[[File:Gels.JPG|right|thumb|300px|My supply of gels]]
Energy gels are a useful component of many endurance runners' training and racing. In marathon distance racing, energy gels can make an important difference [[When to eat Energy Gels in the Marathon| if you know how and when to eat them]]. If you want a really simple guide to which gel to take, try this:
* For short runs (<13miles/2hr)
don't worry about gels.* For long runs (>30miles/4hours) you probably need more than gels.
* [[Caffeine]] is your friend, so unless you're running close to bed time, use it.
Gu is a great all round gel, and the Roctane version is slightly better.
* For those suffering from cramps, try eGel (the sour flavor might help.)
* If you want more electrolytes, try PowerBar Gel.
* Hammer gel is a little easier to digest than Gu.
=Which Gel? =
The flowchart below is intended to provide some general guidance around which gel to choose.
[[File:Gels-Vooma.JPG|none|thumb|500px|USN Vooma (with a Gu as a size reference)]]
''<br/>Ingredients (Vanilla Caramel): Water, Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Sucrose, Acidity regulators (Sodium Citrate E331i; Potassium citrate E332i), Creatine Monohydrate, Ascorbic Acid, L-Carnitine, Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)(L-Leucine, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine), Acidulant (Citric Acid), Sodium Chloride, Flavoring, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Glutamic Acid, Thickener (Xanthan Gum).`''
[http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=PowerBar+Gel&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3APowerBar+Gel PowerBar Gel] is noteworthy because of its higher sodium content that may help alleviate [[Hyponatremia]] and [[Cramps]]. I found the flavor stronger than Hammer, Gu or Cliff, but still quite pleasant. The flavors are generally rather more candy like than fruit like. The level of [[Fructose]] is higher than I'd like to see for digestibility. You may need to drink some water near the time you take PowerBar Gel due to the extra electrolytes. PowerBar Gel has a noticeably thinner consistency than most other gels, and is almost a liquid. This makes it far easier to take in cold weather as it does not go so thick, but it also make it trickier to mix with saliva in your mouth. (Note that the chocolate flavor has 1.5g of fat.)