The world of energy gels or commonly called "Carbogel" is constantly evolving, there are various types with characteristics of composition, volume and taste very different from each other.
Fundamental in all is the presence of sugars and carbohydrates, in different percentages and of different nature, so as to ensure constant energy with different releases depending on the type of product.
The most commonly used carbohydrates are:
- Maltodextrins:slow-absorption maize derivatives, necessary to the maintenance of constant energy levels, without fast absorption peaks.Used in products that have a slow "duration of action", should be taken about every 50 minutes
- Cyclodextrins: Maltodextrin-like substances, which are even more gradually absorbed, such as maltodextrins, are also used in long-acting products and should be taken approximately every 50 to 60 minutes
- Fructose: in a small percentage it favors gastric emptying, it is neves used alone because it could give intestinal problems
- Dextrose: fast sugar, is used in "fast" formulations, immediate energy, usually in the final part of the races for the sprint to the finish line.
When choosing a gel, it is important to consider not only the quantity of product, but first of all the concentration of carbohydrates that allows the distinction between isotonic and hypertonic (All this information is clearly legible on the label).
- Isotonic: is a type of gel that can be taken away from refreshments because you do not need to drink water after ingesting it. It usually has a volume of 50-60 ml and a carbohydrate content of about 30g
- Hypertonic: is a type of gel that must necessarily be taken with water to avoid problems of intestinal discomfort and cramps. It usually has a volume between 25 and 50 ml, with a carbohydrate content of 25-30g.