What Would Be The Best Running Gel For My Sensitive Stomach?
Different types of energy gels will have varying effects on our bodies, and each body is different. So, it’s common for us to be asking “what would be the best running gel for my sensitive stomach?”. Meaning we can understand the flow of our bodies and our health when it comes to race day.
We’ve all been there, those days where our stomach dictates everything we consume. Be it a little or a lot, through physical ailments or mental health. Stomachs can be brutal and you’re not alone. Studies show that up to 90% of long-distance runners experience gastrointestinal distress throughout long-distance running.
But, we’re here to let you know that your stomach does not have to control your run. As long as you stick to your best running gel for a sensitive stomach and understand that not all energy gels are bad for you.
It’s most important to understand your body first and what could be causing a sensitive stomach. Does it only come with long-distance running? Is it only with race day nerves? Are you drinking enough water and how is your overall diet? Consider these factors before deciding which running gel would be best suited to you.
Are energy gels bad for you?
This is the first thing that will pop up in everyone’s mind when thinking about the best energy gel for a sensitive stomach; whether they should take them at all. The answer is a simple no. Energy gels are not bad for you when you use them correctly and you find the right gel for you.
Many people may abuse energy gels, whether it be through a lack of understanding or lack of reading about the product. Energy gels should be treated as last-resort energy options to get you through the race and across the finish line.
To make sure you are using your energy gel correctly you must: take it with plenty of water at water stations along your marathon, only take as many times as stated on the packaging and practice taking varying brands pre-race.
All energy gels are different because they may contain fructose, glycose, flavourings, high carbohydrates, caffeine, lactose and more. So, read the ingredients and try each one out to see which ones you like and which ones your body certainly doesn’t. That way, you can determine the best running gel for your sensitive stomach.
When should I fuel during a marathon?
If you’re like me and you have a highly sensitive stomach. if it’s due to nerves, a stock of pre-race carbohydrates and other ailments. You’ll likely be wanting to know when is best to take your energy gel, especially those with caffeine.
After practising with gels and finding which provide the right boost at the right time, consider when to use them. You’ll want your slow-boosting energy gels around the beginning (after approximately 45-60 minutes) when you first ask yourself ‘what have I got myself into?’. That way you can keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Nearing the end of your marathon is when you’ll want to take the energy gel that will give you the biggest boost. These will generally contain caffeine to increase the speed at which the sugars and carbohydrates can reach your bloodstream and muscles. They won’t be the best running gel for a sensitive stomach, but make sure you’re aware of your body’s capabilities. And, you’ll need to know the toilet’s whereabouts after running through the big ribbon at the end like a dramatic swan.
What if there’s an ingredient that my stomach doesn’t agree with?
Not all running gels are made with fructose. There are some that are made with natural ingredients to provide stomachs with a more palatable meal. These can be made with honey, fruit juice or tapioca.
The best running gel for a sensitive stomach that reacts to gluten would be a gluten-free energy gel. These are on the market. Have a shop around and find which energy gels work best for you as a long-distance runner.
For many, having a high dose of carbohydrates before a long cardio session is useful. This is because our body stores it as muscular energy for up to two hours. However, for those with a sensitive stomach, it can feel heavy and bring on nausea while running. If this sounds familiar, consider using a gel with high-carbohydrate contents like the GU Energy Gel when beginning to crash.
If you’re looking to improve on your pre-run nutrition, then it is highly important to keep your fluids up. No, this doesn’t mean drinking a can of energy drinks as those will definitely give you an upset stomach. And, unfortunately, they don’t give you wings. You’re running this one so get some water into your system.
The best running gel for a sensitive stomach
So, we know that energy gels are not bad for us when used correctly. We know when we should fuel during a marathon. And, we know that there are many energy gel products out there to try from. This means there will always be an option for those with sensitive stomachs.
But, if you’re looking for a particular brand suggestion, then look towards Spring Energy Gels UK. They are made with natural ingredients and easy absorption for little gut irritation.
If the running gel for your sensitive stomach is too strong, consider taking smaller doses over regular intervals. This is quite common near the end of the race where blood has been stripped from the stomach to other muscles and you may find it hard to ingest. If you take a ¼ of a gel packet every 5-minutes, you will be getting the same energy boost as consuming it at once.
For more information about different kinds of energy gel and where to find Spring Energy Gels UK, have a look at our other blog Energy Gels for Long Distance Running which reviews specific energy gel brands, what they’re made of and how each of them can be used in your marathon.
Or, if you’d like a closer look at when’s best to take your energy gels during a marathon and what to expect, then check out our blog When To Take Energy Gels During a Marathon?
Please be sure to exercise caution when taking energy gels. Make sure you take the best energy gel for your sensitive stomach safely with water.