Energy Gels

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Need a boost during your long workout? Sugar-packed candy won't do the trick, but energy gels and other chewable carbohydrate sources are perfect options. Both are portable and easily digestible. We hit up registered dietitian and former Boston University triple-jumper Mary Ellen Bingham to get the 411.

Energy gels and chews are carbohydrate-based fuel sources used primarily during activity, rather than before. Their carb and calorie content aren't the only reasons they help sustain your energy. "They dont have fat, protein or fiber," Bingham says. "Those nutrients are great, but they take longer to digest, and when you're [in activity], you need a quicker energy source that your body can easily utilize."

Both products are fortified with electrolytes, which are vital for helping your body maintain fluids during activity. Bingham recommends keying in on sodium and potassium when scoping out each products labels, and make sure to consume fluids with every use.

"You definitely want to be hydrating well throughout the [workout]," Bingham says. She recommends downing 4 to 6 ounces of water to use the products properly, which are most beneficial when consumed about 45 to 60 minutes into your workout.

PowerBar Gel []
Flavor: Strawberry Banana
Calories: 110 Carbs: 27g
Sodium: 200mg Potassium: 20mg

GU Energy Gel []
Flavor: Lemon Sublime
Calories: 100 Carbs: 25g
Sodium: 40mg Potassium: 35mg

Cytomax Energy Gel []
Flavor: Orange / $29.95 for 24 gel packs
Calories: 110 Carbs: 27g
Sodium: 35mg Potassium: 65mg

Clif Shot Bloks []
Flavor: Cran Razz
Calories: 100 Carbs: 24g
Sodium: 70mg Potassium: 20mg

Sport Beans []
Flavor: Watermelon
Calories: 100 Carbs: 25g
Sodium: 80mg Potassium: 40mg

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