Every athlete in the world, whether amateur or pro always wants to perform the best they possibly can every time they workout, and while some of us are naturally blessed with limitless supplies of energy, most of us need a helping hand. There are many products on the market that claim to be able to help fitness enthusiasts go the extra mile, but most are just a waste of time. Energy gels are a little different to most supplements on the market though, and since they are relatively cheap, I decided to give them a chance. Even though I do not run great distances, I decided to would try them for a few weeks to see of they would have any effect on my performance during my workout sessions.
What are energy gels?
The energy gels provide a great way for athletes or fitness enthusiasts to get a quick, tasty dose of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are vital when it comes to endurance. Many runners will tell you that when they run long distances they "hit a wall" or "bonk". What they are referring to is a the feeling of not being able to take another step; it feels like their legs have completely stopped working. What has happened to the athletes at this point is that their store of carbohydrates has been depleted and they have no more left to fuel their muscles. This is something that even regular workout enthusiasts suffer from all the time, and unlike the pro athletes, we do not have to be running a marathon for this effect to take over. This is where the energy gels come into play.
How do CLIF Shot Energy Gels work?
The human body has limited stores of carbohydrates, and because carbohydrates are the best energy source during exercise, it is vital that carbs be consumed either before exercise, or easily during exercise in order to perform at the highest possible levels.
CLIF Shot Energy gels come in portable foil packets that have a tear strip at the top. They are easy to carry around and they are easy to open. CLIF Shot Energy are packed full of super concentrated carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. The carbs quickly find their way to the muscles that need to be re-fueled which means that you will be able to replenish your stores of energy and will be able to carry on performing at your peak for longer periods of time.
Each Energy Shot contains approximately 100 calories, no more than 1.5g of fat, and a between 22g and 24g of carbohydrates (roughly 11g of those being complex carbs). You simply take one shot 15 minutes before your workout and then another after each hour of activity. On a side note it is vital that you drink some water after consuming these gels (roughly 8oz) or you might end up feeling a little sick. The gels are very thick and might not sit well in unless there is some water to go along with them.
It is vital that we stay hydrated when we workout, but the main reason for drinking these with water is that water will provide the optimal absorption for carbohydrates. After you have taken your energy shot, drink eight ounces of water, and then you are good to go.
How do they taste?
Thankfully, there are a ton of flavors available, but for this review I decided to go with the Chocolate Cherry + Caffeine variety. Everyone has different tastes and there is something for everyone, There are 7 flavors available in total. Along with the Chocolate Raspberry you will also be able to find Chocolate, Citrus, Mocha, Razz, Strawberry, Double Espresso and Vanilla. They all taste great, but some better than others.
All of the available flavors are really sweet, and they pack a punch, but the Chocolate Cherry Energy Gel was just like slurping down a candy bar, and it was by far my favorite of the bunch. Some of the other flavors are way too powerful, but the Chocolate Cherry had a pretty good balance.
The consistency is something that needs to be experienced by everyone because it will both delight and disgust you at the same time. I had a feeling that the gels would be really thick, and I was right. The first time you try one you will be slightly repulsed by it because it feels like you are slurping down thick mucus. Apart from the viscosity, the gels have a very smooth texture, and you soon get used to the overall thickness. At the end of the day I would have to say that it is best to get the product down quickly.
CLIF claims that the Energy Shots have recently been re-formulated, and that the end result is a much thinner, easier to swallow gel, and while they are manageable, I would not have liked to try the old formula. Overall though the gels are easy to open, and they are fairly easy to swallow, which is vital when you are running or performing any activity.
Do they work?
CLIF Energy Gels are an excellent way to provide your body with the essential fuels that it needs to perform at its peak. I can honestly say that while devouring the product could be a better experience, they really do work.
I noticed a pretty big improvement in my overall performance during my trials with the CLIF Energy Shot Gels. I noticed that I did not fade as quickly, and when I did need another boost mid run, the energy shots helped push me to the end of my workout.
I was definitely skeptical about energy gels before I started using them, but now I cannot imagine not having any in my fitness tool kit. They are definitely a great way to boost your energy levels when you need it most.
If you plan on taking part in long distance runs or bike rides, you should definitely try CLIF Energy Shot Gels. They are small enough to slip into your pockets, and they are easy to open and consume while you are still running or cycling, and to top it off, they taste good too. CLIF Energy Shot Gels are reasonably priced and they can be found at retailers across the county or you can order directly from CLIF's website.