Energy Gel!

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Introduction: Energy Gel!

This is a quick, inexpensive alternative to commercial energy gels. If you run, bike, hike or otherwise play hard for over an hour, use this recipe for a shot of rapid energy.

Step 1: Tools + Ingredients

What you'll need:

Tools:
A small pot for the stove, or a microwave-safe bowl and microwave
Whisk
Measuring spoons: Tablespoon and teaspoon
Measuring cups: 1 cup glass (Pyrex) for liquid, and 1 cup dry cup
Spatula
Strainer (optional, for citrus and berry flavors)
A container for the gel. I used a GoToob (available at REI) in the 1.25 oz. size.

Basic Ingredients:
Maltodextrin (I found it at the nutrition store, but check your Co-op)
Honey
Water

Optional electrolytes:
Potassium salt (KCl) "Nu-Salt" pictured
Sodium salt (NaCl) Table salt pictured

Optional protein additives:
Whey protein powder
Soy protein powder

Optional Flavor ingredients:
Vanilla
Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
Citrus fruit (orange, lemon, lime etc.)
Citric acid (gives a "tart" taste to the fruity flavors, available at cheese-making supply shops, or in bulk in some stores)
Instant coffee granules
Mint


Step 2: Recipe

Add to pot and whisk thoroughly over low heat:

1 cup maltodextrin
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup honey

--If using mint to flavor, add and crush slightly while heating, remove after 10 minutes.--

Add protein additives if using:
1-2 Tbs whey protein powder
1-2 Tbs soy protein powder

Add electrolytes, if using:
1/2 teaspoon potassium salt
1/2 teaspoon sodium (table) salt

Add flavorings if using: 
For berries, in a separate pan, heat 1/4 cup berries till they become watery, then press through sieve to remove seeds/skins. Add the sieved to gel. d 1/2 teaspoon citric acid if desired for tartness.
For citrus fruit, juice 1 fruit using the strainer to catch seeds/large pulp. Add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid if desired for tartness.
For coffee flavor, add 1 Tbs. granules.
For vanilla, add 1 Tbs vanilla.

***I've attached a gazillion pics of these steps, for any of you intimidated by the whole "cooking" thing. It's really easy, folks. ;) ***


Step 3: Voila!

There you have it! Pour into a container of your choice. I like the GoToob - it has rave reviews, and it's made from food-safe silicone. It squirts out with a very gentle squeeze. 

This recipe made 1 2/3 cups, or 480 grams. Packaged up in the 1.25 oz tube, the contents weighed 32 grams - comparable to commercial energy gels. (There is space for a gram or two more.)

I took it on my run today. It fit well inside the zippered pouch of my water-bottle carrier, along with my keys. It worked great.

Enjoy!

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33 Comments

Great instructable! About how much does this stuff cost, and can it be found at a regular grocery store?

Thank-you! The cost for one batch of raspberry vanilla gel with 2 Tbs each of soy and whey powders, and electrolytes was $4.74 for about 15 servings, so a little less than 32 cents per serving. That doesnt include the GoToob, which retails for $6.45 at REI. I'll make back the up-front costs (the tube plus a 2-lb container of maltodextrin) and hit the break-even point for the remaining ingredients somewhere into my second batch. Beginning marathon training just became a little less costly. ;)

You're unlikely to find anything other than the honey, salt, vanilla, fruit etc. at a regular supermarket (although you might get lucky). I had good luck at both my local food Co-op and Whole Foods where I could get all but the maltodextrin (I found that at a nutrition store). You usually get a better price if you buy in bulk, and you can also buy as much, or as little, as you need. You can also order everything readily online (in the USA, that is). Hope that helps. :)

With the gel in it - the gootoob looks like a tongue, perfect for halloween.

Great idea. I'm an avid cyclist and use energy gels all the time.

Do you have a recipe for an energy drink? That would be a great I'ble too.

Great idea. I'm an avid cyclist and use energy gels all the time.
Do you have a recipe for an energy drink? That would be a great I'ble too.

Fungus amungus made this energy drink based on Gatorade
https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Your-Own-Damn-Sports-Drink/

Haven't tried it myself since I have problem finding some of the ingredients in stores locally.

Energy/electrolyte drink recipe *would* be great. I'll do a little more looking/experimenting - there are a lot out there based on cool-aid or juice and salts/baking soda, but I like mine to be comparable to performance drinks (CamelBak, Hammer, etc), so I've a bit more investigating to do first.

Using Sorghum Syrup is a great way to add potassium along with various B-Vitamins which are supposedly helpful. Not a nutrition expert, though, so take it or leave it!

http://www.fitbit.com/foods/Sorghum+Syrup/12251

I LOVE gotoobs the only problem is that it is hard to clean the cap.