The Energy Gel Experiment – Part 2


After trying the GU energy gel in the comfort of my home I needed to see how it worked during a run.  So I decided to try it on my next run, a 7.5 mile progression run, which I ran on Tuesday evening. This was my last run before my 30K race on Friday. I didn’t want to have any short acting insulin in my system before the run so I could see how I handled the gel while running with only the effects of my long acting insulin (Lantus) and the running itself.  Therefore, I didn’t eat any carbs during the day and take any rapid insulin.

I figured the run would take me an hour so I decided I would  check my BS every 15 minutes during the run. I checked my BS at:

7:30pm before leaving for my run it was 132. I had a gel and started to run.

7:45/ 138

8: 00/126


I decided to take another gel and continue running. I finished my run 14 minutes later and before continuing home (cooling down with a slow jog and walk) checked again. This time my glucometer read 82, but my hands were very sweaty and it may have not been an accurate reading. I got home 1¼ hours after taking the first gel and 30 minutes after the second. I checked again and this time my BS was 112.

I ate dinner took a small dose of insulin to cover the meal. Two hours later I was 100.

Conclusion: The energy gels do not have an adverse effect on my BS while running. There was definitely no spiking and my BS levels did not seem to go high at all from the gel.

So what’s next? I have a 30K race on Friday.  Should I take gels or stick to my halva?  And if I use gels, how often do I need to have one – every 30 minutes or 45? I don’t want to have too much carbohydrate floating around my system, but on the other hand I need to avoid going low during the race.

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2 years ago

I feel like you might need to take a gel earlier than 5 minutes before a run since it takes you about 1 hour to peak in blood glucose. In other words, it sounds like you’re partially running at a depleted blood glucose level and then the sugar gets absorbed. I wonder what would happen if you either took a gel earlier OR took a faster acting sugar like straight glucose (no maltodextrin or fructose).

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