Monday, 1 August 2011

Rest Day Review: PowerBar Fruit Gel vs. Kinetica Energy Gel

Now that I'm finally doing long runs again, I've started testing energy gels. I've used a variety of different gels before, but I'm always interested in trying new ones. And luckily, I've never had any stomach problems...yet! A few weeks ago, I reviewed the High5 Isogel with Caffeine and since then I've also tried the PowerBar Fruit Gel with Guarana and the Kinetica Hydrating Energy Gel.

PowerBar Fruit Gel with Guarana
I've used PowerBar gels before and they've always worked well, so I thought it would be nice to try the new fruit gel. Mango Passion Fruit sounded yummy, and the fruit gel is supposed to have a slightly thinner consistency than the regular.

I used this gel on a 13 mile run--my second gel at the 8 mile mark. No problems with the package, and I though the mango passion fruit flavor tasted really good. As with other PowerBar gels I find they are a bit saltier than some, but this doesn't bother me and is probably due to the higher sodium levels. It has been so long since I've used gels that I couldn't tell if this one was actually thinner than the other PB ones. However, to me they are definitely thinner than some of the other gels out there (eg SIS GO gels) and the small pack size (41g vs the typical 60g) means there is less to go down anyway. You do have to take this gel with about 150ml of water.

I felt an energy boost soon after taking the PB gel, and feel like it gave me extra energy through the final miles. I didn't feel too full after taking it and had no stomach issues.

Kinetica Energy Gel
I popped into the local 'performance foods' shop last week, looking to see what type of gels they had. I was happy to see that they had Isogels, but the friendly shop owner suggested that I try the Kinetica Gels as they worked much better for him.
I picked the cola flavor as he promised me it was good, and taste-wise they didn't disappoint. The gels had a nice cola taste that was neither too sweet or tart. This gel was definitely thicker than the PowerBar gel, and it took me a while to finish the packet. The package did not say to take the gel with water, so I only drank a bit to help wash it down. After so much gel (it comes in a 60g pack) I always feel a little full afterwards, but I didn't feel any queasiness.

I took one gel at mile 5 and other at mile 9, and both times felt a good energy boost. I finished the 13 miles feeling like the Kinetica gels made a difference to my run.

Overall, I thought both gels worked well and I wouldn't feel uncomfortable using either one during a race. If I had to pick between the PowerBar Fruit Gel, Kinetica Energy Gel and High5 Isogel....

THE VERDICT: PowerBar Fruit Gel WINS! While this product is a gel, it's thinner than most and the small pack means there's less to get down. I can finish the pack in few gulps, and the 150ml of water doesn't bother me too much. I really like the fruit flavor and immediate energy boost. The reason why I picked the PowerBar over the Isogel (which is still easier to take) is because I just haven't had the same energy kick when I've used the Isogel--so far I've always felt the boost was delayed. (I have two packs left to give them one more try this weekend....)

Of course, everyone is different when it comes to gels so...
  • If you do not like gels and would prefer a liquid try.....High5 Isogel
  • If you want a gel with more sodium try.....a PowerBar gel
  • If you don't mind a gel but would perfect a smaller pack try.....a PowerBar gel
  • If you have no problems with gels and would rather not take any additional water try.....Kinetica gels
Some additional info for each brand (please note that this was just taken from various sites on the internet):

Happy testing and tasting! As always, I'm always interested in hearing what other people if there's a gel you can't live without, please tell me about it!


Post a Comment