How often should I take energy gels when cycling?

This question is about Nutrition and Cycling

Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, Freelance Writer

If you’re cycling for 90 minutes or more, consume a small amount of energy gel every 15-30 minutes. After 60-90 minutes your body has used up most of its stored carbohydrate (glycogen) and research suggests that you need to replace that carbohydrate to maintain energy and maximize performance


energy gels when cycling offer NEW

A good rule of thumb is to aim for roughly 30-90g/ hour if you’re cycling for more than 90 minutes


. Most gels have about 20-30 grams of carbs, so that equates to 1-3 packets per hour. Bananas, sports drinks, sports chews, and honey sticks can also be used to meet carbohydrate needs during a ride. The longer and hard you cycle, the more carbohydrates you will need during a ride. Tolerance varies from cyclist to cyclist so don’t forget to experiment in training!

Cyclist eating an energy gel

[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).