There’s a lot to like about Morinaga Wieder’s In Jelly, and there’s a lot not to like. Many aspects I think the Japanese brand did a fine job on come with caveats. While I do recommend this energy gel, I believe it’s unsuitable for some scenarios.
Marketing claims – quick daily boost
Westerners probably have never heard of Morinaga Wieder, but it’s a staple for those of us in East Asia. The company markets this product as a quick energy boost or meal replacement for working professionals.
Therefore, it’s understandable that there are notable weaknesses as a sports fuel because it wasn’t meant to be one in the first place. Variations with multi-vitamins, multi-minerals, high dietary fiber content, and collagen are also available.
Ingredients – very artificial
I prefer my sports fuel simple. Yet Morinaga Wieder has the longest list of ingredients I’ve ever seen for energy gels. The primary source of carbohydrates is maltodextrin.
Compared with other sugars, maltodextrin requires less water to digest, and it’s an excellent way to get quick calories without dehydrating you. Here’s an in-depth piece on energy gel ingredients if you want to learn more about the different sugars.
The energy gel comes with all the bells and whistles – vitamins, electrolytes, flavorings. Simply put, it’s packed with artificial ingredients.
- High fructose syrup
- Muscat juice
- Calcium lactate
- Citric acid
- Gellan gum
- Vitamin C
- Muscat flavors
- Sodium citrate
- Potassium chloride
- Xanthan gum
- Calcium Pantothenate
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin A
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
At 180g, it provides only 180 calories and 45g of carbohydrates. Not a lot of energy for such a big and heavy package. A typical energy gel is about 30g with 100 calories and 20g of carbohydrates.
- Protein 0g
- Fat 0g
- Carbohydrate 45g
- Sodium 40g
- Vitamin A 81 mcg
- Vitamin B1 0.16 mg
- Vitamin B2 0.1 6mg
- Vitamin B6 0.15 mg
- Vitamin B12 0.44 mcg
- Vitamin C 135 mg
- Vitamin D 1 mcg
- Vitamin E 0.97 mg
Taste and consistency
In my experience, the more crap a manufacturer puts in an energy gel, the worse it tastes. In terms of ingredients, the energy gel is undoubtedly artificial, but I have to say it tastes good because it tastes like grape jello! Who doesn’t love jello? It’s light and refreshing.
A side note: the company recommends keeping it in the fridge and eating it chilled (hard to pull off in the middle of a workout, lol).
Each energy gel is 180g, so the packaging is big and bulky. It’s not ideal for marathons and half-marathons since it only provides 45g of carbohydrates for that much weight.
It, however, comes with a twist cap. You can take a few sips and close it again. Convenient and mess-free. A good design for longer distances or easy-to-moderate efforts that don’t deplete your energy and consuming smaller regular dosages is the preferred fueling strategy.
Performance – 30km LSD
The route was 15km out and back. The temperature was 32 degrees Celsius, so I kept a leisurely pace, around 5:30-5:45 min/km. Including warmup and drills, the whole run took just over three hours.
I had a bowl of oatmeal with sliced bananas 90 minutes before, so I was topped up. I carried three Morinaga Wieder packs in my compression running belt and took gulps every 10-15 minutes starting at the 50-minute mark. For hydration, there were drinking fountains along the course.
- Three packs of Morinaga Wieder in my running belt were definitely bulky.
- A light, tasty, jello-like energy gel was the right call for a high-temperature run.
- Though it’s not carbohydrate-dense, I wasn’t going at a glycogen-depleting pace. So small, regular gulps sustained my energy level.
- The twist cap design was ideal for this kind of “micro-dosage” strategy. Take a sip and seal it back up. No sticky hands.
- It’s palatable, it gave me energy, it did its job, albeit the weight.
Conclusion – contradictions
- Though now widely used as an energy gel, it wasn’t the brand’s original intent.
- I like the taste and texture but have reservations about the long list of artificial ingredients.
- Its bulk doesn’t make it easy to carry, but the twist cap design is super convenient.
- It provides lots of vitamins and minerals but is light on calories and carbohydrates, arguably the two most important elements.
There are lots to like, but also some significant weaknesses. I don’t recommend it for marathons or shorter distances due to its bulk and low carbohydrate content. For ultramarathons (if you don’t mind the weight), it’s not a bad choice. I do enjoy it for pre-run and during easy-to-moderate training runs where glycogen depletion is less of a risk.
Read more energy gel reviews to create your own fueling strategy:
- What is Maurten Hydrogel? The No-Nonsense Energy Gel
- The Best Energy Gels for Ultramarathons
- 32GI Energy Gel, One-Hand Snap Convenience
- 5 All-Natural Energy Gels We’ve Tried and Liked
- Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels, Instant Surge