Talk to me about using alternatives to gels (Read 358 times)


    I'm noticing they don't like my belly too much Undecided which when you are 8+ miles from home isn't a good thing!! I have seen a lot of people talking about using gummy bears, etc. I only use the gels when I am running 2 hours or more.


      Ditto on the Gu. There's a new book out called Feed Zone Portables from Velo Press  that addresses this very topic-- I haven't seen it yet, but it may have some good alternatives.

      Sultan of slug

        I tried some "sports beans" during my last marathon, when I was absolutely dying around mile 19. Eating them was about the worst thing possible. It's not that they're bad - I ate some before the race and they're relatively tasty - but they were way too dry and chewy for the dehydrated, exhausted state I was in at the time (this was just before I admitted I was going too fast, and I totally crashed and burned).

          organic honey stingers....more fluid(ish) than Gu but easier on the GI

          PR's : HM 1:51:15  -  5K 21:27



            I have had a lot of success with honey and also with raisins.  Straight honey didn't taste as disgustingly sweet as I expected it to taste mid run.  The honey I carry in this squeeze bottle that I found in the Target travel section.

              i use dates- a handfull of them (5 or 6) and then some water works for me. Thats about 100 calories.

              ”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

              “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”




                I've gotten some of this to try recently - unfortunately I've only been on one run approaching 2 hours since due to something going on with my knee, but it might be something to consider:  On the one run I did do so far, there were no stomach problems and I never felt hungry.  Brought nothing with me other than my handheld.




                  I can eat anything - I like gels when running a marathon, because I can eat them at a high effort level.  If I am running slower - I will eat anything.  I often have bunches of misc stuff from race bags etc I will eat.  Last longer trial run I ate FRS Energy squares.  Maybe you need better gels?

                  7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M



                    I have had a lot of success with honey and also with raisins.  Straight honey didn't taste as disgustingly sweet as I expected it to taste mid run.  The honey I carry in this squeeze bottle that I found in the Target travel section.


                    I also prefer just honey and raisins, I just grab a hand full of honey packs from Wawa. If my mouth gets too dry I've found that sucking on a Jolly Rancher works.


                    I tried a GU once and I couldn't even finish half, it was soo disgusting!


                        I always hear people talking about how bad the GU's are so I dreaded trying them and tried to think of other alternatives I could use.


                        I was shocked when I tried my first one and it was actually pretty tasty.  The peanut butter one was really good.  I actually found myself craving another one a mile or so down the road.


                        I've tried to do the math on some alternatives, but it's hard to get 100 calories in an easily digestible form without it being some type of GU or gel.  I think I was going to have to eat 9 gummy bears to equal one packet of GU.  I tried it and it was a lot harder to chew up and swallow when I was running at marathon pace that I thought it would be.


                        I'm going to stick with the gels.

                        Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

                        Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)

                        Just B.S.

                          I use Gu or Cliff Shots for marathons. Some flavours I can't stand, others I love. I  

                          don't take them all at once but take about a 1/3 of a gel every few miles. Usually 

                          use 4 for a marathon.


                          I also carry a few fig newtons with me.


                          I need something solid in my stomach or the gels make me feel sick.


                          I take a few tiny bites of the Newtons in between gels. Works well for me.



                            Snickers always satisfies.  (Truthfully, that is what I ate alot of on my 24-hour run.)


                            ---Poses a problem on hot days though, when the temperature exceeds exactly 83.71 degrees....


                            Big grin

                            The Plan '15 →   ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞

                              As npaden says, you can't beat the gel form factor for getting in the carbs. Also, though I would rather eat real food in an ultra, or Gatorade in a marathon, with gels I know exactly what I am getting.


                              There are a lot of different kinds of gels out there. I suggest you experiment before switching to something less practical.


                              FWIW I ate 60 gels on my last 100. Not fun, but did the job.

                                candycorn.  I think that Brachs makes theirs with honey.

                                "When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up against them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels."  Ezekiel 1:21