Switching between gels

My favorite gels are the Maurten gels both because of the mild taste, the consistency, and the wrapper design which rips cleanly and the top doesn’t need to rip completely off. But the cost being in the $3.50/gel is a bit much especially for training. I don’t mind using them for races but that price just seems absurd.

Does anybody switch up gels to save on cost? Does it matter as long as you can stomach them. I would still train with them occasionally but it’s hard to justify using them every weekend on rides.

I’ve used SIS gels which always seem to be on sale. And I like the untapped maple syrup gels.

anybody else buy whatever gels are on sale?

I don’t often use gels in training (although coincidently I did last night for about the first time in 5years :joy: ) and I rarely take them on group rides either . SiS tend to be the ones I use but sometimes on Sportives I’ve picked up something different from a feed stop (usually high 5) and I bought some Honey based ones at the Tour of Cambridgeshire. As well as the cost my theory (probably to justify my spendthriftity to myself) is that keeping gels to when I actually need them (eg pre a TT) means that they’ll have a greater effect then.

What do you eat on the bike during training?

On the turbore bananas out doors usually just a carb drink.

I personally don’t think it matters too much, as long as you’re getting the right mix and amount of carbs.

I have tried making my own gel, and it worked. It was a little thinner than e-gel or GU, but it tasted good, and went down smooth. The only problem is that it is hard to store and keep. Maybe I could freeze it? I don’t know, but I hesitate to use a gel that has been in the fridge for a few days. Those sugars are the perfect place for bacteria to start growing.

But during a race, great to reach into the pocket and suck some of that gel out of a reusable gel pack. Gets sticky and nasty really quickly, but easier than taking off wrappers. One other problem is that it is hard to get dosing right. With commercial gels I know exactly how many carbs I am getting per pack. With the reusable packs I can easily fit over 100 grams of carbs in there. hard to know exactly how much you are getting each time and if you are riding that edge a little too much can mess you up especially if you are also getting carbs from fluids.

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Yeah. I just started making my own drink mix but that’s stupid simple. But gels I don’t think I want to do that. But I might just try using less expensive gels for training as long as my gut stays happy. Mixing in the occasional Maurten gel just to make sure my gut is still use to it. Then for races use Maurten. But I was thinking like you said as long as I’m getting the correct amount of carbs then it won’t matter.

Try cranksports e-gel. They are 37 grams of carbs per pack, and when you divide the price by calorie, they are pretty cheap. Honestly they are my go to for training and racing. They are only 20% fructose (as opposed to the 33% commonly used) but I haven’t noticed an issue with that and they have kept me fueled well for some gravel races I have just done.

Even if you go with Maurten for races, these can help you train cheaply.


Pretty simple recipe here…haven’t tried it yet, though.


Yes, you can buy cheaper gels and just manage overall carb, sodium, and fluid intake and they’ll work great.

Also worth a read:

Saving Money as an Endurance Athlete


Perfect. Thanks

Great. Those are definitely a cheaper option.

Huge savings here. Wondering about variations and adding maltodextrin (longer chain carbs) to the mix.

Whether you go maltodextrin+fructose, dextrose+fructose, or sucrose, or some other source of glucose+fructose, what matters most is:

  1. Hourly carb intake rate
  2. Hydration (sodium + water)
  3. Overall glucose:fructose ratio.

Source of the glucose & fructose and whether it includes lower osmolarity carbs is very much tertiary with regard to gut comfort and performance outcomes. (much to the chagrin of the marketing department of every endurance fuel company)