Power Gel vs Recovery Gel

David shares the differences between power and recovery gels.


Photos Pexels and David Shum

We all seen them in running stores, expos, bib collection centres as well as hydration stations along the race route. We're talking about power gels and recovery gels. Athletes from various sports discipline seek them out to aid their performance and recovery especially in endurance event such as triathlons, marathons and ultramarathons.

Generally, power gel is consumed 15 to 30 minutes before the race and 30 to 45 minutes after it had started. These gel packets come in single high dosage of carbohydrate range from 30 grams to 60 grams of various flavors that gets easily absorbed into the system to act fast. The ingredients deserve a mention as power gels contains multiple concentrated chemicals and molecules that matches those in our body system that allows for quicker absorption into the blood stream.

Recovery gels helps athletes to recover and refuel. They contain a generous amount of protein to boost daily intake and are found to be vital for growing and maintaining functional muscle. BCAAs amino acids are also added into the solution together with vitamin B complex that essentially builds muscle, decrease muscle fatigue and tiredness as well as alleviate muscle soreness. These will allow athletes to bounce back in advance.

Generally, manufacturers for both gels have athletes in mind when designing and manufacturing these single-serve plastic packets. Most of the power gels sachet consists of a narrow neck that can be easily peel off at the top and reveal an opening through which the gel can be consumed. On the other hand, the recovery gel (180gram) that I had come across do have a screw top that allows for an extended consumption for multiple pauses in between. Overall, there are various considerations that lingers on athlete‚Äôs mind when purchasing these products such as costs, texture, taste, size and weight of the packaging per sachets.  


David is a certified running coach and sports therapist with over 15 years of experience working with running enthusiasts. He is passionate in understanding the uniqueness in every runner and helping all to achieve a healthy and sporting lifestyle. His determination to turn his running experience into information for sharing has led to his most recent work with physically and intellectually challenged athletes in the quest to perform their very best.



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