Alternative Energy: Do Energy Gels and Supplements Really Work?
Pages in this Story:
- A Growing Demand for Sports Nutrition and Energy Supplements
- The Real Deal on Energy Supplements
- Shake It Up: Protein Shakes and Postexercise Supplements
- Anatomy of an Energy Gel: What's Really in It?
Anatomy of an Energy Gel: What's Really in It?
GU, the world's first energy gel, is one of the most popular sports supplements for endurance athletes. But what's really in it? Here, a decoder to some of the ingredients.Fructose
Fruit sugar that gives you an energy kickMaltodextrin
Carbs that provide quickly digestible energy to musclesPotassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, and Citric Acid
Citrates that neutralize performance-sapping acid buildup in muscles and help turn carbs into energyHistidine
Amino acid that works alongside citrates; acts as a buffer against lactic acid buildupGinger
A natural stomach sootherCaffeine
Stimulant shown to increase endurance performanceLeucine, Valine, and Isoleucine
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that provide fuel and lessen fatigue by limiting the central nervous system's production of serotoninVitamins C and E
Antioxidants that help protect muscles from free radicalsChamomile
Natural anti-inflammatoryCalcium Carbonate
Mineral that helps promote healthy, strong bones
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2009.
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