Disclaimer: I received SiS Engery Gels to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!
Long before I became a Bibrave Pro, I won a pack of Science in Sport energy gels in an Instagram giveaway. They sent me one pack and after trying them for my weekly long run, I was a complete convert. So, I’ve been using these gels for a long while, and are definitely my go-to energy gels. When I was given a chance to officially review them with Bibrave, you know I had to jump at the chance!
1. Science in Sport energy gels use science to get that energy to you faster!
Reach waaaaay back in your memory. Do you remember the first day of your biology class? Probably not, but I can definitely tell you what you probably learned that day. (I’ve adjuncted a Freshman Bio course). You learned about ions, water, and how they flow across a semipermeable membrane (like a cell membrane). Did you know that you would be using this knowledge when looking at energy gels?
So this is me trying to squeeze a whole lecture on this into a few paragraphs, but to simplify it, all the cells in your body create gradients of ions. They pump some in, some out, and these gradients basically make the cells able to do things. Like your muscle cells contract, or your brain cells fire. So, the cell creates a certain concentration, or osmolarity, within its membrane.
A solution (like a sports gel) also has osmolarity, or the total concentration of everything within that solution, including ions, sugars, etc. This is related to its tonicity, which is relative to the cells around it. Think of it as the 3 bears, too much (hypertonic), not enough (hypotonic), and just right (isotonic). Hypertonic solutions will pull water into them from the surrounding cells, that’s why its recommended to drink 8oz of water with certain gels. But with an isotonic solution, water flows is both directions with no net loss or gain, making digestion easier. (Note though: I’m a neuroscientist not a gastroenterologist).
This is my interpretation, but you can read more on their website. They have a great article on osmolarity.
2. They have a great texture and taste great.
One issue I have with a lot of the gels that are currently in the market is that they advertise that they taste great. Yea…they really don’t. I would call it more of an acquired taste than anything else. I think this has a lot to do with the thick, goopy, texture they have, and the taste feels artificial. With SiS gels, they have a thinner texture since they carry more water to be isotonic. I find this thinner texture much more palatable. (I mean, who hasn’t choked on that thick gel while trying to keep pace?) They’re also easier to take and the flavors really remind me of the jello I had as a kid, especially the fruit ones. The Salted Strawberry and Tropical are my top flavors right now.
3. Because they’re isotonic, they’re easier to digest and need less water when you eat them. (Less nausea!)
As I mentioned above, a typical gel suggests drinking 8 ounces of water when eaten. I’m never able to drink that much water at once on a long run. I tend to sip from my water pack over time. This results in me becoming really sick to my stomach after taking thicker gels. I even have some race recaps where I didn’t have my preferred Science in Sport gels and had some MAJOR nausea for several miles. Being isotonic helps prevent upset stomachs, and I’ve never had any digestive issues with Science in Sport.
4. SiS gels can come with or without caffeine.
It’s well known that caffeine can be used to help with athletic performance, but it really depends on your morning routine. I ALWAYS start my day with a cup of coffee. I have one preprogramed and ready to go, and I sip on it on my drive to the running trail. For this reason, I typically enjoy gels that do not have caffeine. I don’t want/need a double dose.
But on the rare day that I have run out of coffee, I have the option of taking a preworkout gel with caffeine. Luckily, Science in Sport offers gels both with or without our favorite stimulant.
Are you ready to try Science in Sport gels?
Interested in other products I use as a runner? Make sure to check out all my other reviews!