Couch to 5K
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Has anyone used gels or similar when running longer distances ?

Last week I ran/walked 10 miles with a friend. She usually takes a gel at about 5 miles, having tried various different ones before finding which one suits her best. I tried one at the same time - not as unpleasant as I'd expected but I wouldn't want to eat them for fun. I didn't notice any particular boost in energy - but then, I don't know how I would have been without the gel. About half an hour after finishing the run I got a horrible, bloated sort of stomach ache that lasted a couple of hours - it's not something I'm prone to so I wondered if it might be an effect of the gel.

This week we attempted 12 miles ! It was much hotter than last week so it was more difficult. I'd read that a lot of people rate Jelly Babies for an energy boost on long runs so, as there were some in the house anyway, I thought I take some along and try those when my friend took her gel. Soon after consuming a few Jelly Babies, I started to feel a bit queasy, I couldn't get rid of the taste of them in my mouth and just wanted to drink water. I tried to only drink little bits so I didn't take in too much water. I didn't really shake off the feeling in my stomach for the rest of the run. At the end of the run we stopped for a cup of tea - that was nice to start with but I had too leave some as it was adding to the sick feeling. Our lift home turned up and I hopped into the back of the car but by the time we'd crossed the car park, I had to get out again to be sick :-( I felt a bit better after that and went to the pub too meet BH - after a pack of salted peanuts and a glass of soda water I was feeling human again.

So, definitely NOT jelly babies on a run ever again !

Since reading that bananas are as good as many sports drinks, I've wondered about just taking some banana chips with me in case I need a boost.

Has anyone else experimented with gels etc or have recommendations for as I'm a bit sceptical about the gels/sports drinks etc.

I also don't want to sabotage every long run by experimenting with gels !

Any advice would be appreciated ! :-)

3 Replies

Wow 12 miles, that's impressive well done! I have some hydration tablets called Nuun that dissolve in water that I take on long runs and I think they give me a good boost. Plus they're non fizzy so easy on the stomach. I got mine here if you're interested -

I've also tried jelly babies and I found them ok, just a bit sticky and not sure if they did anything for me but they were a nice snack if nothing else!

I'm running 10 miles tomorrow and I'm trying out one of these Nakd Bars I'm apprehensive about gels but might try one out next week just out of curiosity.

I think the general idea is just to try out a few things and see what works best for you. Also if you're doing a race don't try anything new on race day that you haven't used in training. Good luck :)


Thank you !

I walked a lot so don't be too impressed !

I might give those tablets a go, cheers :-)


My (by now infamous) marathon running big sis takes a good old fashioned jam sandwich to nibble on when she runs further than 10 miles.


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