There is a gazillion energy gels out there and a good percentage of them get the job done. There are some that are better than others. We haven’t yet had the honor to try all of them and don’t want to be biased towards the small percentage that we have already tried. In this post we will do a top 5 ranking of gels based on two categories:
So let’s get started.
This was the easiest of analysis as it just required cracking open Amazon.com and heading over to the Best Sellers in Sports Nutrition Endurance & Energy Chews & Gels section, removing energy chews (not part of this analysis) and removing duplicates. Some gels had multiple top spots due to the fact that they had different product quantity configurations.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You must take into consideration that not all brands of energy gels are available on Amazon. Also price is oftentimes a the biggest factor for Amazon shoppers, rather than a more balanced selection criteria.
Here are the results:
GU (read our review) is by far number one on Amazon, it could be due to the selection of flavors, the fact that they’ve been around the longest (at least in the US market), and the value for money factor. They came in at as low as $30 dollars per 24 pack of energy gels.
Another well known brand with good flavor selection and good price at $22 dollars for an 18 pack.
SIS (read our review of SIS) has one of the strongest followings among energy gel brands and this shows even on Amazon where the number of reviews for their product outranked the higher selling CLIF SHOT. Athletes love these gels for their isotonic (no water necessary) qualities.
Team Runivore has not tried these gels yet, but we guess the well known brand name translates over to strong sales on Amazon.
The fruit smoothie variety of Honey Stinger (read our review) just makes it into the top 5 energy gels on Amazon. This gel stands out for organic natural ingredients as the source of carbohydrates with organic tapioca syrup as the main ingredient in the fruit smoothie flavor.
Just outside the top 5 we have Huma energy gel – the chia based energy gel with all natural ingredients, and UCAN EDGE energy gel.
We did a bit of digging into the reviews of top 5 energy gels featured on Amazon and tried to find the best ranked ones. We also tried to find some memorable reviews that are worth sharing with the endurance community.
|Review Score (out of 5)
|Most Memorable Positive Review
|GU Energy Labs
|Used seven of these during the Philadelphia Marathon (one every three miles, skipped the last one) and helped propel me to a 3:14. Note to those that have not perfected their fueling patterns, definitely practice fueling at least 3 to 4 times during long runs, would suggest taking a gel everything 5th mile to start and if you need more than that you can move up to a gel every 3rd or 4th mile. Everyone’s body reacts differently to these. And as you will find out, only take with water (never Gatorade – too many sugars/carbs at one time)!
|Made me sick, but i’m a wimp when it comes to caffine. too much for me.
|I’ve used other features previously based an general notoriety but the Ironman I competed in had Cliff products on the course. I switched so that I could see if I would have any GI/digestion issues and I really didn’t. I used these exclusively on the bike leg and switched over to the blocks for the run. This is my go-to for bike nutrition and I won’t change in the future.
|This does NOTHING!!! I am not tripping on the thick texture because I like it but waiting on a kick is NEVER going happen.
|I’m a Type 1 Diabetic and use these for low blood sugars when I’m hiking or doing other activities. They work great! And they are cheaper than the glucose gels that are sold specifically for lows. 🙂
|The product is good, but apparently the seller tried to cut corners when shipping this. I received an opened box that was folded for display and looked like it had come off the grocery store shelf AND it contained 23 rather than 24 items.
|SIS Isotonic Energy
|Initially I gave SIS energy gel a three-star review mainly because I was on the fence about consistency and taste. Also, you may be wondering why I tried this stuff for ten months if I was so grossed out? Simply put, I have not had another product that compares to this stuff yet. In fact, GU is now completely off the table for me. It’s not that GU is bad product, it’s not, it’s just that GU is too thick to consume, and you have to knock it back with water and lots of it.
|This was my first time trying gels and I bought the variety pack to try the different flavours. I am writing this comment mostly for people who have never tried gels before, or maybe just never this brand… I really did not like the flavour or the texture of the gel. I thought the taste was very artificial and I prefer eating bars and chews as it tastes more natural. Overall I do not recommend unless you really like gels….
|I took four packs with me on the marathon and used them in addition to eating a banana, raisins, and cashews. I finished in just under four hours and feel some credit is due to these gels. They taste fairly good (unlike Cliff gels I’ve had in the past) and–most critically–don’t cause any stomach upset. The taste is innocuous which is a real plus…
|I don’t like any flavors