Do energy gels work for cycling?

This question is about Nutrition and Cycling

Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, Freelance Writer

Yes, energy gels can be a good way to fuel before or during cycling. Energy gels offer a combination of quick-acting carbohydrate electrolytes and sometimes caffeine, which have been shown to enhance performance and/or recovery in endurance sports like cycling [1].

Energy gels are good to eat 30-60 minutes before a ride or during a ride that lasts longer than 60-90 minutes. Each package has about 20-30 grams of carbs and most cyclists will need 1-2 packets per hour to replenish carbohydrate during a long ride. 

cyclist eating energy gel with hills in the background

[1] Kerksick, C.M., Wilborn, C.D., Roberts, M.D. et al. ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: research & recommendations. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 15, 38 (2018).