Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Spring Energy Gels
Price: $30 for 12 gels
Spring Energy seemed to recently pop on the scene by storm. All at once, runners everywhere swore by the nutrition brand. I’ve tried natural gels before on long runs, but sometimes a 100-calorie gel feels more like the air inside a potato chip bag than actual nutrition. For most of the Spring Energy products, the first or second ingredient is rice. Wary at first of how a stomach would respond to what seemed like a gel that would sit heavy, I decided to see what the fuss was bout.
The consistency of each packet is more like applesauce than lab-engineered space food. As someone that is rarely seen around the Trail Runner office without a coffee mug, the mango flavored had my number (read: caffeinated). Looking at the ingredient list, it’s refreshing to see such basic and natural food represented.
The gels are rather viscous, which is nice during a long run when you’re parched. As a runner in Colorado, salt and electrolytes are something I am constantly paying attention to. Each gel includes at least a 100mg bump of sea salt to mitigate cramping and optimize hydration often necessary when running in dry and hot climates.
Generally, after slamming a gel, it can take a couple minutes for one’s stomach to catch up. During a recent race, with other gels, those minutes were spent burping and feeling pretty dang low, until it digested a bit. That turnaround time is basically nonexistent for Spring Gels. Everything in their products is so readily digestible that you barely have to slow down while consuming it.
It takes me about ten minutes or so to start to notice a difference in my energy levels, and when that happens, the effects are on par with some of the more conventional gels, but without the negatives associated with them. Honestly, I can’t recommend this product enough. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself.
—Tim Nooney runs 80 miles per week, typically with a new piece of gear that Trail Runner makes him take along and review.