Fuel Alternatives to Gel

“I have a sensitive stomach, so I can’t use gels when I workout.” We all hear it, and we want to be able to help you figure out how to continue to fuel efficiently and effectively without stomach cramps or pains. Here are some fuel alternatives to using gels:

1)  Chews/Gummies & Beans: Most of us have been blessed in being athletes during the most versatile era of fuel. 15 years ago there was no such thing as gummy chews or jelly beans for running. Jelly Belly has been producing their Sports Beans since 2007, and boy, were they a game changer. It’s all the fun of jelly bean with the sugar and calories you need to get through those longer workouts. They’re offered in a wide variety of flavors and are now even separated into caffeine and non-caffeinated categories. Gummies or chews, are another option. Offered by many companies, they’ll allow you to spread your sugar/calorie consumption over a longer period. You have more than your fair share of flavors and choices in either beans or gummies, so keep them in mind next time you shop.

2)  Waffles or Bars: Based off of the Dutch dessert, stroopwafel, waffles have come into popularity with runners and walkers very recently. They’re light, they’re easy and they’re incredibly tasty. The other option is bars. Much like a granola bar, bars will have higher carbohydrate and sugar content. They come in an array of flavors and brands, but you’ll more than likely be able to read about 90 percent of ingredients due to them often being classified as organic. Most runners will break them up into pieces for training or race day to make them easier to chew on the go.

3)  Drink Mixes: This option seems to work for most athletes. Not everyone wants to pull out a package to tear apart mid-workout. Drink mixes are easy because many of us are already carrying some type of hydration bottle or pack. Consider a belt with multiple bottles — one for your drink fuel and one for your water. Our favorite drink mix at Fleet Feet Fort Mill is UCAN. Ask us why next time you stop in!

There are multiple solutions for those athletes who need nutrition options, and now it is your job to be proactive in finding which one agrees with your stomach!

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