Many runners have a difficult relationship with energy gels. These often act as "lifesavers" and often the sweet taste is a welcome signal for "here come the carbohydrates". Most of the time, they do their job of quickly delivering energy for intense performance quite well. However, we don't know any runners who would just treat themselves to a gel for their lunch break in everyday life. With Spring Energy gels, however, things are a bit different – although energy porridge or baby food for runners would probably be a more appropriate term.
Gels made from natural ingredients
The concept of Spring Energy 's gels is simple: natural ingredients that provide a balanced mix of simple and complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The omission of sugar and dextrin is said to prevent rapid rises and falls in blood sugar levels and to minimize gastrointestinal problems with digestion.
You really don't need to be a food chemist to understand the gel 's ingredient list. Take the newest flavor, Awesome Sauce, for example: basmati rice, apple juice, applesauce, sweet potatoes, maple syrup, lemon juice, sea salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. That was it. And yet the nutritional value of a gel that weighs 45 grams is 180 calories and 45 grams of carbohydrates. Spring aptly describes the taste of Awesome Sauce as: Apple cinnamon pie. We say: delicious.
The other flavors also have it all. "Canaberry" was developed with trail runner and coach Sage Canadey. Based on basmati rice, bananas and strawberries, one gel provides 100 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates. In terms of taste, it's definitely one of our favorite gels. Of course it is also suitable for vegan athletes.
A perfect breakfast before the competition
The so-called "Wolf Pack" is a kind of "mini breakfast" to go. The 116-gram pack contains gluten-free rolled oats blended with bananas, pineapple, papaya, dates and coconut water and offers a whopping 350 calories with 54 carbs. The idea behind this is to provide an easily digestible and high-quality pre-competition meal. However, it is also very suitable as a food on long mountain tours, hikes and other journeys - or when the inner bastard wins again in the morning and there is no time for breakfast before work or a training session.
And then there's Elektroride - a sports drink like we've never seen before. Elektroride is a combination of evaporated apple juice, potato starch, honey and coconut water. Added ginger juice and mint are said to help alleviate potential stomach problems, while Himalayan salt provides important electrolytes. The whole thing comes in a gel pack and is simply diluted with 500 ml of water.
Spring Energy has struggled on the European market in recent years. On the one hand, the brand is not entirely unknown thanks to the impressive Spring Elite team. On the other hand, the products were unfortunately often difficult to obtain. We are trying to remedy this and are now shipping Spring Energy from Germany for the first time.
The shelf life of the gels is usually less than eight months, which is not surprising for a product with natural ingredients. Unfortunately, the quality of the ingredients is also reflected in the price. Of course, maltodextrin and sugar are a lot cheaper to produce than apples, bananas and rice. Ultimately, everyone has to decide for themselves whether it's worth it. In this sense: stay hungry. Your Jonas & Florian.
This text was first published in RUNTIME 3/22.