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The Best Energy Gels - 2022

Last updated on April 12, 2022

We looked at the top 7 and dug through the reviews from 22 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best .

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Our Picks For The Top

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Top Pick

GU Energy Assorted Flavors Gluten Free Energy Gels, 24-Count

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GU Energy

Assorted Flavors Gluten Free Energy Gels, 24-Count

Overall Take

A Double DoseKeep the workout going with this cocktail of amino acids and electrolytes.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus Runner’s World, Healthline, Verywell Fit, Bikes Haven, Cycle Pedal. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
" Affordable. Lots of tasty flavors."
Cons
"Contain preservatives. May cause stomach upset in some runners."
  Runner Up

CLIF SHOT Caffeinated Energy Gels, 24-Count

CLIF

SHOT Caffeinated Energy Gels, 24-Count

Overall Take

Organic Wakeup ShotsNatural ingredients power these quick-energy shots.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus Runner’s World, Healthline, The Wired Runner, Gear We Are. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Caffeinated."
Cons
"May cause stomach upset in some runners."
  We Also Like

GU Energy Assorted Indulgent Flavors Vegan Energy Gels, 24-Count

GU Energy

Assorted Indulgent Flavors Vegan Energy Gels, 24-Count

Overall Take

Surprisingly DeliciousThese caffeinated gels are as effective as they are tasty.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Best Views Reviews.
  Also Great

Science in Sport GO Low Sugar Isotonic Energy Gels, 6-Count

Science in Sport

GO Low Sugar Isotonic Energy Gels, 6-Count

Overall Take

Straight, No ChaserThese thin and tasty gels are easy to down on the run.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus Healthline, The Wired Runner, Road.cc, Cycling News, Feed Station. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" On top of the convenience of not needing water, SiS can be a suitable option for athletes with allergies because it’s free from dairy, gluten, nuts, animal products, and wheat."
Cons
"Multiple customers have reported that the packets burst easily at the seams in a bag or belt."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
14

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the available to purchase.
7

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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22

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Healthline, The Wired Runner, Road.cc, Cycling News, Feed Station.

79,591

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 7 and also dug through the reviews from 22 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best .

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

GU Energy Assorted Flavors Gluten Free Energy Gels, 24-Count


Our Expert Score

0.0
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.6
9,473 user reviews

Our Take

Taking these gels gives you energy both from the electrolytes and the good old-fashioned fructose. While you're burning all that off, amino acids help maintain your endurance. There's a flavor for everyone, and each gel is gluten-free and vegan.

What other experts liked

Affordable. Lots of tasty flavors.
- Runner's World
Fans of the gels appreciate the flavor variety and pleasant taste. What’s more, Gu energy gels are vegan and gluten-free.
- Healthline
For many runners, GU energy gels offer a convenient, tasty, budget-friendly energy source on the run that is specifically engineered for athletes.
- Verywell Fit
Tasty energy get with a good consistency. Good for different sports, including running and cycling. Easy to swallow. It comes in so many different flavors.
- Bikes Haven
Each of the gel packs has 100 calories and are also manufactured with important vital electrolytes. You are provided with a dual source of energy from fructose and maltodextrin contents. Provides users with enough absorption and long-lasting energy. To help...
- Cycle Pedal

What other experts didn't like

Some people might prefer more caffeine.
- Runner's World
Contain preservatives. May cause stomach upset in some runners.
- Healthline
Some flavors have excessively thick texture and may be difficult to swallow without water.
- Bikes Haven
This energy gel is a little too viscous.
- Cycle Pedal

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Science in Sport GO Low Sugar Isotonic Energy Gels, 6-Count

Our Expert Score

8.0
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.8
3,009 user reviews

Our Take

There's no need to down water after taking these gels since they're not nearly as thick as other brands. One shot gets you plenty of carbs and you're sure to find a taste you like. The ingredients are free of allergens, dairy or animal products.

What other experts liked

On top of the convenience of not needing water, SiS can be a suitable option for athletes with allergies because it’s free from dairy, gluten, nuts, animal products, and wheat.
- Healthline
No water necessary. Thinner consistency than most. 22 grams of carbohydrates. Certified by the Informed Sport Evolved Certification program.
- The Wired Runner
High performing gel with carbohydrates for energy and fluid for hydration; tastes good, slips down easily, and is fair value.
- Road.cc
No need for the water chaser. Taste good.
- Cycling News
Trusted by top athletes. Isotonic formulation (no extra water needed, but see note below). Informed Sport accredited.
- Feed Station

What other experts didn't like

Contains artificial additives and sweeteners. Orange flavor could be better.
- Healthline
Multiple customers have reported that the packets burst easily at the seams in a bag or belt.
- The Wired Runner
Texture. Easy to lose the top when you tear it off.
- Cycling News
Thick consistency. Relatively low energy per gel. Artificial sweeteners.
- Feed Station

Overall Product Rankings

Our Findings


GU Energy Assorted Flavors Gluten Free Energy Gels, 24-Count

What We Liked: Taking these gels gives you energy both from the electrolytes and the good old-fashioned fructose. While you’re burning all that off, amino acids help maintain your endurance. There’s a flavor for everyone, and each gel is gluten-free and vegan.


CLIF SHOT Caffeinated Energy Gels, 24-Count

What We Liked: Looking to wake up faster? Down one of these gels, fortified with both caffeine and electrolytes derived from organic ingredients. They’re easy on the stomach and can fit just about anywhere if you’re on the run.


GU Energy Assorted Indulgent Flavors Vegan Energy Gels, 24-Count

What We Liked: With five different coffeehouse-inspired flavors, these gels go down easy. Coffee achievers will like the caffeine content, along with the other energy sources that can increase performance on longer runs. As a bonus, all gels are gluten-free.


GU Energy Assorted Fruity Flavors Kosher Energy Gels, 24-Count

What We Liked: Whether you’re cramming for exams or hitting the trail, these gels can help. Carbs and amino acids deploy a boost of muscle energy while the caffeine sharpens focus. The fruit flavors are tasty and the ingredients won’t upset the digestive system.


Science in Sport GO Low Sugar Isotonic Energy Gels, 6-Count

What We Liked: There’s no need to down water after taking these gels since they’re not nearly as thick as other brands. One shot gets you plenty of carbs and you’re sure to find a taste you like. The ingredients are free of allergens, dairy or animal products.

Our Buying Guide

When you’re on the home stretch of a grueling marathon or bike ride, it can seem like you can’t get carbs into those muscles fast enough — not that the sports nutrition industry hasn’t tried. From protein bars to energy drinks, you can take your pick of delivery systems. But if you’re talking sheer power in the smallest package? There might be no better way to get a quick boost than energy gels.

Everything about energy gels is made for long-term exercise. Even the most sedentary types might substitute a protein bar for breakfast if they’re in a hurry, but gels are made to fill up your tank without filling up your stomach. They’re portable packets of viscous juice, loaded with sugars and/or electrolytes that you can down without breaking a stride. The ingredients vary widely, but lets break down some of the common ones so you can choose the right gel for your workout.

Whatever energy gel you choose, it’s a good bet that it will contain a lot of simple sugars. That’s why they’re a particular favorite of runners or cyclists: The body can quickly turn simple sugars into carbohydrates, which are exactly what you need once your internal stores run dry due to prolonged exercise. Glucose and fructose are some common sources of sugar, and ones that your muscles can convert in a jiffy. Dextrose or maltodextrin might also be on the ingredient list of a good energy gel, as will other natural sources like honey.

Many energy gels also contain electrolytes, which may not be as important during a marathon but are still vital. While the blanket term “electrolytes” may evoke some synthetic rocket fuel that you find in a sports drink, they’re actually a catch-all for the minerals that your body uses to facilitate muscle contractions (among other things). Lose too many of them through sweat, and you can end up with cramps or worse. Electrolyte-fortified energy gels can help with that, but take care that you don’t overdo it — especially if you’re hydrating with energy drinks that also contain them.

Caffeine is another common ingredient in energy gels, and it can be a lifesaver if you’re hitting a wall during those last few miles of a run. Don’t overdo it, though. Too much caffeine can give you heart palpitations or anxiety, and that’s the last thing you need when you’re trying to stay focused.

If you’ve got gluten sensitivities or allergies, you’ll want to double check the ingredient list before you buy. You don’t want to test your body’s immune system when it’s already taxed, after all. And finally, don’t discount the importance of taste and consistency. It’s crucial that those energy gels go down easy, and some thicker gels may need to be taken with water.

DWYM Fun Fact

Many runners dream about breaking a finish time record for their marathon … and then there are those who shoot for more original goals. The annals of the Guinness World Records are filled with oddball track and field milestones, including the fastest marathon in a wedding dress (3 hours 54 seconds, achieved by Lee Goodwin of the U.K.) and longest chain crocheted while running a marathon (over 450 feet, held by Susie Hewer of the U.K.). There’s an important lesson to be learned from these dubious achievements: If you can’t beat ’em, have more fun.

The Tips and Advice

  • How you take energy gels can be even more important than what kind you choose. Every person will process the sugar in these gels differently, so you’ll want to try them out on your daily run before you start using them in a marathon.
  • As a general rule, it’s best to wait at least 45 minutes between gels, and only then if you’re keeping up a good pace.
  • If you’re taking gels that contain caffeine, you’ll want to be aware of the side effects that can come with an overdose. Consider lengthening the time between taking the gels, or alternate caffeinated energy gels with non-caffeinated ones.