbohydrates, of which 15 g are from sugar. Also included is an estimated 290 g of sodium via sodium citrate and salt. The flavor is a unique mix of sweet, tart, and savory. Certainly not the best-tasting option, but at least a few steps above tolerable.
PowerGel Smoothie comes in a convenient resealable pouch, allowing you to take sips and twist the cap back on for later consumption. The package size is quite big, so be sure it fits in your fuel-carrying gear.
For road races where you plan to go fast, PowerGel Smoothie may not be ideal. However, it’s a good option for long-distance workouts and trail runs performed at lower intensities.