Digest This: Gels vs Blocks

By Adam Galuszka
July 24, 2013

Recently someone asked us, “Why would I ever use gels when I can use blocks?” Obviously this person like blocks. How can you not? They have flavors named after alcoholic beverages and they give adults an excuse to eat gummy candies. Blocks and chews are great. They taste fantastic and since they’re bite sized, they allow you to easily ration small portions of carbohydrates into your system. However, because of their form, digesting them requires more hydration than their gel counterparts. Yes. Every time you eat, you need to drink. Eating uses water in your body to breakdown and digest food. If you don’t drink when you eat, you will slowly creep into a dehydrated state. Gels also require water to aid digestion, just often times they require less water than blocks -- bars require even more water for digestion. Studies have shown you need about 12 ounces of water to effectively digest a gel, without tapping into reserves. Gels with electrolytes, like the Clif Blok Margarita flavor, are great. But just because your energy food has electrolytes, does not mean it will keep you from cramping. Only hydration prevents cramps. We cannot say it enough, use a electrolyte hydration mix. Drinking smart and drinking often is the best performance tip we can advise. So no matter what you prefer - blocks, chews or gels -- make sure you accompany them with proper hydration. Questions about specific nutrition? Send them our way. Email us at hello@thefeed.com