Variety is the spice of life, and we are all different. Not only do we all have different fuel requirements depending on our body weight, metabolism, and gender but we also have different fuelling preferences in terms of what suits our gastrointestinal (GI) system as well as preferences in taste, texture and consistency of what we consume. Ever since energy gels were first developed back in the 1980’s (yes, they’ve been around a while now!), they have become increasingly popular as the go-to fuelling solution providing a conveniently packaged boost of easily-accessible carbohydrate. Here at Science in Sport, we have developed a wide range of different energy gels with different benefits, but what if energy gels don’t suit you? For some people, energy gels are not the best option. This can be down to a variety of reasons such as personal GI response i.e., stomach cramps or an individual’s gag reflex. Something chewier and more palatable might be in order. Luckily, if energy gels are not for you, there are now plenty of options out there so you can feel energised from start to finish. Of course, there are general food-first approaches such as bananas, salted potatoes or sweets but they are not always the easiest to eat or carry during training or a race. At Science in Sport, we have multiple options you can us on their own or in combination with other products to fuel your personal needs. These come in a variety of formats as described below: BARS GO Energy Bar Mini Our GO Energy bars are high carbohydrate, easily digestible, nutritious snack made from fruits and wholesome ingredients. As they are small, it makes them practical to use during training and/or races. Carbohydrate content: 26g per serving BAKES GO Energy Bake Our GO energy bakes have a cake-like texture (as good as it sounds!) with 30g of carbohydrate including 10g of fructose. These unique, soft bakes provide an easy to eat option with the performance benefits of two different forms of carbohydrate. Carbohydrate content: 30g per serving CHEWS Beta Fuel Chews The Beta Fuel energy chews are a scientifically superior fuel source giving an optimised ratio of maltodextrin and fructose in a delicious sweet-like format. Think jelly cubes in a bar for the texture, super easy to consume with high carbohydrate content. Carbohydrate content: 46g per serving POWDERS We have a wide range of energy powders that are all designed to be added with water in your bottle. GO Electrolyte The GO Electrolyte powder is a blend of easily digestible carbohydrate with added electrolytes such as sodium to promote optimal hydration. Carbohydrate content: 36g per serving Turbo + Turbo + is menthol flavoured for a cooling effect making it suitable for hot environments. However, it is overall a great energy source and shouldn’t just be used in hot environments. It also contains Electrolytes to help replace those lost via sweat. Carbohydrate content: 62g per serving Beta Fuel The scientifically superior Beta Fuel Powder is an isotonic high carbohydrate powder using an optimised ratio of maltodextrin and fructose for optimal absorption. Carbohydrate content: 80g per serving. Here is a summary table to help compare the different energy products and their additional benefits. GEL ALTERNATIVE FORMAT/TEXTURE CARBOHYDRATE PER SERVING ADDITIONAL BENEFITS GO Energy Bar Mini Bar 26g GO Energy Bake Cake 30g Dual carbohydrate source Beta Fuel Chews Jelly/Sweet 46g Dual carbohydrate source GO Electrolyte Powder Drink Powder 36g Electrolytes to aid hydration Turbo+ Powder Drink Powder 62g Menthol flavour for cooling effect Electrolytes to aid hydration Beta Fuel Powder Drink Powder 80g Dual carbohydrate source So, there you have it, a variety of suitable alternatives to energy gels. Each of these products come in a variety of flavours so as well as different formats, there is plenty of choice! So go on and take your pick! Just remember, never have anything new on race day, always practice in training first to see what works best for you and your GI system. Written By Dr Emily Jevons - PhD in Exercise Physiology & Nutrition, Clean Sport Advisor Emily has worked with Science in Sport since 2021. With a PhD in Exercise Physiology & Nutrition, she currently provides nutritional advice for endurance athletes. Emily not only understands the science behind performance nutrition solutions, but also the physiological and psychological demands of sport after competing competitively in swimming and triathlon for a number of years.