9 Mid-run Fuels That Aren’t Gels

Race day is creeping closer and closer and you’ve knocked off most of your long runs with just a few more to go before you start to taper.

Along with all those countless kilometres, I’m sure you’ve sucked down countless packets of sugary, gooey, intensely flavored energy gels. Now, if you’re anything like me, at this point in your training, you’ve completely exhausted all of the palatable flavour options for those energy gels. The thought of taking one more super sweet gel makes you want to cry (or throw-up), whether it be on kilometre 2 or kilometre 20.

Beyond that, a lot of gels on the market today are a combination of high fructose corn syrup and maltodextrin, both of which are far from “clean” and can leave you with tummy troubles.

While there are some whole food-based gels out there that are made up of ingredients including dates, coconut oil, honey, and maple syrup, you also have another option – real food. While DIYing a gel is definitely an option, it doesn’t even have to be that complicated. With just a minimal amount of preparation, you can pack a powerful punch nutrition that’s clean, arguably easier to digest, and, perhaps most importantly, tastes great.

Stash your food in small zip-lock bags that can easily be carried in a fuel belt or even the zipper compartment of your shorts.

Snack box of raisins

Banana (cut in half to more easily stash in your pouch)

Dates stuffed with coconut oil

A couple of pretzels

Sweet potato (sounds unusual, but very easy to eat and digest)

Dried cherries

Homemade energy bites

Jam and honey on white bread

Frozen grapes (easy to digest and refreshing cold)

When trying to determine how much to bring, remember you’re looking for 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour (one gel is typically about 30 grams of carbs) Happy fueling!

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