Can you get Vegan Energy Gels? That was the question I found myself asking as I headed for my first marathon after switching to a Vegan diet.
I’ve found Energy Gels to be a necessary evil when running a marathon. They’ve never been something that I’ve enjoyed, but then having hit the wall on a couple of marathons I know that fuelling is essential when tackling so many miles.
Your body can only store so much glycogen and this becomes depleted when you run for several hours. Energy gels give your body the sugar that it needs to replenish glycogen stores. Some gels also provide electrolytes and caffeine to help make those later miles feel a little easier.
So Can you get Vegan Energy Gels?
Yes! Vegan runners have a wide choice of energy gels available to them, in fact most energy gels are Vegan.
What’s the best Vegan Energy Gel?
Like most things the best Energy Gel for Vegan Runners comes very much down to personal taste. Perhaps the most important thing is to find a gel that you like or can at least stand and start using it in training.
If you leave introducing an Energy Gel into your running only on race day, you’re risking your stomach having a bad reaction to this unusual fuel. Just as you would wear new trainers for a marathon, you need to test your gels out and get your body used to fuelling on energy gels.
GU Energy Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel
GU advertise this as the Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel, but it’s only in the past few years that the company have switched most of their products to be suitable for Vegans.
The Chocolate Outrage flavour is rich, sweet, and fudge-like…full of flavour. As well as sugar this Vegan Energy Gel gives you salt which is especially helpful when running in warmer weather and caffeine to give you a final push.
Other flavours include Salted Caramel, Strawberry Banana, Blackberry and Vanilla. I’d recommend getting a mixed box to find out which flavour works best for you.
Huma Chia Energy Gel
Amazon kept on trying to sell me Huma Chia Energy Gels and the all natural recipe and Vegan friendly ethos of the company made me give them a chance. Like Gu, the Huma Chia Energy Gels come in a variety of flavours including Strawberries, Apples & Cinnamon, Blueberries, Mangoes and Chocolate.
With the exception of the Chocolate flavour, these energy gels don’t have any caffeine in them.
Like many Vegan athletes I prefer to keep my food as natural as possible and so these Energy Gels are a good fit for me. I like the texture and the taste.
Science in Sport Go Isotonic Energy Gel
Science in Sport (or SIS) is one of the biggest brands in the Energy Gel market. Their gels are a thicker consistency then some other brands but can be taken without water.
Personally I didn’t like the consistency of these Energy Gels as much as the two above, but many of my friends swear by them so as with the gels above I’d recommend trying the brand and seeing what works for you.
Vegan Alternative to Energy Gels
I did find another option for fuelling long runs and this is what I actually went with for my 2019 New York Marathon. Deliciously Ella – Almond Nut Butter Balls.
I found these easier to eat on a run, and they really worked for me. On my marathon I ate one every thirty minutes and I didn’t hit the wall. Again it’s very much down to person choice but these are a great energy gel alternative for vegan runners.
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Jim has been running since he represented his local running club aged 13. Thirty years later he is still finding new ways to stay ahead of the pack in from 5k races through to Ultra Marathons. He started Running Unlimited to share his knowledge of the sport and to keep a record of what’s worked and what hasn’t.