What is Energy Gel?
Energy gel is a specifically formulated mix of simple and complex carbohydrates and water used to energize your body during exercise. They provide more energy (calories) per ounce than sports drinks and are easier to digest than solid food.
Some people believe that using energy gels during their regular workouts helps keep their mind alert and active, and their muscles going strong.
Energy gels are very potent. They should be used with extreme care. Energy gels are designed to deliver a quick rise in blood sugar and maintains that glucose level for up to 45 minutes during exercise.
Most energy gels have an average 11-16 month store shelf stability.
Energy gels can be found in many different flavors.
What are energy gels made of?
Most energy gels are made of concentrated carbohydrates and simple sugars. Sometimes electrolytes and other "non-essentials" such as herbs and caffeine are added to the gel.
Electrolytes are essential in metabolizing carbohydrates and for the proper functioning of muscles. Most energy gels will have the following electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and/or magnesium.
Potassium is the major electrolyte found in all of your body's cells. It plays an important role in the transmission of signals to nerve impulses, muscle cell contraction and overall maintenance of your cardiovascular system.
Magnesium is essential for the efficient metabolism of carbohydrates.
Since most energy gels are a concentrated carbohydrate, you should always consume adequate amounts of water when taking a gel to aid absorption and hydration.
How to pick an energy gel that is best for you?
There are many different brands of energy gels. Make sure you get an energy gel that works best for you by trying different brands, flavors and potencies. It is important to find a brand and flavor that tastes good and has a consistency that is easy on your stomach.
Also, ask your fitness trainer and/or doctor if you need them.
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