First Thoughts: Carbgel Gels

Posted: 25/02/2014 in Food, Laughingly Called Training, Review, Running, Vegan
Tags: , , ,

I recently found that a local company had started producing gels. Being a fan of local produce, I ordered a trial pack to give them a go.


They duly arrived (very quickly!) and I opened the box to find three citrus gels, three berry gels and two cola gels (with added caffeine).

Tonight the plan suggested a four mile run, so that seemed like the perfect example to try out step one of what we will call The New Gel Procedure. There are only a couple of steps, but they go like this:

  1. Take gel before short run – this is the barf test. If I can go for a short run and not feel ill, “Go Windy” or feel generally unsettled then they pass phase one and progress to step 2.
  2. Use a few on a longer run and see if they do the job.

You should know straight off that I’m pretty picky about gels. They need to be vegan for one thing, which is always a bit of fun, but I got a very quick response to my question about the ingredients that they were fine. I also like my gels thin. To date I’ve stuck with High 5 gels because they’re easy to neck when you’re running with minimal water. In fact, the only thing that has drawn me away from the High 5 gels are Isogels by the same company, if anything even thinner and properly easy to take without any water at all. On one memorable run where the shops were shut, Isogels saved the day as I had a couple left that got me home when I ran out of water.

So, I chose a citrus gel – everyone makes a citrus gel, so they’re a good test. The tops are nice and easy to open, which is great once you’ve lost your senses on a long round, and the consistency was pretty much on a par with the High 5 gels, which is another big thumbs up. The taste was pretty good – not too sweet, not too tart – pretty much the baby-bear-porridge of gel tastes.

In it went, and off I headed. As I was feeling pretty good I had a bit of a turn of speed (for me, it’s all relative, 9 minute miles counts as speed) and figured this would jounce the contents of my stomach sufficiently to cause any upset of explosion.

To cut a long story short, they worked well, no undue effects, no discomfort, no feeling like I was going to be sick or otherwise jettison. I ran a tasty 9 minute mile, which is pretty good for me in the woods – could this be due to having the gel at the start? Quite possibly – we’ll find out the answer to that at the weekend when I head out for a longer run with a clutch of the blighters to keep me going.

I might even try the caffeine ones – I like a coffee, but I’ve always avoided caffeine gels as I have suspicions they’ll cause an unwanted effect.

So far so good, really happy with the gels. Watch out for the next instalment, the full Road Test.


  1. Interesting — I’ve never heard of these gels (no surprise) but I have a super sensitive stomach, especially running. I am intrigued.

    • So far so good CCRM – watch out for the second part of the review. I always approach new gels like I’d approach a bear with a headache (with maybe one less chair with which to fend them off, I’ve not been mauled by a gel YET) and I have the race-digestion of an easily startled sheep, so if I can digest them then they’re pretty gentle on the tum.

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