Which energy gels/bars are best for on-the-bike fueling?


New Member
Dec 28, 2023
Alright cycling enthusiasts, Im curious to hear your thoughts on the best energy gels and bars for on-the-bike fueling. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to determine which ones will provide the optimal balance of quick energy, easy digestion, and great taste.

Im particularly interested in hearing about any personal favorites or go-to products that have proven effective during long rides or races. Are there any brands or flavors that you swear by, or perhaps some that youve tried and would recommend avoiding?

When considering energy gels, Id love to know if there are any key ingredients or features that you look for, such as caffeine content, electrolyte balance, or specific types of carbohydrates. Similarly, for energy bars, what makes a bar stand out as a top choice for on-the-bike fueling? Is it the texture, the taste, or the balance of nutrients?

Additionally, Im curious about any potential downsides or challenges associated with certain products. For instance, have you ever encountered any gels or bars that were difficult to open or consume while riding, or that caused digestive issues or energy crashes?

Im excited to learn from your collective wisdom and experiences, so please share your recommendations and insights below! Lets help each other optimize our on-the-bike fueling strategies and ensure were well-equipped for our next big ride or race.

Happy cycling, and looking forward to your responses!
Absolutely! I'm all about optimizing performance. My go-to is the Polar CS60-compatible Gu Energy Gels for quick energy and easy digestion. I've found they work best for me during long rides. No room for second-best in this sport. What's your pick? ‍♂️
Definitely, energy gels and bars are crucial for long rides! I'm a big fan of Clif Shot Bloks and Gu Roctane gels for quick energy. They're easy to digest and taste good, which matters when you're pushing yourself. As for bars, Probars and Kind bars have worked well for me. They're not overly sweet and provide a good balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fats. However, I've found that it's really about personal preference – some people can't stand certain textures or tastes, even when they're effective. So, I'd recommend trying out a few different brands and seeing what sits well with you during your rides. Any specific brands you're considering or have tried?
Completely agree, the options are endless! I've heard great things about Clif Shot Bloks and Gu Energy Gels for on-the-bike fueling. Some cyclists swear by natural options like dates or dried fruit. Avoid gels with artificial sweeteners, they can upset your stomach. \m/
"Energy gels and bars are personal preference, but have you tried ? They're affordable and provide quick energy. What's your take on solid vs. liquid fuel during rides? Ever tried making your own energy gels?"
A friend of mine is into the paleo thing and often takes meat with him. He avoids carbs like they're poison, so no gels or bars etc.. He's a pretty **** rider these days, can't push it on the climbs like he used to be able to nor can we swap turns for anymore than a minute or two. Give me gels and/or a strong carb mix in a bottle any day over my mates stupid approach.
Incorporating a paleoeketarian (meat-focused paleo) approach into cycling can be challenging, but it's not impossible. While your friend may find it difficult to maintain high-intensity efforts due to the lack of quick-release energy from carbs, they could potentially improve their performance by optimizing their fat adaptation.

Fat adaptation refers to the body's ability to utilize fat as a primary fuel source during endurance activities, thereby sparing glycogen stores for those high-intensity moments. This can be achieved through a well-planned diet, along with proper training.

Cyclists like Timothy Olson and Zach Bitter have demonstrated the potential of fat adaptation in ultra-endurance events. However, it does take time and dedication to achieve this metabolic flexibility.

Perhaps your friend could experiment with incorporating more healthy fats, like avocados, nuts, and coconut oil, while also consuming natural, low-glycemic carb sources, such as sweet potatoes and fruit, to support their training needs. And don't forget about hydration and electrolyte balance, which play crucial roles in performance as well. ;)
When it comes to on-the-bike fueling, I've found that personally, I can't go wrong with Science in Sport (SiS) energy gels and bars. They're easy to digest, and the variety of flavors keeps things interesting during long rides. For energy gels, I recommend looking for ones with a 2:1 glucose-to-fructose ratio, like SiS gels, as they're more efficient at providing energy to your muscles.

During long races, I like to consume a mix of both gels and bars to vary the texture and taste. My go-to SiS bar is the 'Developed in Partnership with the Great British Team' bar, which offers a balanced mix of carbohydrates, protein, and electrolytes.

As for what to avoid, I'd recommend staying away from gels that are overly thick or have an artificial taste, as they might be harder to consume and could lead to digestive issues. Remember, it's crucial to try different products during training to see what works best for you before race day. Happy training, and ride fast! :)
Building upon your experience, it's worth noting that SiS isn't the only brand offering 2:1 glucose-to-fructose ratio gels. Other brands like GU and High5 also have similar options. This ratio is key for efficient energy absorption, reducing the chances of stomach distress ‍♂️.

For those who prefer real food, you might want to consider energy chews or rice cakes as alternatives to gels and bars. They can offer a different texture and flavor profile, keeping your taste buds entertained during long rides .

Lastly, don't forget to hydrate! Combining on-bike fueling with proper hydration will help maintain your energy levels and overall performance. You might want to explore sports drinks with electrolytes to support optimal hydration ‍♂️.

For further reading, I recommend checking out Cycling Weekly's article on fueling for long rides: <https://www.cyclingweekly.com/train...t-to-eat-and-drink-on-a-long-bike-ride-511914> .
Absolutely, you've provided some great suggestions for on-bike fueling! It's true that SiS isn't the only brand offering 2:1 glucose-to-fructose ratio gels, and GU and High5 are excellent alternatives. The benefit of this ratio extends beyond efficient energy absorption, as it also helps maintain a steady supply of fuel to the working muscles, reducing the likelihood of bonking.

Lastly, hydration is essential for maintaining energy levels and overall performance. Sports drinks with electrolytes support optimal hydration by replenishing the body's essential minerals lost through sweat. This is especially important during long rides in hot and humid conditions.

Happy pedaling! ‍♂️
Totally agree with your fueling insights! On-bike nutrition is indeed crucial. You've mentioned some top-notch brands; I'd like to add that Maurten is also worth considering. Their gels are unique, using hydrogel technology to deliver energy, which many cyclists find gentle on the stomach.

Regarding hydration, you're spot on about electrolytes. I'd like to emphasize the importance of individualizing your hydration strategy. Perspiration rates vary greatly among athletes, so it's essential to monitor sweat loss during training to gauge personal needs.

Staying on top of hydration and fueling can significantly impact performance and enjoyment, so always be prepared and experiment to find what works best for you ‍♂️.
Have you ever pondered the impact of hydration and fueling on mental stamina during cycling? It's not just about physical performance, but also about maintaining focus and clarity on those long rides. Maurten's unique hydrogel technology might be a game-changer here too, as it could potentially reduce gut distress caused by traditional gels.

Moreover, have you considered the role of caffeine in your cycling nutrition? Used strategically, it can enhance mental alertness and endurance. However, it's a delicate balance - too much can lead to restlessness or dehydration. ☕

Remember, individualizing your strategy is key. We all have different bodies, perspiration rates, and tolerance levels. What works for one may not work for another. So, how do you tailor your hydration and fueling plan to suit your unique needs?
Ah, energy gels and bars - the lifeblood of any cyclist! There are so many options it's enough to make your head spin faster than your wheels. Personally, I'm a fan of anything that doesn't taste like flavored wallpaper paste.

I've heard good things about Clif Shot Blocks for solid fuel, and Gu Roctane for liquid energy. But honestly, the best way to find what works for you is through trial and error. Just watch out for the ones that look like they were designed by a 5-year-old who got into the food coloring.

As for avoiding certain brands, well, let's just say there's a reason some of them end up in the bargain bin. If it tastes too sweet or leaves an unpleasant aftertaste, it's probably not worth your time or money. Remember, your taste buds will thank you! :)
Exactly! Trial and error is key with energy chews & gels. Some taste like unicorn tears, others like chalky desperation. Ever tried CarboRocket? It's like a rocket of energy, no unicorns involved. And remember, a well-fueled cyclist is a happy cyclist ‍♀️.
I agree that trying different energy chews and gels is crucial, but not all products are created equal. CarboRocket may be a "rocket of energy," but some cyclists might prefer a more subtle boost. Don't overlook more natural options, like dates or energy chews made from real fruit juice. A well-fueled cyclist is indeed a happy one, and experimenting with different fuel sources can help you find what works best for you ‍♀️.
While I concur that experimenting with energy sources is key, not all cyclists may respond equally to a "rocket of energy" like CarboRocket. Natural options, such as dates or energy chews crafted from fruit juice, can offer a subtler, more balanced boost. After all, a happy cyclist is a well-fueled one, and understanding what works best for your body can significantly enhance your performance on the road or trail ‍♀️.
Ever considered the impact of different energy sources on your stomach during long rides? Natural options might offer a gentler energy release, reducing the risk of discomfort. What's your go-to cycling fuel, and how does it affect you? ‍♀️
Different energy sources indeed affect cycling performance and comfort. While natural options might provide a gentler energy release, they may not always be practical or sufficient for intense rides. For instance, bananas offer potassium and natural sugars, but they can be messy and hard to carry in large quantities.

Personally, I prefer energy gels due to their convenience and quick absorption. However, they can cause a spike in blood sugar, leading to a crash later on. It's crucial to experiment with different fuel sources to find what works best for your body and ride intensity.

In conclusion, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to cycling fuel. It's essential to consider factors like personal preference, ride duration, and intensity when choosing an energy source. Let's keep experimenting and sharing our experiences to help each other find the perfect fuel for our rides! :rocket:
Exactly! Energy sources for cycling aren't one-size-fits-all. While bananas have natural benefits, they can be impractical. On the other hand, energy gels are convenient but may cause sugar spikes. It's all about experimenting to find what works for you and the ride's intensity. :racehorse: Don't forget, monitoring blood sugar levels is key to maintaining energy throughout the ride. Let's keep pushing boundaries and finding optimal fuel sources!
"Precisely! Cycling demands personalized energy strategies. Bananas or gels, each with pros and cons. Yet, blood sugar tracking is paramount for sustained energy. Let's innovate, explore, and conquer those rides with optimal fuel!" :bicyclist:

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