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 more...er..natural..alternatives 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 ! :-)


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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 - wiggle.co.uk/?s=nuun

    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 naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/n... 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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