There are so many gels in the marketplace that it can become a bit of a blur knowing which ones to get. I won’t lie to you, they pretty much are all the same in terms of the amount of energy or ingredients. But it’s the subtle differences that can make or break you on race day, so the way to choose your gels is a case of trying a few and seeing which ones suit you best. Most recently I gave VFuel a test drive. I’d seen them pop up numerous times on my Facebook feed and with plenty of high profile runners swearing by VFuel I figured they were worth a crack. So here’s my thoughts:
The flavours are varied and mostly yummy. I’m not a fan of really sweet gels so struggled a bit with the vanilla and cool citrus. They’d be perfect for a quick post-training refuel, but in a race I’d find the taste a bit potent. On the other hand the other options are great! I really like the idea of having a variety of flavours to eat during an event as it avoids an overload of the one taste. The highlights are the Maple Bacon and Fudge Brownie gels. I found them easy to stomach and had no unwanted reactions that can occur with other brands.
Nutritionally I won’t go into detail about the amount of energy and other stuff in them. When it comes to gels, like I said above, there are few differences between products that realistically matter. You just need fuel for the machine and it comes in many and varied forms that suit each runner differently. But what I will say is that VFuel are a comprehensive product that means you can pretty much get away with just using VFuel gels and drinking water in races up to 5-hours in duration.
Now to be fair, there are a couple of downers. On the ones I tried, the tab you rip off at the top of the packet didn’t leave me with a narrow ‘neck’ from which to suck the gel out. I ended up with an awkwardly wide top that was hard to get into my mouth and quickly consume…it’s not a big deal when you’re hiking or moving slowly, but at pace and when you wanna get it down fast, this is a tad annoying. The other downer was that in cold climates the gel gets quite thick. Which is the case with 90% of the gels out there. But this is easily overcome by holding them in your palms for a few minutes before opening.
Get your hands on some here: http://wildplans.com/vfuel/