I’m on the constant quest for “energy gels that don’t hurt my stomach.” Although I generally make my own fluids (ok, Will makes my fluids) for major long runs or races, I do tend to use gels for medium runs or regular long runs. I’ve had a long standing tolerance with Clif Gel, but wanted to try other products this spring as I’m rebuilding the foundation.
I don’t normally gel before running but Friday was a weird day with an exam and 2 pm run start time that prevented me from eating a normal lunch. I felt punky before my run so I tried the Hammer Gel Vanilla that I bought as part of my “try new things” trip to Fleet Feet.
And YUCK. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to even finish the packet. From the runny consistency to the most bizarre rendition of vanilla flavor, I only finished this one for the purposes of being able to do a product review. The run didn’t feel great either; I spent most of the run bemoaning the fact that it’s too early in the season for porto-potties to be out on my run route. From a more science-based perspective, Hammer also has 20 fewer calories per packet than Gu or Clif and a few fewer carbs. In the marathon or a long run, that’s a big difference. This one was a big no for me!
Who this might work for? Someone with little preference for flavor but who wants a very thin gel.