We’ve written a couple posts explaining the differences between energy liquids and tablets and gels, chews, and bars. Now that you’ve decided what you want to take, how do you know when to take it?
A good rule of thumb is that you don’t need to take anything unless you’ll be running for more than an hour. If you’re going out for a long run or race, then you should take your gel/chews around 45-60 minutes in. Everyone is different, so it could take anywhere from 5-15 minutes for you to start feeling the effects (you should get a boost of energy and/or your body should feel less tired). Take another energy supplement every 45-60 minutes after that.
Note: Be sure to check the product packaging for dosage, too, as there may be different recommendations based on what’s in the product.
Always take energy supplements with water to help them get into your system, and be sure to hydrate early and often. Drink water regularly throughout the day when you know you’re going for a run, or drink 4-6 ounces about 30 minutes before you run if you’re heading out in the morning. Once you’re out there, sip water regularly or at least at every aid station. You don’t want the water to slosh around in your stomach, so try to get in a gulp (or a few) every 20-30 minutes.