Spring Energy Gels fall along a spectrum of more traditional carbohydrate heavy ones like the CanaBerry flavor we’ve reviewed to ones that offer a mix of carbs and fats. For this review, I wanted to try a combination of fat heavy flavors – Speednut and Koffee, along with apple-centric and carb-heavy flavor – Awesome Sauce. The gels were tested on a 25 mile trail run (6.3 mile loop x 4) with a total of 3500 feet of elevation gain.
The bottom line is that the gels did a good job of providing steady energy flow. I was happy with the variety of flavors and textures, and also a little shocked with the tartness of the Speednut flavors.
Let’s jump into the details of how these gels performed, but first a few shots from the testing terrain – the very beautiful, hilly, and rocky Coopers Rock state park in West Virginia.
Marketing claims summary
The general claims for the Spring Energy stick to the theme of: steady energy flow, no gastro issues, great taste, no need to train stomach, and lots of vegan options.
Here are some specific differences for the flavors tried and my thoughts on the claims:
Spring Energy Speednut with Caffeine / with Hemp Oil
Quote from website: “a product for those times when you have nothing left to give and making another step forward is beyond possible.”
With a claim like that I would expect a bigger boost of some sort, but that never happened. The gel just gave me a nice steady supply of energy. The good thing was that I didn’t feel hungry or empty for a long time which I believe could be attributed to the combination of fat and carbs in these gels. In total, one sachet packs 250 calories.
Spring Energy Koffee
This gel is sold as a gel with loads of calories with a sophisticated coffee taste.
In my opinion, the gel lives up to the claim. It really felt like a treat during my run. The texture was silky smooth and the taste was that of a high quality coffee. I love the calorie count of 210 but was a little surprised at the low caffeine amount given the product name (only 15mg which is like a quarter of a small cup of coffee).
Spring Energy Awesome Sauce
This gel is marketed as an awesome tasting gel without adding artificial sugars.
I agree it tasted like a really good quality apple sauce, and I was pleasantly surprised that they were able to pack 180 calories into a gel that didn’t contain any fat (unlike the Speednut and Koffee).
Overall performance – consistent supply of energy, but no boost
The combination of gels provided a nice supply of energy throughout my 5+ hours out on the 6.3 mile loop. In all I consumed 5 gels in the following order: Speednut with Hemp, Koffee, Speednut with Caffeine, Awesome Sauce x2. I never felt hungry but I also never felt the boost that I’m used to feeling with GU or other more traditional gels (I missed this a bit to be honest).
- All of the gels tested definitely live up to their philosophy of real food flavor, with the Speednut being very tart, the Koffee having a really sophisticated coffee flavor, and awesome sauce tasting like a high-end apple sauce.
- Steady flow of energy, no big boost but also never a dip in energy.
- The higher calorie levels allowed me to be just fine with taking 1 gel per hour, I also took in a few additional calories from a Honey Stinger electrolyte drink.
- No stickiness that is usually associated with traditional energy gels.
Ingredients and nutritional facts with some commentary
Here are the labels for each flavor with a quick note on each.
Spring Energy Speednut with caffeine ingredients and nutritional Info:
The fact that this gel is dominated by berries really comes through in the tartness.
Spring Energy Speednut with Hemp Oil ingredients and nutritional Info:
Similar flavor to the caffeine variety.
Spring Energy Koffee ingredients and nutritional Info:
This was my favorite of the tested products due to the smooth texture and nice coffee flavor. I would have loved to have a bigger caffeine hit.
Spring Energy Awesome Sauce ingredients and nutritional Info:
Really wholesome flavor that is similar to apple sauce.
Taste and consistency – mashed food rather than a gel
Completely different from the gooey consistency and heavy sweetness of traditional energy gels. The texture varied across the flavors, from silky paste of Koffee, to thick mashed fruit of Speednut, and apple sauce-like texture of Awesome Sauce.
None of the gels were overly sweet. The Speednut was striking in its tartness – but I didn’t mind it too much, it was refreshing. The Koffee was definitely my favorite which is probably due to my love of coffee. This flavor really did taste like a fancy variety of coffee paste.
Packaging – two holes for bib belt attachment and non-discardable top
These calorie-heavy gels follow the same packaging design as the CanaBerry flavor:
- Two holes that I assume are there so you can hold your gels in a running bib belt.
- One hole which stops from you ripping the top completely off when opening the gel and thereby eliminating the potential to litter while out on the trails.
- Spring Energy definitely has a unique selection of flavors in their family of energy gels. Good for mixing things up during a long run.
- They are considered a bit expensive, which is due to the quality of ingredients, and perhaps (our opinion only) due to the fact that they are not huge scale operation like GU or Hammer. Pro tip: try code Sage to see if Sage Canday’s discount code is still applicable at their website.
- Be ready for a tartness shock if you’re trying the Speednut for the first time.
- The Koffee flavor is surprisingly light on caffeine with just 15mg, so go with Speednut with Caffeine if you prefer a bit more of a boost – it comes with 50 mg.
If you like what you just read check out our other Spring Energy Review – CanaBERRY flavor.
If you want another “healthy” option then maybe Honey Stinger might be the one to bring for your next big race.
If you feel like you need that energy rush, perhaps good old GU energy gels might be right for you.