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Homemade Energy Gel
I’m experimenting with making my own energy gel as part of my marathon training. I need something to prevent me from hitting the wall (aka bonking) on my long runs. The commercial gels contain maltodextrin, fructose, and a bunch of chemicals that are hard to pronounce. I wanted something healthier that doesn’t make me want to gag.

I’m taking inspiration from the Thrive Diet and trying to make my own. I found a few recipes online (here and here), but I’ve been creating my own version.

Here’s V2 of my recipe.

Ingredients

  • 5 medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dulse
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp papaya
  • 1 tsp maca powder

Steps

  1. Soak the dates in water for a few hours.
  2. Mix the soaked dates with the other ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Add the energy gel into two large (3 oz) GoToobs.
  4. Consume the gels on your workout. 6 oz was more than enough for a 3 hour run.

Soaking Dates Energy Gel in GoToobs

Reasoning

  • The dates, honey, agave, molasses, and fruit provide clean burning carbohydrates with varying glycemic index (GI) values between 15 and 62.
  • The dulse provides sodium and the banana provides potassium, to replace the electrolytes I sweat out. The papaya is there to aid digestion.
  • The lemon juice is mostly for flavour, but it also helps to clear out lactic acid.
  • The maca gives an additional energy boost.
  • The coconut oil is for taste and energy.

The coconut oil is the most confusing ingredient. I put 1/4 cup in my first batch and only 1 tbsp in my second. I added it because Brendan Brazier uses it in his energy gels, but I couldn’t figure out why. The fat you burn running is already stored in your body, not recently consumed. Then I read this on the Thrive Staple Foods List:

Medium-chain triglycerides in coconut burn like a carbohydrate, offering immediate energy.

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