I had never heard of NutriSport before a running acquaintance gave me a couple of the brand’s energy gels to try. Never seen it in this corner of the running world, so please excuse my ignorance.
Apparently, it’s a well-established sports nutrition manufacturer in Europe, with a broad range of products such as gels, bars, drink mixes, creatine supplements, and even whole foods.
The energy gel I received was the NutriSport Sprint Gel, and I was pleasantly surprised. Below is my review.
I was unable to locate an official company website. Most of the product information came from different e-commerce platforms that sold the brand’s products. Many were in foreign languages, and the back label was in Spanish.
From what I can piece together, it’s a standard and solid energy gel. There is one interesting point: “Natural gel based on alpha lipoic acid and other natural ingredients.”
I will get into this in the segments below.
- Orange juice concentrate
- Citric acid
- Preservatives (potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate)
- Alpha lipoic acid
I’m unsure what the company means when it says “natural.” Judging from the ingredient list, it cannot be an all-natural fuel. Perhaps, some of the ingredients are from natural sources.
The primary sugar sources are dextrose (similar to glucose in chemical structure), sucrose, and maltodextrin.
Alpha lipoic acid is worth mentioning. It’s a naturally occurring compound in human cells and acts as an antioxidant. It’s used in the treatment of diabetes because of its blood sugar-lowering properties.
Alpha lipoic acid is likely included to lessen blood sugar spikes when ingesting the energy gel.
At 30g a pack, it provides
- 68 calories
- fat 0g
- Carbohydrates 17g of which 14g is sugar
- Protein 0.006g
- Salt 0.084g
Both calories and carbohydrates are on the low side for a 30g pack. Most energy gels on the market provide around 90-100 calories and 20-25g of carbohydrates.
Taste and consistency
I was pleasantly surprised. It has a nice citrus tartness and light consistency. Very palatable. I can imagine it being a refreshing summer option when the temperature scorches.
Definitely one of the better flavors I’ve tested this year.
The NutriSport Sprint Energy gel is long, about 15cm but not bulgy like the smaller GU gels.
It’s an oversized GU. It tears open easily, and the gel goes down smoothly. Everything works. Just be sure it fits in your shorts pockets or other fuel-carrying gear.
I used the gel for a flat half marathon. It wasn’t an A race, just an opportunity to practice my marathon pace for my goal event in December. The weather wasn’t great – pouring rain and extremely windy.
I had an energy bar and coffee for breakfast two hours before the start time. I consumed the energy gel at 20 and 60 minutes into the run.
It wasn’t an ideal setup to test drive for performance since the whole race took less than 90 minutes. However, based on the ingredient list and packaging design, I’m confident it will get the job done for longer and more intensive efforts. (I’ve eaten my fair share of energy gels by now to make educated guesses)
So what I really wanted to test is taste and stomach sensitivity when I’m on the move.
Here are some takeaways:
- Once again, I’d like to reiterate that the taste was quite good. I’m of the school that there are no tasty energy gels, only palatable ones. NutriSport Sprint Gel is way above average in this department.
- It did not cause stomach discomfort. I firmly believe that when something agrees with your taste buds, it can positively affect your digestive system. Call it a psychological impact, if you will. On the flip side, I’ve had horrid-tasting energy gels, and my stomach would immediately start grumbling.
- There wasn’t a notable surge after ingestion. There could be three reasons: 1. It wasn’t a hard effort so I wasn’t depleted, and the energy gel merely helped me stay topped up. 2. The inclusion of alpha lipoic acid worked. It prevented notable blood sugar spikes. 3. The lower carbohydrate content provided a milder boost.
- I’ve mentioned this before in previous reviews, and I’ll repeat it. A lack of that boosted feeling is not necessarily bad. It’s also nice to receive stable energy without peaks and troughs.
While I liked the taste, the 17g of carbohydrates are on the low side.
Here’s a simple guide. Consume 1g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per hour, meaning a 60-kg athlete, for example, should take in 60g of carbohydrates each hour, about 2-3 energy gels.
For a marathon, if you consume three Nutrisport Sprint Gels, that would give you 51g of carbohydrates compared to 60-75g if you went with some other gel brands.
You could be significantly down by the second, third, or fourth hour. You could try to eat four gels per hour, but then you would have to carry a lot more weight, and four gels risk overwhelming your gastrointestinal system.
Sports nutrition and fueling are more art than science. Some athletes can perform well while eating less, and some are fat-adapted, so they need fewer carbohydrates. Practice makes perfect. Train your gut and fine-tune what you need for the next big race.
As a training option, I give this energy gel a thumbs up, but it probably won’t make my list for race day.
Looking for energy gel recommendations? Here are a few energy gels reviewed by us recently.