After a frustrating battle with gut bombs due to consuming energy gels of all sorts while training and racing, I finally happened upon Hammer Gel from Hammer Nutrition. Wow! What a difference it makes to have a quality product that not only offers concentrated carbohydrate energy but has no added sugars, artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. I can tell you these gels are a great-tasting fuel source and are easy on the stomach compared to similar products. They have a great consistency — not too thick, yet not too runny — and they aren’t overly sweet. My go-to flavors are Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter/Chocolate, which have potassium and protein that are helpful with recovery. I also like the Espresso and Tropical gels; they contain caffeine, which provides a little pick-me-up during longer endurance races.

Author: Shalini Kovach is a regular contributor to Terrain magazine and is the lead organizer of Terrain Trail Runners