Last year during marathon training, I/we just used the Accel energy gels during our long runs mainly because that’s the gel given out along the Richmond Marathon course. We stuck with just chocolate and vanilla flavors and they worked pretty well. But that was my first gel experience. This year I’ve decided to try out some other brands and flavors to see what else is out there. I previously reviewed the GU Salted Caramel – great flavor but the thick consistency will take some getting used to.
During a recent run club, someone recommended PowerGel since it has a watery consistency and is easy to get down quickly. I like the thought of being able to almost drink the gel, especially if I take it while in a race. I had to drink a lot of water with the GU (probably a good thing though).
I decided to venture into fruit-flavored gels for this one, specifically Strawberry Banana. A distinguishing and appealing aspect of the PowerGel is its high sodium content. At 200 mg per pouch, PowerGel offers significantly more sodium than other gels such as GU (50 avg) and Hammer (25 avg).
Now this is just my opinion. Obviously many people love the taste of PowerGel since people keep buying the brand and there are about 10 flavors to choose from. You’ve got to find the gel that’s right for you. I found this WAY TOO sweet for me. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to Accel gels. The sweetness was so intense that I felt I didn’t even notice the flavor all that much besides just getting a fruity taste. I couldn’t wait to get a piece of gum in my mouth to get the syrupy taste out.
Also, I thought the liquid-y consistency would really appeal to me, that I’d be able to overlook the flavor and sweetness in order to have a liquid-y, easy to swallow gel. The consistency allowed me to swallow it pretty quickly (PRO), but I just didn’t feel satisfied. For me, the thicker gels are more substantial and filling. My stomach was literally growling 6 miles after taking this gel (took it on a 14 mile run at mile 6) and that’s never happened before.
If you like sweetness and are interested in a liquid-y gel, I’d encourage you to give this a try. Not for me, but now I know.