Keep your nutrition and the environment in mind on race day with these alternatives to energy gels that are good for you and for the environment!

Are you a fan of energy gels? You’re not alone. They’re an increasingly popular choice for nutrition during longer races, as they provide a quick supply of dense energy, are small and handy to bring along and they can be consumed easily during the race. All good, no?

However, they don’t suit everyone, and a major downside is the plastic waste left behind as wrappers are scattered on trails and the roadside. At Gaelforce, we are privileged to host our races in beautiful, pristine landscapes and we’re committed to doing our best to protect them. Scattered energy gel wrappers are just not acceptable! Here are a few of our favourite energy gel alternatives:

1. Fruit

The usual staples such as apples and bananas are great sources of energy. But if you find these too cumbersome, try dried fruits such as mango, banana chips, dates.

2. Nuts

Need more carbs? Throw a few nuts in the mix too.

3. Homemade nutritional bars

There are lots of recipes out there for energy packed nutritional bars & flapjacks. Some don’t even need baking and an added benefit is that you know what is in them!

4. Nutritional endurance fuel

Nutritional endurance fuel - such as Tailwind - can be added to your water bottle. Depending on your training or race, you can vary the number of calories you need to keep you energised all the way through. It can be a great way to have a constant fuel source throughout the race, so you don’t need to think about anything else.

5. Energy chews

These are very similar to gels but usually have much less packaging.

Of course, if you really want to use energy gels, go for it, but be sure to store the wrapping safely and dispose of them at the end of your training session or race. Always leave no trace – other than your footprints!